An Early Winter Goose

Address:Rathstraße 4, 1190 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 25 November 2023)
Eaten:“1/4 Martinigans‘l,“ three beers (Paracelsus Zwickl)

It started to snow in Vienna today. For me, snow and Martinigansl go well together, as I can still remember one of the very first geese I ate about 20 years ago in fairy tale-like snow-covered Sulz im Wienerwald. The snowfall was another reason I wanted to visit s’Pfiff: because Neustift am Walde, where it is located, is quite elevated and usually has more snow than the other districts of Vienna. Today being Saturday, I did not really have high hopes for getting a table, of course, but seeing a real snowfall was worth getting out of the house anyway.

I was amazingly lucky. The restaurant, as I had expected, was completely full, with the noises of a big party booming from the first floor, but as I went in, a table close to the entrance got vacated and a friendly waiter offered it to me. The table was absolutely perfect, spacious but isolated from the others, and next to a window out of which I could watch the first touch of a real winter. I would have been very happy simply sitting there, reading a book and drinking a Krügerl after Krügerl. But of course, I ordered a Martinigansl.

It was a fine goose, well cooked and nicely presented. I liked the crunchy skin, and the meat was sufficient and of good quality, though it did not taste very goosy. It tasted more like a well-made steak. I appreciated the chestnuts in the red cabbage (this year many restaurants were quite stingy in terms of chestnuts), though the cabbage itself was overcooked and far too salty for my liking.

It was not a “killer goose” to finish the season on a high note, but then I had not really expected it to be. I had a really pleasant evening, however, and must commend s’Pfiff for the very efficient service. My beer mug never remained empty for more than half a minute, and when I ordered my last Krügerl, in the 30 seconds that I waited for it, I had three other waiters asking me if I needed a refill! Shame that by the time I finished my meal, the snowfall outside had turned into a really annoying rain.

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