As if this city could get any better. By our last full day here, we had gotten to that point where we were like, "Let's turn a corner. Oh, look. ANOTHER beautiful set of old buildings and perfectly preserved white marble statues. What a joyous surprise." This time, we turned just such a corner and, thanks again to Urban Housewife, discovered all the aforementioned qualities AND an all-vegetarian restaurant with amazing fare and a sweet old Slovakian guy to serve it to us.
die Bio-Bar von Antun
1010 Vienna, Austria
+43 1 9689351
Matt and I snuggled into a little table for two in a window alcove and delighted in all the vegan things on the menu. From what we could grok from our server, about 75 - 85% of all their food is vegan. So we followed the next logical step: ordering fun smoothies.
My Bio-Bar Vit Drink was €3,90 ($5.10) and delightfully yellow. That would be the OJ and lemon juice, both freshly squeezed. They were complemented by carrot and elderflower syrup - COOL, right? I couldn't taste even a hint of carrot over the lip-smacking tartness, but I felt roughly 18 times healthier once I'd finished. Delicious.
Matt's Antonio Cocktail at €4,50 ($5.89) had a subtler flavor, and by subtler, I mean less like getting hit by a citrus truck. It contained more fresh-squeezed OJ, grenadine, lime syrup, and sallow thorn, which is a from a European shrub that makes yellow berries. This drink is appealing if you like a more widely acceptable depiction of orange flavor.
In perusing the fabulous menu, a wonderful specialty kept popping up: this place has a million different kinds of bruschetta. Unwilling to fight the inevitable, I ordered the Bio-Bar Bruschetta for €8,40 ($10.99), which comes with tomato, smoked tofu, garlic, spices, and vegan cheese. Mmm.
The taste turned my expectations of bruschetta upside-down. In a good way. Think of a sandwich where liquid smoke meets hearty Italian. The tofu was brilliant and the bread was toothsome. It came with a plain little salad. I love lettuce.
One of Matt's favorite foods in the whole entire universe is gnocchi. If he had to choose between me and gnocchi, I'd be a little worried. Fortunately, he got some at Bio-Bar. And you guys. It was THE best gnocchi of all time. For €9,90 ($12.95) it came with pesto, artichokes and olives. The gnocchis were dense, soft, warm, and whole-wheaty. The pesto and artichokes were perfect. And I don't know what it is about European olive oil, but I swear. It blew our minds.
We ordered dessert (it was never in question) and it didn't come for about half an hour. You know what? That was just fine with us. We were in Vienna. We soaked it up. We looked out the window. We discussed the possibility of creating a holodeck novel in Star Trek Online. And our sweet server chatted with us. (Not about Star Trek Online. He was like 65.)
At last it came! Totes European dessert. I had crepes with apricot jam for €5,90 ($7.72). Vegan crepes! The jam was fantastically tart and sweet, and the crepes tasted just as crepes ought to. I know, because I used to room with a girl from a French family in New Orleans. Whenever crepes come up, I can hear Nickie's voice in my head using the correct pronounciation. Ce n'est pas "crapes." It's creps.
My plate was huge. I only got through two of the three.
Matt's beauty there is called the Kaiser Schmarren, which is shredded pancake with stewed fruit - in this case, cranberries and cinnamon. That was even better than my dessert. The bits of pancake were nice and warm, soft inside, and crispy outside. And I'm a total sucker for anything cinnamon. If it were a perfume, I'd wear it. That dessert made my life. €7,50 ($9.81). Worth it.
Well, dear readers, that was our final European meal. Next time you hear from me it'll be about a local joint. Maybe Ecopolitan. I kinna got used to the super-vegan restaurant thing. Also, how have I not blogged Ecopolitan yet? Cray-cray! And, of course, I'll be drooling in anticipation of our next adventure. Korea. June. EPIC.