November 22, 2011
Demel, or more properly, “K. u. K. Hofzuckerbäcker Ch. Demel’s Söhne,” was founded in 1786 on the Michaelerplatz. In 1857 the son of the founder sold the company to an assistant baker, Christof Demel. In 1888 he moved the bakery to the Kohlmarkt, where the Demel is still located today in its original building. Linda and I went for a late lunch on September 14, 2011.
Mid-September is still high tourist season in Vienna. The human tsunamis were oppressive at all the major attractions, including Demel. But most of the tourists stopping there simply had a pastry and coffee and went on their way, like these at the front counter.
Since we were going to the opera that evening, this lunch would be our only real meal of the day and so we were looking for something substantial. On the Demel menu, there is a good choice of sandwiches and Viennese, particularly those of Demel, specialties. It is not just pastries. Our waitress, or Demelinerinnen, Gabriele, was helpful and efficient despite the crush. She gave us extra attention when she saw we were serious. Like all the servers at Demel, she was in a 200-year-old design black uniform dress. We ordered little pitchers of 2006 Blaufränkisch „Classic“ 0,125 l Weingut Iby /Horitschon /Südburgenland and repeated the order later on.
My starter was
Demels Hauswürstel, Senf, Kren & Gebäck
Viennese sausages /mustard, horse radish /roll
The grated fresh horseradish in the bowl with the mustard made these sausages interesting.
A combination of chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato with a delicious mayonnaise made a perfect moist club sandwich. A lightly fried egg at the side seemed like a bonus. Linda enjoyed this.
I went on to
Soufflée of noodles with chicken and sweetbread
This was an amazingly good dish, elevating the tone of the meal. The flavor of the sweetbreads came through nicely. The light texture was very nice.
To choose our dessert we went to the pastry buffet in the hall outside our dining room.
On the right is Demel’s version of a Sacher torte.
Linda had a Trüffeltorte.
I had a Nusskaffeetorte.
The flavor of the hazelnuts came through nicely and blended with the coffee flavor. With a cake like this one can really appreciate the precision and long tradition of Demel‘s pastry recipes.
On the way out we looked at the many offerings for sale in the display cases.
There were also some savory offerings for take away.
We could also look into the pastry kitchen.
We were glad we came, although some of our lunch was ordinary. The sweetbread soufflée was really excellent and the pastries are among the world’s best. It would be a shame for anyone to miss Demel during a stay in Vienna simply because it is overrun with tourists. It is an important stop in the history of European cuisine.