The first post-lockdown spare ribs, while undeniably welcome, immediately reminded me of the “standard” taste that 95% of Viennese spare ribs share. I am sure they all come from the same wholesaler, and the only reasons for the differences in the taste are the type of marinade and the number of hours (or days) that have passed between the preparation and the subsequent warning up in a microwave.
In Zattl’s case, there was hardly any marinade to talk about. Instead, the cook decided to apply a layer of finely cut garlic to the top of the racks. This reduced the taste of pork somewhat, but at the same time created one of the longest lasting aftertastes ever. A mere sip of beer promptly brought back the flavor of garlic, as did a sip of mineral water several hours later. Even the following morning I woke up with vivid garlic memories, and not even my toothpaste could erase them.
I suspect that the pinkish cocktail sauce, which was the only sauce supplied, contained quite a lot of garlic by itself – good if you are trying to avoid vampires, bad in almost any other circumstances.
Finally, I enjoyed the side dishes – crispy potato wedges, corn on a cob and a bit of cabbage salad – much more than I did the ribs. The restaurant’s garden is quite nice, hidden from the crowds and very shady (must be very pleasant on hot days), but the next time I will go there solely for the beer and maybe something light and hopefully garlic-free.