Pork and Rabbis

Location:Schank zum Reichsapfel
Address:Karmelierplatz 3, 1020 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 22 April 2015)
Eaten:„Jause zum Reichsapfel“, two ¼ of Sauvignon Blanc, 1/8 of Riesling

The irony of the Reichsapfel is that it prides itself of serving pork from the Schneeberg area, yet is located in the heart of Vienna’s Jewish district, surrounded by shops selling kosher food. While you are sitting in the simple but somehow cozy garden next to the Karmeliterkirche, every five minutes or so there is an orthodox Jew passing by, careful not to look at the pile of pork you are eating.

It’s quite an impressive pile of pork, too, especially considering the closeness of the city center. Arranged neatly on a piece of wood (including the bark), there is plenty of Schinkenspeck, some salami, some Wiener-type sausage, some hard sausage, ham, two types of Schweinsbraten and Blunzen. Unique, and very welcome, was also a whole hard-boiled egg in a shell. (Fortunately, the shell was easy to remove, or it would have spoiled the whole experience.)

The “side dish” consisted of a small pickled cucumber, some yellow picked stuff that I am finally going to identify one day (let’s call it melon), a Pfefferoni and a rather weak horseradish – all a bit of an anticlimax compared to the pork side of things. The other disappointments were a rather stale slice of bread and the absence of mustard, which would have improved the taste rather considerably.

Still, taking into account the location (the closeness of the city, not the Jewishness of the district), Reichsapfel’s Jause is quite a feat. It is really hard to recommend another place in Vienna that would be so convenient, so authentic Brettljause-wise and at the same time so pleasant to spend an hour or so in. I’ll be back.

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