Thursday, July 30, 2009

K und K Lunchdate

After the Schatzkammer Rob and I went in search of lunch. We decided on Trzesniewski's, a stehcafe or standing cafe down a little alley off the Graben. They specialize in little open faced sandwiches with diverse spreads. We got half a dozen of those and snarfed them down with a pretty businesslike bunch of Austrians. I like Tresniewski's sense of humor. Their awning above says "the unspeakably (unpronounceably) good little breads". One of their old ad campaigns said "Tzresniewski's? Gesundheit!" as if their name sounded like a sneeze. And the clock on their wall uses the letters of their name instead of numerals.
[click to enlarge] Then for dessert, we crossed back up to the Kohlmarkt to Dehmel konditorei. This is an institution. They are the "K und K" pastry and chocolate shop which means Kaiserlich und Koniglich or Royal and Imperial. Their goods are so excellent that the Hofburg stopped having their own patisserie in the palace -- they'd just order from Dehmel. We came here for our anniversary in 2002 and had dessert on the ground floor. Now the ground floor is a shop and we went upstairs, stopping by the kitchen to watch the magicians at work making blue booties for a cake topper and kilo blocks of pastry dough. The servers at Dehmels all wear black pinafores over black dresses and speak to customers in the third person: "What would the lady and the gentleman like?"
The gentleman had Faechertorte, a layered cake with poppy seeds, a walnut paste like marzipan, apples and plum butter -- it sounds odd, but it was wonderful. The lady had Annatorte, which looked like a woman wearing an elaborate up-do and tasted like the Platonic ideal of chocolate cake. The hot chocolate is the Mormon accompaniment to any dessert in an establishment of this sort. To finish off our experience, we were served by a woman who was so fresh-faced and doe-eyed she could have been one of Maria Theresia's descendants. She was like a walking van Meytens portrait.
As we were walking out, we overheard these [loud, complaining] Americans who were trying to figure out where to go and what to do. About five paces past them, Rob said "Should I go help the crabby tourists?" and he went back and explained to them what Dehmel is, what it's famous for, found out what they wanted, made them some recommendations and sent them on their way upstairs, because one shouldn't miss Dehmel.
Posted by Picasa


Lois said...

Ooh, can I have Rob just follow me around in my every day life and make recommendations and tell me what to do? That would be awesome!

J said...

You look skinny. Too skinny. You should eat more.