A Goose in a Traditional Setting

Location:Gasthaus Hansy
Address:Heinestraße 42, 1020 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 26 October 2023)
Eaten:“Martini Gansl frisch aus dem Ofen,” two beers (Gösser Stiftsbräu dunkel, Starobrno)

Nothing in the location or the exterior of Gasthaus Hansy is inviting. It looks like a Beisl where the drunks who used to occupy the benches around Praterstern could have moved in after the City of Vienna had forbidden outdoor drinking in that area. This is, of course, not true (very few drunks can afford Hansy’s prices), yet I would have never considered Hansy as a viable Martinigansl location, had I not read a few articles praising this restaurant for its traditional Viennese cuisine and specifically mentioning goose.

Inside, Hansy looks very traditional indeed, dark and quite noisy. Nearly all the tables were occupied – by a mix of Austrians and tourists, though locals appeared to be the majority. Most of the people were eating Wiener Schnitzels, which, I must say, looked good. No one except me was eating goose.

When ordering, one can choose between red cabbage and white cabbage salad with bacon. I went for the latter, and did not regret the choice. The crunchy cabbage was great while warm and got even better when it started to cool down. The goose, on the other hand, was nothing special. It was served as three slices of meat swimming in a reddish sauce, plus the goose’s body part that had probably been a leg once, but looked so disfigured as it had been in an explosion. The meat was tender and quite tasty, but the skin had not been grilled sufficiently and still contained an unpleasant layer of fat underneath. The potato dumpling was of a boring sort, but at least it helped in absorbing the sauce.

When the Martinigansl season is about to start, there are many recommendations appearing in newspapers and online telling where the best geese can be found. These recommendations have always looked suspicious to me because they are usually published before the dish is actually available. The goose of Gasthaus Hansy is a good example; I cannot believe anyone would honestly recommend this average dish had one had a chance to try it before.

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