Late Evening Goose

Location:Café Wortner
Address:Wiedner Hauptstraße 55, 1040 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 10 November 2023)
Eaten:"Ofenfrische Gans," one beer (Budweiser), two ¼ red wine (Zweigelt)

I have passed an exam today. Its topic is not really relevant here (and is very boring, in addition), suffice to say, the exam was online, very long and quite stressy. Which explains why upon seeing the passing score on my screen around 20:15 I decided that I had fully earned a few beers. Three quarters of an hour later I was approaching my usual getting-pissed establishment, as I passed by previously unfamiliar Café Wortner and something in my head forced me to walk in and ask for a goose. Which, I was almost sure, the Café did not have, at least at such a late time.

I was wrong (I would not be writing this otherwise), and while waiting for my order to arrive, I visited Wortner’s web site and learned that its cook used to work at Rudi’s Beisl, one of the most famous Martinigansl addresses in Vienna. Re-reading my review of Rudi’s now I indeed see a few similarities, for example, the fact that both restaurants serve their geese with two types of cabbage and two types of dumpling, which is not unheard of, but truly rare.

To be honest, they could have spared the white cabbage, for it was nearly inedible. When it comes to white cabbage, I expect a warmed-up cabbage salad, which is still crunchy and contains caraway and, preferably, bits of bacon. The white cabbage of Wortner looked as it had come straight from a soup and had a crazy amount of sugar added to it. The aftertaste it left was quite disgusting. The red cabbage, on the other hand, while also quite sweet, did not leave such a shocking impression, and was, by and large, well spiced and enjoyable.  

Of the two dumplings, the wobbly potato one had, surprisingly, more taste that the bread-based one. Both, however, were useful to absorb the sauce, which was plentiful and expertly prepared to go well with the goose. Finally, the goose itself was on par with the one from Rudy’s Beisl, thoroughly cooked but not at all dry and having plenty of meat to prolong the enjoyment.

I dare say, faced with a choice, I would rather revisit Wortner than Rudy’s. The former is much more spacious and has a relaxing dark ambience. While the website suggests that the Café sometimes provides live music and screens football matches (which would annoy me a lot), at today’s late hour it was absolutely perfect. A pleasant surprise.




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