I don’t know why but this summer has made me lazy! And it’s not even the heat because we’ve been getting lots of rain and temperatures were mostly moderate so far. But now it is time to finally crawl out of my hole and start blogging again.
A couple of weeks ago we left town and took the train to Vienna where we spent a whole week. At first we had planned to see some other Austrian cities as well, but then we got stuck in museums and at cafés drinking Mokka (espresso) and reading the newspaper.
I’ve been to Vienna once, on a school trip, years ago. That was before I studied German literature and got to know many Austrian writers and the very complex and different views they had about their country and their capital. Now I came back with all these impressions that were not mine. I am glad that I am not writing a tourist guide but a food blog, because if I was writing about the town and its history, about arts, architecture, and literature, I really didn’t know where to start. So let’s get right into the food!
As a vegan, you don’t have to starve in Vienna, as there are so many options from restaurants to falafel stands and grocery stores. Before we started our journey, I sent a message to my fellow PPKer Eight and asked her about her favourite spots. She sent us a huge list, which was a big help for us. We even got to meet her and Inceptisol for a cup of coffee in one of her favourite cafés.
On our first evening we wanted to visit the restaurant Landia. (Reviews in English here.) We soon realized that we had picked an unfortunate time to visit Vienna as many people were on vacation and therefore lots of smaller stores, restaurants or cafés were closed. So when we arrived at Landia on Saturday evening, they weren’t open. (Which we would have known if we would have checked their website.) Fortunately, they had decided to close down only on Saturdays, so that we were luckier on another day. They have a small regular menu with daily specials. They call themselves “vegetarian/vegan” but as far as I remember everything on their menu was vegan. Even if it is not, they will accommodate vegans. The staff was really friendly, the service was great and the food was great, too. It is inspired by traditional Austrian and Bohemian cuisine, which means this is the place to go if you want Schnitzel or Semmelknödel (dumplings made from old bread). We decided to go for one traditional and one not so traditional dish: Zwiebelrostbraten mit Semmelknödeln (onion roast with dumplings) and Kartoffel-Ingwer-Laibchen (potato ginger patties).
For dessert we chose a piece of cake and vanilla ice cream with sunflower seed praliné and pumpkin seed oil.
Dark green pumpkin seed oil is produced only in Styria. It is pressed from the seeds of a regional pumpkin, the Styrian oil pumpkin, and can accompany both savoury and sweet dishes. The taste is nut like and therefore it is indeed great as a part of a dessert.
We did also spot bags of potato chips drizzled with pumpkin seed oil. Of course we had to buy one. They were quite greasy and it’s probably no fun to eat these in a cinema as your fingers will be covered in green oil. But they were really delicious and something you don’t get to eat every day.
Vienna has many really wonderful museums. We thought the most interesting one was the Leopold Museum. They have a huge collection of pictures by Egon Schiele as well as by modernists, expressionists, and painters of the Wiener Secession (Vienna Secession), like Gustav Klimt. I really like Schiele’s work and it was a wonderful experience to see so many of his pictures. If I’d live in Vienna, I’d probably go there at least once a month!
The museum also has a restaurant where you can get snacks. While P. had some cake I decided to order a glass of raspberry lemonade and a hummus plate, which was really filling and tasted great, too.
After spending a whole morning in a museum, a trip to Vegetasia is a really good idea. Every day they offer an abundant lunch buffet. Their food is Taiwanese and most of it is vegan. Some of it was marked as such but for some other foods I had to ask the staff. We left pretty stuffed after we had tried everything and hopped onto the closest tram so we didn’t have to walk.
I have some more foods, mostly desserts and snacks to share with you, but I think it’s better to split things up here and save that for another blog entry.