Plachutta - Vienna, Austria

As long as I can remember, Vienna was on my bucket list of places to visit. I was super excited to try out some of the world-famous cuisine. I made reservations for by birthday lunch at Plachutta Hietzing after reading you need reservations there for lunch and dinner to avoid a very long wait. We exited the tram after doing a loop around the city to explore downtown and were caught in a rain storm with no idea how to find the restaurant. We decided just to walk a couple of blocks to find a nice place for lunch.

To my absolute joy, we turned the corner and there was Plachutta! We went inside and told the hostess we had a reservation. She checked her computer and said she did not see one but no matter, it was early and there were plenty of tables. 
Indeed, the restaurant did not seem quite as busy as I had expected. It was only later I realized we were at Plachutta Wollzeile, not even the right location just a happy coincidence! We started the meal off with, of course, beef carpaccio. It was very good, albeit small, and increased our hopes of a fantastic meal.

Even though the menu was in English, we of course did not understand anything. The dishes are only labeled "boiled beef" and this was our first exposure to authentic Austrian fare. 

We asked the waiter to bring us something very authentic with steak. We had the Tafelspitz, or rump, in English. 

The Viennese boiled beef dish is a traditional dish that goes back to Emperor Franz Joseph who ruled from 1848 - 1916 and was beloved by the people. Boiled beef was his favorite meal and therefore became one of the most famous staples of Austrian cuisine.

Our meal for two could very easily feed 5 if not 6 people. As you can see from the photo, a burner is brought to the table and then the pots are placed on the burner. The waiter serves each portion of the meal (even seconds). In the bowl are the vegetables that are boiled with the meat. On the plate are the steak and sides. The sides were fried potato rosti (similar to hashbrowns), horseradish with bread, and pureed spinach. 

At the risk of sounding like a total jerk, this was one of the least enjoyable meals we had on that trip. I understand this is a national delicacy, and the history and story behind it. I respect and appreciate that. Boiled meat doesn't even sound good but I thought there must be a secret to it only Austrian's know based on what I had read.  There was no 'wow' factor in any of the dishes. Everything was bland except the horseradish. If we get a chance to go back to Vienna, I would try Plachutta again and get the grilled steak. My recommendation is if you want to say you've been, have lunch here. Otherwise, if you want amazing food, go to Wild

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