This was undoubtedly the best goose of the 2009 season so far, for the simple reason of it being the first one. Perhaps because it was the first day of goose’s availability at Grünspan, it tasted really fresh. It was as if they haven’t had a chance to deep-freeze and unfreeze it a few times. Since the restaurant did not require pre-reservation – the reservation was required to get a table but not to get a goose – they had obviously pre-cooked quite a few of the animals for the “grand opening of the season.” The meat was tender and juicy, the red cabbage excellent, and the Knödel as acceptable as a Knödel can possibly be. The skin could have been crunchier and less fat, however. The plate also contained an apple with some mashed (chewed?) nuts inside – not a bad idea. I have also tried a bit of goose Leberpastete, which surprisingly did not taste of liver at all. The taste was that of a very good cold sausage.
On a negative side, the portions were barely adequate and could easily be twice as big, considering the price (almost 16 euro). Most likely, the geese we got were straight out of their eggs.
The restaurant itself was quite nice, though the open fireplace was alternating between being a pleasant addition and a bloody annoyance (it did get rather hot). The room was packed with people, but the service was quick and efficient, at least until a few of the waiters got visibly drunk. The restaurant’s menu offers “their own” beer, which is made by Ottakringer and is as plain as everything Ottakringer makes. The Zwickl had more taste and thus was a better choice. The Marillenschnapps was nothing special, despite costing 7 Euro for 4cl. In general, the main purpose of schnapps is to help the stomach dissolve heavy food, and in the case of such a tiny Gansi it was hardly required. It did make me quite pissed, though.