Monday, July 7, 2008

Wiener Schnitzel Not to be Confused With Hot Dogs

Our final destination before heading home is Vienna, Austria. Of all the Eastern European countries we visited, I enjoyed the cuisine of Vienna the most. One of the restaurants that we loved during our stay in Vienna was Figlmüller, a popular restaurant since 1905 that serves Wienerschnitzel. Wiener Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish which is a thin slice of meat coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Normally Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal but Figlmüller serves a version made out of pork and is called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein.
I've never had real Wiener Schnitzel before but it was amazing! The thing was bigger than my head and was spilling off the plate. I squirt the lemon wedge all over the Schnitzel and attacked it! It was delicious but I just couldn't get myself to finish the whole thing. Mad props to hubby that licked his plate clean.Am I the only one that thought that Wiener Schnitzel meant hot dog? When I came to Vienna, I was enlightened with the knowledge that Wiener Schnitzel had nothing to do with hot dogs. We have a lot of Wienerschnitzel fast food joints around Southern California that serve hot dogs, and when I looked it up I found that an American man who didn't really know the meaning of Wiener Schnitzel gave his hot dog shop the name. Go figure, now a lot of Americans like myself probably don't know that Wiener Schnitzel is very different and much better than a hot dog!
In Austria, Wiener Schnitzel is traditionally served with potato salad. This Potato-field salad at Figlmüller was made with styrian pumpkin-seed oil and plenty of dill. It went perfectly with the Wiener Schnitzel. yum~
One of the fun places we visited in Vienna was the Nachtmarkt, a big open air food market and flea market. It was like a beautiful farmers market with fresh cheeses, handmade pastas, homemade wines, and of course plenty of fresh produce. The best part about it is that it is open everyday! I wish I had a place like this back home.
They also had lots of little outdoor restaurants with tempting displays. Nachtmarkt is definitely worth the visit while in Vienna.

Grinzinger Straße 55
Wien 19., Döbling
Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 3204257


Victoria said...

What a delicious post. David Bouley has an excellent description of schnitzel in his book East of Paris. I make schnitzel often but usually use pork instead of veal. I use boneless pork chops or thin pork loin chops on the bone, which are very good. I make them with Wondra flour, which I season with a sweet Hungarian paprika, eggs that I beat with a little salt and then put through a strainer until smooth, and panko instead of breadcrumbs, which work well too. I take the pork and bind it with the seasoned Wondra, then the beaten eggs, then the panko. I place the cutlets in the refrigerator for a few minutes (although they can stay for a while) the take them out and cook them in hot grapeseed oil until they are brown and crisp on both sides. I usually serve them with cucumber salad, steamed new potatoes, and sauteed spinach, but I think next time I will replace the steamed potatoes with the vinegar-based potato salad, which sounds really good. Gruner veltliner wine goes well with this dish. My best friend is second generation Hungarian, and his mother was an excellent cook, so I cook a number of her recipes often, including chicken paprikash. As I said, really lovely post. Your whole trip is amazing, and your sharing is so generous.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, this post brought me back to my trip to Vienna a few years ago - such a fabulous city!!

vermichelli said...

what? i had no idea either. that looks like a chicken fried steak!

That Girl said...

When I came back from Vienna I tried desperately to do 2 things:
1) Recreate the Viennese Weiner Schnitzel (and seriously, no matter what I try I just can't get the same flavor, and don't even get me started on what they serve here at "Austrian restaurants")

2) Find a comparable potato salad to the kind I had there. It's definitely the best in the world.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Your pictures are so beautiful! And that's a great story! I want to go to Vienna! Maybe I'll go at the end of summer, I'm still not sure.

nita said...

yummm! i loveee wiener schnitzel and look at that potato salad!! droool.

What A Dish! said...

I loved reading your post! My parents live in Germany and we visited them last year. We didn't go to Vienna but did go to Salzburg. I loved the vienna schnitzel you can get over there (we had good ones in Germany too).

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