Austria

Vienna: Figlmüller’s schnitzel

In Germany, you can get a schnitzel anywhere, but few can say they had one at the famous Figlmüller in Vienna.

There’s 2 locations and both are less than 2 minutes walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral. After our city tour, we found the original one tucked inside an alleyway about a block from the Cathedral.  As the sign says, they’ve been around since 1905.

  

The place is tiny, holding no more than 20-30 tables inside. We were lucky and got a corner table immediately.

We decided to split the house specialty: The Figlmüller-schnitzel vom Schwein, and I ordered a bowl of potato soup with mushroom, and a roll.  Later on, we realized that we didn’t order the veal version but the pork one.  If we had ordered the veal one, that would have been a “genuine” Wiener Schnitzel.  Oh well, the menu said it was their specialty, and that’s what we ordered.

What’s the difference?

This popular dish is made with pork instead of veal, because pork is cheaper than veal (usually about half the price). To avoid mixing up different products, the Austrian and German food committees have decided that a “Wiener Schnitzel” must be made of veal. A Schnitzel made of pork can be called “Schnitzel Wiener Art” (Viennese style schnitzel) or “Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein” (Viennese schnitzel from pork), which is what Figlmüller used on the menu.

Nowadays, the result was that in common parlance in Germany, a “Wiener Schnitzel” no more referred exclusively to a veal dish, but instead to a breaded steak in general. But to truly have a “Wiener” Schnitzel, it should be made with veal.

While waiting, I asked for the bathroom key and by the time I got back, we only waited a moment for our food.  The toilet is spectacularly clean, by the way.  I mean, really clean! And best of all, no charge.

 

When our food arrived, the server was very nice and gave us an extra plate with a lemon, so we could share the food.

Look at the size of that schnitzel! Even cut in half, the schnitzel still took up the plate!  The schnitzel was so good!! It was pounded thin, cooked tender and perfectly breaded and fried. My soup was delicious as well.  It was potato soup that had a slight tang to it, like it had a squeeze of lemon in it.

I am glad we shared the lunch.  The check, with a bread and large water came to €26,60, which wasn’t too bad.