Not Your Old December Goose

Location:Gösser Bierklinik
Address:Steindlgasse 4, 1010 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 11 December 2023)
Eaten:"1/4 Knuspriges Gansl," two beers (Gösser Stiftsbräu Dunkel)

When I saw a “goose menu” outside of Gösser Bierklinik’s entrance, I was almost sure it was a mistake. To be honest, I am not even sure what I was doing in front of this door. Although I remember visiting this restaurant three or four times in my first few years in Vienna, I all but dismissed it afterwards, only paying it one accidental visit 12 years ago to try a Brettljause (which has disappeared from the menu since).

The printed menu that the waiter brought me did not mention goose at all, and I truly did not expect it to so late after the end of the Martinigansl season. It never hurts to ask, however, and not only was the goose available, it was also not at all the old dry bird that I had imagined.

It tasted fresh and so juicy that the jar of gravy that was served with it was barely needed. The crispy skin had no fat underneath, and the meat was thoroughly cooked. Too many goose portions I ate in my life looked and tasted great at first, yet revealed increasingly more unpleasant and even unidentifiable stuff the deeper I cut into them. That was not the case with Bierklinik’s bird. The meat was tender and well-cooked down to the last bit, so I enjoyed it until the moment when the bone was perfectly clean.

The red cabbage was easily the best of the season. Though very sweet and with a strong Christmas-y taste of cinnamon, the cabbage was also surprisingly crunchy and delicious. The only flaw I can mention was the disproportionate amount of cranberries: there was almost as much of them as there was of the cabbage – enough for a separate dessert plate.

Because of its central location, Gösser Bierklinik is extremely tourist-oriented, and I must admit that the pair of Americans loudly discussing comparative advantages of various guns behind me were quite annoying. On the other hand, I spotted a few groups of locals enjoying beer and food at the nearby tables. Ultimately, my positive experience today was another proof that even the most touristic eateries should not be ignored.

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