Searching for a Martinigansl restaurant on a Saturday evening is a rather hopeless venture. Most of the known places are pre-booked, and walking into a random disgusting Beisl and finding a great goose there has approximately the same chance as hitting the jackpot at the lottery. In this respect, trying the spacious and super-touristic Esterhazykeller in the city center was a safer bet: it is clear that the goose would not be fresh, but it has a chance of being fresher than a goose at places with smaller turnover.
I was lucky to quickly find a small table in a dark corner and having placed the order, started sipping the wine and trying to read a book in candlelight. Five minutes later, two Hungarian musicians came in, placed themselves on chairs just a meter away from me and began playing. All my luck evaporated in seconds.
Fortunately, once the goose arrived, I became too preoccupied with it to pay attention to the music (and after a while the musicians moved away to entertain tourists at other tables). It is because the goose required quite a lot of work. While it looked very big, it had a very special bone structure, which I believe would puzzle quite a few ornithologists. I bet it had more bones that a normal goose should – like, two layers of bones with a bit of meat stuck in-between. While the meat lasted (which was not very long), it was an enjoyable goose to eat. It was thoroughly cooked, even pleasantly burnt; the skin was very crispy; and the meat tasted if not fresh then not-too-old. The cabbage and the berries were perfectly adequate, though in the dark it was quite difficult to distinguish between them. The undercooked potato dumpling was a complete catastrophe, however, and it was only my general disregard towards dumplings that stopped me from complaining.
If you have guests coming to Vienna for a very short time who want some “Heuriger experience” and do not mind trying a goose, Esterhazykeller is a lazy but not at all bad solution.