April 1, 2012

The "Classic" Viennese Coffee House

Vienna, the city that defined the cafe culture. Copied worldwide with varying degrees of success and variation, the Viennese coffee house is still an authentic and local cultural experience in its own right (not just my opinion as its considered a cultural experience by UNESCO as well =p).  Delectable pastries, handcrafted coffees and an environment of ultimate lackadaisicalness. Within the small center ring of the city known as Wien 1, you will invariably stumble upon a famous cafe on almost every block.
+ Veal shank with lima beans
+ Veal schnitzel with potatoes
When you think Viennese cafes the first place that immediately comes to mind is Cafe Central. However, visiting the "ultimate classical Viennese" cafe required a brief lesson in the history of cafe culture. Founded around the mid-1600s, the first coffee house was created by an officer of the Polish army. However, the concept of a coffee house reached its apex in the 19th century during an age of enlightenment thinking, nationalistic renewal and artistic creativity. It was the place to go to consume the latest international news, read progressive journals and discuss the meaning of life. The classic cafes including Cafe Central also featured live piano music in the evenings and the occasional literary reading. We however came here just to eat dinner :)

+ Cafe Central Cake
+ Hot Chocolate
+ Mozart Coffee 

The cafe central cake was a chocolate cake with a thick layer of marzipan in the middle. Although I was not the biggest fan of marzipan at first (I've always hated almond liquor), it is slowly growing on me. For some reason, it strikes me as a very classy ingredient. tehe. The Mozart coffee was served with some sort of alcohol, perhaps kahlua?...

+ Apple strudel with vanilla sauce and whipped cream 
And the apple strudel. Another must-eat for our visit to Vienna, the classic apple strudel is served with a side of vanilla sauce (as opposed to ice cream? huh who knew). It was was ever bit as appley and delicious as I imagined it to be :)

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