Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wild - Vienna - Austria

As we have only had the opportunity to visit Vienna, once and for just a few days, we only had the opportunity to visit two restaurants and eat steak. I am sure there are loads of other restaurants that I can recommend after future trips and we do plan to make future trips!

Vienna is a beautiful city with a rich history. It is full of gorgeous architecture spanning back centuries. 

We found the people to be friendly and eager to communicate. Having traveled to many countries where we didn't speak the language, we have found people can almost always find a way to convey what it is they want to say.

The Straßenbahn is a tram that runs in both an inner and outer ring in the city. It's an easy and affordable way to get just about anywhere in the city. No need for Uber! 

We were lucky to spend our first two nights in Vienna at the beautiful Hotel Bristol on the opposite side of the street from the world famous Vienna State Opera House. Taking the tram was perfect as there is a stop right outside the front door.

The final night was spent at Vienna Hotel Marriott. This is a modern area of the city with construction being done and just across the street from a beautiful park - Stadtpark. The tram does not run as close to this hotel which required more walking. 

We set out on foot in search of the Jolly Ox restaurant that has great reviews. Unfortunately, when we arrived, we found it was closed. We decided to cross over the river and have a look around. We knew we would have about 15 more minutes walking and we were pretty hungry at that point. Jolly Ox's closing turned into a stroke of luck for us when we stumbled upon Wild . The restaurant has been in business over 100 years. It has a casual atmosphere and the staff was superb. 

Now the important part - the STEAK! Wild serves local, in season, fare. The menu is set daily. Breads and pastas are made in-house. The steak served at the time of our visit on October 4, 2016 was not what you would expect. 

We had one of the best carpaccio dishes we've ever eaten and it was made of wild boar! It was topped with arugula and shaved parmesan. It was succulent and melt-in-your-mouth thin. Served along with the house-made bread there was little room for a main dish. However...

The staff highly recommended the filet and of course, we could not say no. If you have never had an ostrich filet and the opportunity presents itself, try it! There is nothing resembling fowl in the flavor of this meat. Ostrich steak is lean and rich. We ordered the temperature at chef's recommendation and he seared it just a tad below medium-rare. It was served with roasted vegetables and wild berry compote which added a perfect tangy sweetness. Our stomachs forgot they were already full! 

This was one of those dishes that you just never want to end. Every bite was savored and chewed with relish. Thinking back to it over two years later my mouth still waters! Undoubtedly the menu will not be the same the next time we are in Vienna but the flavor and quality of the dishes make it exciting to try something new and unique. This restaurant is highly recommended! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

China - Hong Kong - Morton's

In 2015, we spent our honeymoon in Hong Kong. We had never been to Hong Kong before so we wanted to explore as much as possible. We stayed in a few places, including a couple of nights in Macau.

The first two nights we stayed at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers on the mainland side of the city. We were exhausted after a 14 1/2 hour flight from Seattle. Not to mention the time difference! Inside the Sheraton there are several restaurants. We were thrilled to see one of those was Morton's The Steakhouse

I know this is not exactly what you expect in a review about steak in Hong Kong, but Morton's has a steak no steak lover can complain about.  The location is fantastic on the fourth level of the building overlooking Victoria Harbour toward the financial district of Hong Kong. You can sit in the bar area for a casual atmosphere. The dining room is a little more formal and romantic. It has amazing views and at night you can see Hong Kong's spectacular show, "A Symphony of Lights".

We ordered simply - the New York strip cooked medium rare. As you can see from the photo, it was cooked perfectly. We paired it with "Parmesan and Truffle Matchstick Fries". 

We paired the meal with a very nice Malbec.

This is when we first started discussing creating this blog so please forgive the lack of photos or close-ups of the steak. We ate at the restaurant a few times and everything was perfect each visit. I highly recommend Morton's for a great steak no matter what type of atmosphere you are looking for.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Alabama - Mobile

Briquettes Steakhouse

During our seven day cross country road trip from Tacoma, Washington, to Florida's Space Coast, our last overnight stop was in Mobile, Alabama.We didn't want to drive into downtown Mobile or to the bay, but we did want to have a nice dinner and a nice steak. 

We arrived in Mobile early and decided on an early dinner so we could get a fresh start for our longest and last day of driving. Our search turned up Briquettes Steakhouse 0.2 miles away from the hotel. The moment you walk in Briquettes, you smell the aroma of steak being cooked on a wood fire grill. The restaurant was almost empty due to the time and we sat at the bar as we typically do. It started to fill up with an after work crowd ordering cocktails and some couples on date night in the bar area. There is a separate dining area for families and those who prefer table seating away from the bar.

I decided on the New York Strip with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus for $21.99. Mauricio had a Porterhouse with grilled rosemary red potatoes and a salad for $28.99.

Wow! This meal was amazing! I am pretty sure that we also had appetizers but it has been over a year since we ate at Briquettes and all I remember is how delicious those steaks were. 

Here is a close up of my New York. The wood grill gives the cuts an outstanding flavor. The sides were made from scratch and almost good enough to out do the steak. We paired our meal with one our favorite Malbecs - Doña Paula 2014.

My recommendation is if you ever find yourself in Mobile or even driving through on I-65, make the trip to Briquettes. It is worth every cent!

Texas - Fort Stockton

K-Bob's Steakhouse

During our seven day road trip across the country from Tacoma, Washington, to Florida, we had a stop over in Fort Stockton, Texas. It was the fourth night and we had not ventured away from our hotel for dinner yet.

Since we were in Texas, we thought it would be sacrilege to not eat a steak. We were staying at La Quinta in Fort Stockton and did a Google search for a steak house. We found one half a mile away.

 K-Bob's Steakhouse was the restaurant of choice and it was a good choice. K-Bob's.com states they currently have 11 locations around the Southwest but the restaurant was unknown to us. I ordered the 10 oz. "Rodeo Ribeye" with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus for $19.99. The steak was cooked to the right temperature (medium-rare) and the flavor was good. Mauricio loved his. I thought this was a steak I couldn't find anything wrong with but it didn't blow me away. 

The restaurant has a massive salad bar and a fun atmosphere. The sides were fantastic. I was also happy to see there were more wine selections than expected with some Italian choices and a couple of local vineyard options, not just the typical California fare.

As far as recommendations go, I would recommend K-Bob's if you find your self on I-10 in Fort Stockton, Texas. I wouldn't call it the best steak I've ever had, but worth the price.