Knowing what fans of good food that we are, friends and family have been curious about what we’re eating over here. Though I can no longer jump in my V70 and zip off to Trader Joe’s on a lark when we’re in the mood for something, worry not that we are starving…
My Nantucket bicycle basket can hold everything needed for a dinner of grilled ratatouille pasta.
Grocery stores are small, but they are everywhere. This Billa Corso is tucked into the “food court” level of the Kärtner Ring Gallerie. The visual alone makes you want to shop!
Before we’d had a chance to make a full pilgrimage to the Commissary (or the Naschmarkt) we were all in the mood for spicy Asian-style peanut noodles, a warm weather favorite at home; plus, I had leftover “secure” chicken (inside joke about rotisserie chicken, just go with it) to use from the night before. Off to the Billa near the Derag Hotel I went. My rationale was that since the Derag is the halfway house for diplomats before we find a home and the adjacent Billa recognizes that captive international market, I stood my greatest chance north of the Naschmarkt of finding the requisite ingredients.
Captive market, indeed. One of these items cost approximately three times what it costs in the U.S. Hint: it’s not the “sugar dust” (translation error: I bought powdered sugar instead of granulated) or the secure chicken.
The verdict on dinner? No leftovers, and I didn’t even have to force the family to lick the 6 USD (equivalent) peanut butter from their dinner plate! Since this dinner we have made several pilgrimages to the Commissary, where buying peanut butter doesn’t cause me heart palpitations.
Foods in the UN Commissary are tagged with cute little flags from their country of origin; although, it is somewhat embarrassing to see the stars and stripes next to the can of Cheez Whiz. Also representing Team USA are frozen Bubba Burgers, Jack Daniels Barbeque Sauce, and some of the children’s favorite junk foods.
The UN Cafeteria is also a place sort of worth visiting. Their menu is very international, of course; on recent visits we’ve enjoyed Malaysian Chicken Curry and Adobo Pork. And we always save room for dessert.
Speaking of desserts, yes, we have been to Demel. We happened to be wandering past and spied an empty outdoor table, but the throngs of tour groups and individual tourists camera-clicking at the window displays dampened our “Viennese Konditorei Experience.” Maybe next time we’ll look for an indoor table. The Imperial Bakery deserves a second chance.