Cosmo-topia! Schnitzelwirt—A Guide to Intense Schnitzel-Eating by Stephanie Rowe

Posted on August 30, 2011


I like to eat – I’m not going to lie. It is with great pride that I can say that there have been few dishes in my life that have defeated me. After recently spending time in Vienna I have unfortunately had to add another dish to my list, just below the extra large pizza I mistakenly ordered when I was 10. As my friends and I country-hopped in Europe, we tried to get to know the culture. For me, that included eating something ‘traditional’. When it came to Vienna, “eating something traditional” seemed too easy. Schnitzel was selected as the dish to be tasted, something I felt confident with (having dabbled in the art of schnitzel-eating since I was young). As a note to future travellers, I must make the warning now—do not underestimate the power of this dish. As I said before, not many dishes have defeated me, so it may interest you to find out why this Viennese dish had me writing in my diary at 5.20am (I had woken up with ‘Schnitzel Sweats’ claiming that I will “never eat again”).

After confirming with the receptionist at our hostel regarding the best schnitzel restaurant in our area, we set off on our journey. We walked to Neugebasse to eat at Schnitzelwirt. I highly recommend this place. Although the menus were in German, we figured that ordering a schnitzel was pretty basic stuff so away we went; with little knowledge of what we were actually asking for. Our meals arrived swiftly, in a record time of about 4 minutes. Even more impressively, the waiters were able to successfully carry about twelve schnitzel dishes at one time (needless to say we gave them a great tip). It was with the arrival of the food that silence fell on the table. The meals were enormous. These portions were fit to feed a baby elephant. So when you take my advice and fly to Vienna just to go to this place (because I totally know you will), here are some suggestions on what to order:

Wiener Schnitzel: For the price of 6 euros, this dish consisted of two pieces of pork covered in the usual flour, seasoned egg, milk, bread crumbs and fried in butter (I can hear my arteries closing as I type). Although the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is supposed to be veal, it is far cheaper to use pork prepared in the style of the traditional Wiener variety. Two pieces of pork might not seem that exciting, but each piece was about 20cm in length. That is a whole lot of schnitzel. ‘Cordon bleu mit gemischten salat’: The friendly double-meat option. This consisted of cheese and ham sandwiched between two 30cm pieces of schnitzel. For only 9.50 euros, why wouldn’t you try it?Parmaschnitzel: The not-so-friendly double-meat option. This one lies close to my heart, for it was this beast of a schnitzel which saw my demise. Naturally, when ordering, I imagined an average-sized piece of Schnitzel with some added tomato and cheese. To my surprise this dish consisted of the classic two pieces of overly crazy-sized pork schnitzel, however, these pieces were balanced pleasantly on a complete serve of Spaghetti Bolognese. A bit excessive I would say, but absolutely delicious. For only 9.80 euros, it could feed about three people.

Steph tackles the immense challenge of the ‘Parmaschnitzel’.

I like to think that I made a significant dent in my dish, consuming over half of my meal. Out of the six of us who dined at Schnitzelwirt that night, only one was successful in eating every last crumb (Gold Medal for Hannah Warnaar). Although traumatized by the amount of ‘schnitzel’ presented to me (I did not touch another piece of schnitzel for the rest of my trip), I highly encourage anyone to take on the challenge. Not only were we provided with great food and service but also a great life lesson in knowing when enough schnitzel is enough. Stephanie Rowe is contributor to You’re Dripping Egg’s Cosmo-topia! For more articles like this, click here