Saturday, February 18, 2012

Restaurants we like --- updated

Note to reader:  Sorry for the unintentional highlighting, that's what happens when you cut and paste while the Spellcheck feature is enabled...

As my wife, Rachel, is a vegetarian, it can at times be challenging to find good Veggie-friendly options in this meat eater's paradise.

So, for your knowledge and mine, I am dedicating this post to good places to find Veggie options.  

1.  Der Wiener Deewan- Pakistani Food.  This is definitely not a romantic setting for an important occasion.  Instead, it's buffet style all you can eat with an interesting catch, you pay what you want- for the food.  There are usually six buffet options, half vegetarian.  The fare is similar to Indian with lentil based dishes, potatoes and vegetables eaten over rice and with a special bread.  You can also order drinks here (Beer, wine, etc.) off the menu which lists drinks' prices.  Situated near the Vienna University, this place gets a lot of patronage from students and it can be difficult to find a booth.

2. Bankok Vienna- Thai food.  Here is a restaurant with beautiful decor complementing good Thai cuisine.  We've eaten here twice without a reservation around 6 pm (18:00) and had no problems getting a table.  However, we've noticed it starts to get busy as we're leaving so reservations are recommended.  Typical Thai fare with good Pad Thai and a delicious Red Curry with Vegetables under the Vegetarian offerings.  For four people with drinks, expect to pay around 60 Euros--- pretty reasonable from our experiences.  This would be an appropriate venue for a special evening out!

3.  Colombo Hoppers-  Sri Lanka food.  The cuisine is similar to Indian.  We've been there twice.  The first time, we went for dinner, it was good but a bit pricey.  This place is definitely not dining on the cheap.  The second time, we showed up for a lunch buffet (on weekdays only?).  
If you have the chance, the lunch buffet was a good value and there were vegetarian as well as meat options. 

4. Rachel's colleague took us to this cool Italian place specializing in thin crust individual serving pizzas. It's called Pizza Mari in the 2nd district.  We wholeheartedly recommend the buffalo mozzarella pizza.  Enjoy!

5.  A cool place in our neighborhood that we've discovered is called Gelbmann's Gaststube (Wilhelminenstraße 62, 1160 Wien).   This places serves more local Viennese cuisine.  There's not much on offer for Vegetarians but I had some Speck Knodel with Sauerkraut there that was amazing.  Speck Knodel are two large Matzoh ball looking dumplings stuffed with bacon in this case.  Sometimes they are also stuffed with Spinach.  I like this place because it serves traditional Viennese food in a traditional setting surrounded by locals!

6.  The last place I'll list here serves Nepali cuisine.  It's called "Yakundyeti" and it's located on Hofmühlgasse 21, 1060 Wien.  This place is a must for Vegetarians.  There are some dishes on the menu which give a sampler of their specialities.  The cuisine is characterized by lentils, potatoes, and other staples.  What sets it apart is the seasonings and sauces!  

7.  Finally, if you like a big bowl of Pho (Vietnamese soup), I'd recommend checking out Saigon Restaurant located in the Naschmarkt.
I have ordered the Pho with chicken and glass noodles twice and have not been disappointed.  They also have a small market attached to the back of the restaurant which offers imported Asian food products.  I was able to buy a small bottle of this red spicy sauce called Sriracha there.  
One warning:  this place is really small and usually packed.  If you are a party of two, they'll seat you at a four person table but if another couple comes in, they'll pull the table a millimeter apart and seat that couple next to you.  It is not an intimate environment but might be a good opportunity to enjoy lunch with some strangers! 

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