Walk into Cafe Vienna and you feel like you’ve walked into a room in a chalet in the mountains. The style is very distinctly European, although it is part of a group of shops and is located at 5625 4th Street North. The lighting and the colors all evoke memories for me of being in places like Austria and Germany. The clientele is largely European also, so they must feel the same way.
I wanted to try some traditional as well as creative inventions on the menu. I have had the Wiener Schnitzel ($18.90), the Filet Albert ($19.90) and the Mushroom Caps ($7.90). The service was prompt, although a little relaxed, and I think that is appropriate with the European theme. They seem to want people to feel as if they are eating at home, and the warmth definitely comes through.
The Mushroom Caps are stuffed with ground filet marinated in Port wine, presumably with roasted almonds and finished in a Port wine Sauce. The flavors were a good combination, although I didn’t taste any almonds in the dish. The Wiener Schnitzel was very authentic. The veal was breaded and fried, served with a lemon wedge and Lyonnaise potatoes. The veal was tender and of good quality with the potatoes being a nice compliment to the dish. Lyonnaise potatoes are sauteed, diced potatoes with onions. I didn’t notice much onion in them and the whole dish was slightly under-seasoned, but it was still tasty.
The Filet Albert was a generous cut of two filets and a bit of goat cheese in-between. The goat cheese was not too tangy and gave the steak an interesting flavor. The Port wine sauce seemed a little sparse on the dish, but overall, the steak was tender and worth ordering again. I had also ordered a cup of soup, which varies depending on the day. This time it was Tomato Soup and it was outstanding. It was piping hot and the flavors of tomato with the right touch of seasoning was spot-on. The salads I have tried there are very good also, containing beets and a house-made dressing that is a slightly sweet contrast to the pickled beets.
Cafe Vienna has a philosophy that makes them a great choice as a neighborhood restaurant. On their website, Chef Klobucar says, “Back in the day, life was about family, friends and enjoying each other’s company over great food and drink. Our European family tradition continues every time our doors are open for business. As in Europe, the center of celebration is food. We believe in all fresh ingredients and one taste proves that we haven’t forgotten what good, simple food tastes like! Our portions are generous and prepared from scratch. At Cafe Vienna, you’re more than a guest, you’re a family friend.”
In the time I spent there, one could definitely see this mantra in action. Cafe Vienna does what it claims to do. They welcome, entertain and feed diners there with a very loyal following. They are open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, they open at 5 pm. It’s a little gem worth checking out.