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A Tale of Two Menus: Eating in Sister Cities on the Danube


A quick break to warm up with a hot chocolate and cream at Vienna’s iconic Demel’s, right across from the Hofburg Palace. COPYRIGHT 
 I was out to dinner in Vienna recently, eating with two friends who happen to be from nearby Hungary. We were at a favorite Viennese hotspot of theirs right in the center of the old city. Being the lone American at the table, I happily let them take the lead in ordering course after course of mouth-wateringly delicious fare.

We ordered a typically Austrian menu: soft pancakes, Tafelspitz (a hearty beef broth with carrots, onions, and copious slices of beef), roasted potatoes, cabbage, bone marrow (yes, I tried it!) and bread. To accompany our meal we ordered a bottle of Takler from one of Hungary’s most beloved wine regions. Our table was a riot of rich flavors, tantalizing aromas, and tasty bites.

I took a momentary (very momentary, I should probably say ‘fleeting’) pause to come up for air from this wonderful meal to ask them how they–as proud Hungarians–found the food in Vienna to compare to that of Budapest. Was it better for them in Vienna than it had been when they lived in New York? After all, here they were so much closer to home and just two hours from their native capital–did they love having access once more to Hungarian food? And how did this Austrian food compare to their beloved Hungarian cuisine?

They considered the question a moment before answering: “There’s really not much of a difference between the food in Budapest and the food here in Vienna. The only difference is that…CLICK HERE to Read The Full Article on THE HUFFINGTON POST

Choices, choices, choices! So many sweets on the menu at a Viennese lunch. COPYRIGHT: Allison Pataki
The Imperial family took their meals very seriously! Here you see that dinner is ready for twelve at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. COPYRIGHT: Allison Pataki


Dessert after a delicious dinner of Tafelspitz. We couldn’t pick one, so we ordered three. COPYRIGHT: Allison Pataki



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