We returned to Vienna today, after learning something interesting about our hotel room at the Goldener Adler in Innsbruck. We did think it was a fabulous vantage point,(second floor, corner room) and evidently it was once used by Andreas Hofer, who in 1809 became the leader of the rebellion against the revolutionary Napoleonic invasion. He spoke from one of the windows in our room to incite the populace, and while he was successful, he was subsequently captured and executed. He is still venerated in Austrian as a freedom fighter and patriot. A lot has happened in that hotel in the last 600 years. (Of musical interest are guests of different eras: Mozart, père et fils, and Maria von Trapp.) Too much to absorb!
Vienna seemed very familiar, though we are staying in a different hotel, this time. We have an outstanding view of the city skating rink, very busy this time of year.
It is highly unlikely Mozart played here, though its location across from the Kursalon is why we chose it. Every night, there is a Strauss and Mozart concert here, in the very hall where the Waltz King (shown in his gilded glory above) conducted concerts over 100 years ago, part of the Stadtpark complex. Tonight, we were in the audience. (The night pictures show the building and the hall before the performers – musicians, dancers and opera singers – came in and photos were barred. A lovely event.)
But before the concert, we went off to Demel, the amazing confectioner and café, where – after intense research – we knew we wanted to have our last meal in Austria. And we gave a farewell wave to the nearby Hofburg palace that we enjoyed so much. The Lipizzaner stallions, boys’ choir and imperial apartments make it quite the address.
Don’s Food Corner
The votes are in and tabulated. After fourteen days of wiener schnitzel/goulash tasting in four Austrian cities, the winner is Demel of Vienna. Although more famous for its confections — chocolates and pastries — Demel has for us set the standard against which all future wiener schnitzel and goulash will be judged. Nothing we’ve had, here or in any other country, can compare.
At Demel there’s a refinement to the preparation of each of these dishes that is unsurpassed. With the wiener schnitzel, the accompanying cucumber salad dressed in sour cream and dill as well as the German potato salad were equally splendid enhancements of what we have tasted before. Even the spaetzle served with the goulash was special, light and fluffy. Yum, yum and yum again. And not to be forgotten.