Austria, Experiences

How to Experience Wiener Schnitzel

14 Comments 24 May 2012

weiner schnitzel

This may be the perfect wiener schnitzel...gasp!

Did you ever have a meal you didn’t want to end? I find myself cutting my schnitzel in smaller and smaller pieces, chewing slower, savoring every bite. It isn’t just the food I am trying to slow down – it is the atmosphere. After all, it is as if time stood still in Cafe Pruckel. The furnishings look like they haven’t been touched since 1950 – beautiful, simple upholstered chairs and booths trimmed in wood are worn in all the right places. It’s open, light, and airy with high ceilings and glass chandeliers clinking with the breeze blowing in from the open patio door. Once again I can’t help but feel the elegance and respect that Vienna coffee shops emit.

chandelier

The clinking chandelier

cafe pruckel

The old worn chairs of Cafe Pruckel

There’s a hushed rumble of conversations that rise up and get lost in the ceiling along with the sinuous cigarette smoke. My waitress, the first female I’ve been waited on in a coffee shop, is wearing a black pencil skirt, white collared blouse, and a little mini white apron with a crocheted pattern. When I look up at her and she speaks German to me – I blush and apologize. I start speaking English and she quickly switches to English herself asking me if I want an English menu.

I search the menu for the one reason that brought me here – Wiener schnitzel. My waitress convinces me to order a side since the schnitzel is simply a piece of meat. Well, it’s not just a piece of meat – it’s made with boneless meat (should always be veal) thinned with a hammer, coated in bread crumbs, and fried. It’s served with a lemon wedge – and that’s all it really needs.

I decide upon a side of potato salad as I had a vision of my mother’s German potato salad I hated as a kid but grew to appreciate as an adult. Soon another waitress comes and ‘dresses’ my table with a table cloth; I guess my schnitzel only deserves the best. My beer is delivered on a traditional silver tray and soon after comes to he rest of my lunch.

cigarette vending machine

The old 1950's era cigarette vending machine

cafe pruckel

The perfect cafe, setting, and schnitzel...

I squeeze the lemon slice and the juice drips down onto the breading; now the schnitzel is officially ready to eat. I had read somewhere that the best schnitzel’s breading doesn’t even stick to the meat – it sort of puckers. I cut into the cutlet and am please to find the breading separating from the veal. I take my fist bite and savor the light, crispy texture; it’s perfect.

I turn an eye to the potato salad and take a fork full. To my surprise the tangy flavor delights me and makes me forget I’m here for the schnitzel. This is when I want my meal time to stand still; just like the rest of Café Pruckel’s interior.

As I am slowly finishing up the last bite I’m already plotting when I can come back in my remaining few days and replay this entire meal and experience. I looked at the English menu and noticed they had a piano player entertain on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s a date.

View photos of Cafe Pruckel and the perfect meal:

Thanks to @travelwriticus for giving me the tip to try the schnitzel at Cafe Pruckel.  Check out all of the Go with Oh Vienna travel tips!

Your Comments

14 Comments so far

  1. I love Wiener Schnitzel!! Have you had the cranberry jam on the side as well? This is my favourite part :-)

  2. DAD says:

    This makes me wish I could have had lunch with you. Reminds me of the wiener schnitzel at the Cafe Anna in Augsburg, Germany in the 1956-57 time. Also with a good doppelbock beer. The large 1 liter size, served at cellar temperature. It was lot better than army mess hall food.

    DAD

  3. Sherry, you chose wisely. :) Thanks for the delicious post!

  4. Sonja says:

    Yes, I too have had the perfect Wienerschnitzel. There’s nothing better. My mother, who’s German, never makes it here in the U.S. because she says the veal is never right, like it is in Germany.

  5. I am esp impressed how you have portrayed the café. Good job!

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks! And it was all becuase of you telling me to go there. It really was a wonderful experience – one I will never forget. Thank you. And know that I”m jealous that you can go there often for that yummy Weiner Schnitzel!

  6. Waegook Tom says:

    Droooooooool. This sounds amazing and has left me not only craving wiener schnitzel, but potato salad. Damn I miss that stuff.

  7. Don Faust says:

    I want to borrow some of those cafe chairs for our 1950’s house – perfect!

    Surprisingly, I haven’t had very good schnitzel, but I would be willing to give this place a try to prove me wrong.

  8. Now I just wonder why you didn’t go to Figlmueller…the Schnitzel would have been twice the size of the one you show here and probaly more Saftig

  9. TAVienna says:

    Have you had a pork or a calf Schnitzel? Do you know that a original Wiener Schnitzel is from calf? Kind regards P.S.: Beautiful images!

  10. We are on our way. This might in fact be our Thanksgiving dinner!


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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Ireland -> Belgium

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