When St. Martin’s geese leave Vienna (no, they don’t fly away, in case you are wondering, they are discarded in black plastic bags as unconsumed goods), one can still find a goose in Burgenland for quite a while. After all, the area to the east of the Neusiedlersee is where many of them come from: there they are born, grow, enjoy the summer, honk a lot, perhaps fall in love, and then get butchered before ending up on our tables. Eating Martinigansl in Burgenland means eating closer to the source.
The main thing I will remember Csarda’s dish for is the potato croquettes it was served with instead of the traditional dumpling. It made a huge difference. Even the most boring, most industrial croquettes (like these were) are usually tastier than the ghastly dumplings some otherwise good restaurants come up with. Sometimes I am even frightened to try the dumplings, as I can guess their sticky flavorless nature just by looking. So yes, dump the dumplings, bring in the croquettes, please!
The goose was OK. Without breaking any new grounds or winning any awards, it was a big, well-cooked chunk of a bird, totally edible, very filling and marginally enjoyable. It was nice to get a breast, for a change, since in Vienna mostly goose legs are served. The meat was tender enough and not at all fat; adding a bit of salt and slightly burning the skin would have brought an improvement, but even the way the goose was, there was nothing to complain about. Especially after the end of the Martini season.