Tram Workers’ Goose

Location:Zum Straba – Straßenbahnerbad
Address:Dampfschiffhaufen 7, 1220 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 16 November 2023)
Eaten:"1/4 Gansl mit Kartoffelknödel und Rotkraut," one bottle of beer (Wieselburger)

As a peculiar reminder of Vienna’s socialist heritage, the area around the Old Danube (Alte Donau) – which is a huge human-created lake – is full of recreational areas belonging to some kind of public services. There are, for example, tennis courts of the Austrian Post, a football field of the police and a beach of public transportation workers. The latter includes a restaurant called Straßenbahnerbad, literally „tram drivers’ bath.” This name, of course, raises the question of what will happen if, for instance, a bus driver walks in.

In practice, the restaurant is open to everyone, and the inhabitants of the nearby Kleingartenvereine (allotment associations) seem to love it. It is rather basic and self-service only, but the quality of the dishes is good, whereas the prices are very reasonable. A goose for less than 25 euros is a rarity these days, and it is pleasing that despite the low price, the restaurant made no compromises. Well, almost none – the customary cranberries, chestnuts and apple slices were missing in this case.

The goose itself, though, was reminiscent of Schiefer Giebel’s, however sacrilegious that may sound (Schiefer Giebel being, until further notice, the king of Viennese geese). Its skin was golden rather than more customarily dark brown and very crispy, being the result – I have no doubt – of continuously collecting dripping goose fat and pouring it over the bird again. The meat underneath was tender and fresh, suggesting that the goose had been cooked the same morning rather than the day before. Finally, the portion was big enough to curb the complaints of even the grumpiest and stingiest of Kleingartenvereine’s dwellers. It is a shame that the dumplings and the cabbage were not on par with the goose. Boringly industrial, they looked and tasted like an afterthought compared to the main dish.

I was lucky with the weather. The day when I ate this goose was unusually warm, and I could take a seat outside, enjoying a real “golden autumn.” I guess the experience would not have been as pleasant had I been confined to the indoors. Nevertheless, whether you have anything to do with Vienna’s public transportation or not, a visit to Straßenbahnerbad is both enjoyable and not too taxing for your wallet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *