One great thing about staying wired while traveling is that you’re not stuck with only the info you were able to dig up before hitting the road. You can keep researching while on the ground—and continue to get tips from friends as well. And it’s a good thing, too, because that meant a friend was able to let me know via Facebook that if I was in Vienna, I’d better get myself over to Cafe Landtmann. And I’m glad I did—because it resulted in the best bowl of goulash of our trip to Vienna.
Two weeks ago Monday, on New Year’s Eve, we spent the day wandering the tram system to explore Viennese neighborhoods we’d yet to see. We’d planned for a late lunch, because I wanted to be able last long enough to cobble together dinner from the food stalls I knew we’d find later that night after we stumbled from Die Fledermaus (which was what had brought us to Vienna in the first place) out into the celebration-filled streets.
Which meant we arrived at Cafe Landtmann mid-afternoon, so we didn’t have that long a wait to get seated for a late lunch. My wife ordered the fried chicken, and while I was tempted to order Wiener Schnitzel, I went for the goulash. How better to learn the difference between competent and great goulash than to order it often?
And the goulash here was magnificent!
Thick, spicy soup, large chunks of meat, a delicious potato dumpling … all the components in perfect balance, and making me quite happy as it radiated warmth outward from my belly on a cold Vienna day. It was head and shoulders above all the other goulash I ate during our week-long trip, and the only goulash I downed worth making a return trip for.
For dessert, Irene and I both went for the strudel, which my Facebook friend had told me was the best he’d had in Vienna, and as it turned out, it was also the best we had in Vienna, with the flakiest, crispest pastry of them all.
So to repeat a refrain you’ve heard here often … don’t diss social media when I’m around. Because without it, I’ve have missed (among others things) both the best goulash and the best strudel we had during our trip to Vienna.