Grease in a Park

Location:Stöckl im Park
Address:Prinz Eugen-Straße 25, 1030 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 2 April 2023)
Eaten:Spare ribs, small mixed salad, three beers (Gemischtes, Märzen and Pils)

Determined to concentrate on fish during my approaching holidays in Italy, I decided to have my last lunch in Vienna in a particularly “meaty” place – the recently opened Stöckl im Park, conveniently located in the gardens of the Belvedere palace. Besides serving food, Stöckl also accommodates a brewery, producing five types of beer.

You will be excused to confuse Stöckl with the Salm Bräu, which is just on the other side of the palace gardens. Both restaurants share the same owner, and although Stöckl looks much more modern, the menus are practically identical, with a strong emphasis on heavy stuff, such as pork knuckles and spare ribs.

Sadly, for a restaurant that calls spare ribs its main specialty, Stöckl does a surprisingly bad job at cooking them. The ribs are clearly pre-boiled and pre-grilled and simply given a quick warm up just before being served. There was not even a single piece of burned meat on either of the two big racks, which was worrying. What was in abundance, however, was grease. Quite a lot of cooking oil must have been involved in the preparation, but the ribs themselves were also extremely fat.

The marinade was OK, but failed to give the ribs any distinctive taste. The garlic and cocktail sauces did not help improve the situation; in addition to being bog-standard and boring, they were also remarkably weak, as if diluted with water in order to kill any flavor. To add insult to injury, the restaurant completely screwed up the potatoes by undercooking them.

Considering Stöckl’s exclusive location, the price was expectedly high, but did not match the quality. Ultimately, the size was the ribs’ only positive side, though it did not take me long to get completely bored. When Stöckl’s undeniably nice garden opens, I can see myself enjoying a few beers in it, but I would leave the food to clueless tourists.

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