Tuesday 9 June 2015

Café Jelinek, Vienna: a Review

On our penultimate day of our trip to Vienna, we started and ended our "shopping" day with coffee. We opted for the gemütlich* delights of Café Jelinek, on Otto-Bauer-Gasse, a short stroll from our lodgings. It is a traditional and typical example of a Viennese Café, Wiener Kaffeehaus. As far as I know no-one of world renown is or was a regular there; but whilst there we were sitting next to an M.I.T. professor and a couple of academics.

One enters a slightly shabby-chic establishment (as the two photographs above probably demonstrate) that is confident in its decaying décor and plush velvet.  The attitude is: take it or leave it, nonetheless we shall treat you just the same as anyone else - pleasantly, professionally and without sycophancy.

At the end of the bar cum counter is a glass-covered zone set aside for the Kuchen, the cakes and pastries. My companion opted for Linzer Torte and I for a slice of the Apfel und Mandeln Torte, apple and almond cake; respectively the left and right confections in the image below. Thankfully they did not come garnished with Schlagobers (Austrian German; Schlagsahne in German German), or whipped cream. The portions are generous, perhaps overly so, as we were rapidly filled having consumed a hearty breakfast earlier in the day.

And what about the coffee (der Kaffee), the most essential part of any visit, you may ask. Well it was so delicious during my first visit I took two cups and then we returned later in the afternoon for a top-up. All coffees are served with a small glass of cool water. Ever so civilised!

Finally, below, pictures of the writer (on the left) and my companion (on the right) demonstrating how much we enjoyed ourselves - the big smiles are a dead give-away… %)))

* Gemütlich does not translate directly into English. My computer's dictionary offers the bland "pleasant and cheerful", which certainly does not do the term justice. For a more in-depth explanation, see Wikipedia's article on Gemütlichkeit.

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