The Erasmus Buddy Network is an organisation that sets up trips, evening classes and other social events for Erasmus students. Last night I attended the EBN Welcome Dinner which was held at Mozart’s, a cute traditional-style restaurant near Westbahnhof with antlers hung on the walls and fur rugs on the benches. They served all of the classic Austrian dishes and I was very happy to find vegetarian versions.
As someone completely new to Austrian cuisine, I was surprised by the heaviness of the meal. Apparently this is a key characteristic of the food here along with high amounts of meat, cheese and carbs in all forms. It isn’t for dieters!
Our first course was a small bowl of Frittatensuppe: strips of salted pancake soaked in stock and herbs. Oddly delicious!
Apparently this has a different name in Germany (Flädlesuppe) but exactly the same recipe.
For my main course I opted for the Vegetarian Goulash. I had absolutely no idea what to expect given that goulash is primarily made up of beef. When it arrived, I found that the meat had been substituted for mushrooms and that it came with a large bread knödel. The mushrooms were in a creamy source with a very strong salted flavour. The knödel, which we could tell was the kind made of bread due to the distinct pieces inside, was extremely dense and somewhat flavourless. I can’t say that this dish ranked high for me. I was finding the salty flavour a little overwhelming by the end and I’m pretty sure the only purpose of the knödel was to fill me up.
(Unfortunately I didn’t snap a pic of this dish as I didn’t think it was tasty-looking… More like a dumpling sitting in source… Oh well.)
The dessert was a but of a surprise. A large scoop of ice-cream covered in crunchy pieces and filled with a mango centre. I asked a Erasmus Buddy whether this was a typical Austrian pudding but she told me it didn’t have any name. “Fried Ice” was her best guess. Either way, it was yummy!
Austria is known for very good wine and beer… and a lot of alcoholic beverages really. Personally, I do not drink so unfortunately I won’t be able to review any of the drinks for you. But I was recommended an Austrian lemonade called Almdudler which is apparently only found in Austria and doesn’t even find its way to Germany.
In total the meal came to €12.90 (excluding drinks). The EBN welcome dinner was a great experience for us foreign students to get a taste of traditional Austrian cuisine. However, hopefully even better than that will be the Austrian Food Tasting event on the 21st of this month. I’m excited for this one and I really hope that they’ll have plenty of veggie options!