After visiting Schönbrunn Palace, I made my way back on two different subway lines, but I was unsure as to where I should catch the tram for the last leg of my return to the hotel. I spotted a restaurant on the street corner, and decided that it was time for lunch. The place is called Café Westend, and, according to their menu, it was established in 1895.
Inside it looks like a genuine Viennese restaurant with a faded air of elegance and an unused baby grand piano sitting in the middle. The ornate ceiling looked as if it dated from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And there was nary a tourist in sight.
I gave my order in German, and the young waiter understood me, although I could only catch a word or two from him when he spoke.
I started with "Frittatensuppe". It was very tasty. It is a beef broth with vegetables, and instead of noodles, it has slices of fried pancakes.
I'm in Vienna, so of course I had to have "Wiener Schnitzel". It was very good, and the "Kartoffelsalat" (potato salad) that accompanied it was exceptionally good.
I ended with hot chocolate. It seems to be the custom to serve hot chocolate with a glass of water on the side, and some sugar in case you want to make it sweeter. I did understand the waiter when he asked if I wanted "Schlagsahne" (whipped cream) with my chocolate. Of course! And believe me, this is the real thing... no Dream Whip or even Reddi-Whip would ever be tolerated in Vienna.
I have heard that restaurant service in Vienna is supposed to be dreadful. Well, I think that is one of those travel myths (like the people in Paris are rude) that is a bunch of hooey! One tip is to be sure to close the menu when you have chosen what you want. Within moments after closing my menu, the waiter was there to take my order.
When I paid my bill, I asked him in halting German where the stop for tram #18 is located, and I understood him enough (or maybe it was just his hand motions) to find my way.