Barely had Anna Grace and I waded through the Saturday Naschmarkt flea-market shoppers deposited at the Kettenbrückengasse U-bahn station in Vienna’s 4th District, on our mission for dinner in the market proper, than we needed a coffee break. Isn’t Europe supposed to be at the beaches this time of year?
Coffee melange at Cafe Piccolino in Naschmarkt. Blech. Poor service. Poor coffee. And a charge for soda water! Excellent people watching. That doesn’t forgive the service or the coffee, though.
First item in the trolley: two Italian artichokes, to be steamed and savored with a little homemade garlic aioli for the primo piatto tonight. (The second item was four smoked pig ears from the butcher, for Clayton Theodore.)
XXXL Falafel. Tourist food. We purchased a bag of falafel normale from our preferred vendor instead, to share with Tony when he returns from Hanoi this week.
Speaking of tourists. I was reminded why I did not venture to the Smithsonians in DC during the summer months. Tour bus after tour bus rolled up and down both sides of the Naschmarkt, disgorging camera-clickers of all shapes and sizes and colors and tongues.
Even one of my favorite vendors had gone to the tourist dark side.
But there were brights sides to balance the tourists ogling bags of stale spices and dried-out Turkish Delight (Anna Grace and I have become Turkish Delight snobs since our holiday). Fragrant marillen at every other grocery stall…
…a smiling, familiar face in a sea of marketgoers…
…and consideration for the four-legged marketgoers, too. (Ours, of course, was at home rehearsing for the dog days of summer.)
From the crowded chaos of the Naschmarkt we sought the quiet calm of Schleifmühlgasse. The American community here “raves” about Bobby’s, a supposed nirvana-esque purveyor of American and British foodstuffs further along the street. One friend was astonished to learn that we have been here a year and had yet to visit Bobby’s! I am always hesitant to jump on bandwagons of “raving” fans, but what the heck, we thought, let’s see what Bobby’s has to offer.
Along the way we passed what appeared to be the first workout club in Vienna, if I translated that properly?
Another diversion, Restaurant Beograd. I enjoyed dinner here with Tony and his colleagues earlier this winter. If you look beyond the (heavy) smoking section you’ll find good, solid Serbian food in a pleasant environment, with live entertainment later in the evening.
En route to Bobby’s, I stopped to catch my breath. Babettes Spices and Books (For Cooks)! We entered the beautifully decorated and perfumed shop and stood for a moment in wonder.
Hand mixed spices!
English language food writings!
And a German language Indian cookbook that I regret not purchasing.
Babette’s has a small kitchen and counter seating for a half-dozen or so; the proprietor in the shop informed me that a small fixed lunch is offered every weekday, too. Anna Grace was offered the opportunity to sample the curries and masalas. My little foodie settled upon a Chaat Masala to bring home (among other spices). Her Bangladeshi nanny would be so proud. 🙂
We eventually left Babette’s, with plans to return. Continuing on our pilgrimage to Bobby’s we passed an ominous warning. Although, given the condition of the sidewalk, it seems that Gina left without the dog.
Our destination. Not Nagoza Sushi (the pretty sign, for a pretty little restaurant now added to my list of places to explore), but the relatively nondescript “Bobby’s” sign in the background.
Four American flags down for Bobby’s. It may well be that the American community raves about Bobby’s, but we can well do without $8 USD equivalent Pop-Tarts and $4 USD equivalent boxes of Jello. Anna Grace and I spent less than 5 minutes in the store before carrying on with our day.
Oh, and dinner? Steamed artichokes, grilled fish and sliced watermelon. All of which came to less than a couple of boxes of Bobby’s Pop-Tarts.