Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dinner at Zimmermann, a Traditional Austrian Heurigen

After one too many institutional meals during the past week, I was lucky to break away and eat at Zimmermann, a traditional Austrian heurigen (imagine a beer garden, but with wine) located in a beautiful district on the outskirts of Vienna.

According to a friend who grew up in Vienna,
"heurigen" means "of this year."

He explained that, traditionally, these establishments produced their own wine and were only allowed to serve wine from the current year; when they ran out they would close. Over time they've become more commercial and stay open all year. The main drink is a “spritzer,” usually made of gruner veltliner.

I ordered a
special, the mangalitzabratwurst mit sauerkraut und rösti. I knew I was getting some sort of sausage with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes, but I had no idea the sausage was going to be flecked with rosemary and hints of garlic. It was also the juiciest sausage I've even eaten (as evidenced by the spots on my shirt).

The sauerkraut was mild with a hint of sweetness and the potatoes were crisped nicely. The mu-stard was much more plain than sharp, but it provided a nice counter to the flavorful sausage.

I think the before and after photos tell the whole story.

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