My last goose of 2019 was at the Brandstetter, and I made myself a mental note to return to this restaurant. Although the last year’s portion left a lot to be desired in terms of freshness, the overall impression was that Brandstetter knew how to cook geese, and I looked forward to reserve in advance and check how a “goose made just for me” would taste. Except that this year the lockdown messed everything up, and when I came to pick up my order (take-away being the only option for restaurants these days), a “goose made just for me” got a totally different meaning. I was alone in the restaurant except for a waiter, a waitress and a bored Sikh cook playing with his phone.
I had told the restaurant I would arrive around 18:30, but came about five minutes too early. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the waiter telling me to wait 2-3 minutes until the goose was ready. Can it be that they truly prepared it exactly for my arrival? I doubted it, of course, probably they were just busy packing it in the plastic containers, but that small detail immediately raised my expectations, and I was looking forward to my dinner all the way back home across the entire city. Especially since the content of the bag smelled quite tempting.
The journey home was a long one, so by the time I put the goose, the dumpling and two types of cabbage into the microwave, the expectations were so great that a disappointment was the most likely outcome. It was a good goose, well above the average, but not extraordinary. The skin was not crispy, to start with, and I immediately regretted that I used the microwave instead of roasting it well in the oven. On the other hand, that would have made this review unfair, wouldn’t it? Then there was the white cabbage, whose acidic taste made it inedible. The red cabbage was OK, fortunately, and the potato dumpling, while quite bland, was bearable.
The lack of crispiness aside, the goose was competently cooked and must have been quite a good quality bird to begin with. It had plenty of juicy meat, not much fat, and the amount of salt was just right. I even quite enjoyed holding the bones in my hands and biting the meat off them – something I usually try to avoid because of the bits of meat I have to pick up from the floor afterwards.
As all good things come in threes, perhaps next year I should give the Brandstetter another chance, but make sure I eat the goose at the restaurant. I cannot promise, however, for today’s Gansl experience was rather anticlimactic.