Farrah, Josh (pronounced jōsh)*, and their daughter were traveling around Europe. Denisa and her husband, Bryce, were visiting family in Slovakia and traveling around. Through Facebook, we arranged to meet at the Stefansdom and then go somewhere for dinner.
Since I knew the city the best, I offered to find us a place to eat. I originally thought I could just pop into the AustroAmerican Institute for a recommendation, but I forgot it was Saturday. I then referred to our guide book, and I found a restaurant called the Hungerkünstler. Not only was it in the neighborhood where we lived the last time in Vienna, but the guide book said it had inexpensive Viennese fare. And with a name like "starving artist," I was sure it had atmosphere.
Well, I ended up taking the group on a little bit longer route to get there than I thought, but once we finally arrived, not only had the restaurant changed, it was also closed. Bummer. But, I knew if we headed off in one direction, we would be heading towards town, so there would most likely be something. However after many blocks of walking, I was beginning to get nervous. The only restaurants open were Chinese and Japanese, and everyone wanted something local. Then, I realized we weren't far from Cafe Sperl.
I had been to Cafe Sperl twice the last time I was here, but it was only for cake and hot cocoa. I had no idea if they even served dinner. We were happy to find they did
I told the group all about Viennese cafe culture, and that the Sperl was one of Vienna's most famous cafes. They have kept the interior exactly the same as it was when it opened in the 1880s. Cafe Sperl was once a hangout for famous writers, composers and artists such as Klimt, Schönberg, and Mahler. I've also heard it was one of Hitler's favorite cafes, but I don't really advertise that.
It turned out everyone enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. It was a little on the hot and humid side with no air conditioning, but hey, that's part of Viennese culture. We also had a great time talking and catching up.
|Farrah's in the middle and Denisa is on the right. The decor of the Sperl has changed little and|
|Tomas and Zoe, Farrah's daughter, were so good at the restaurant. Tomas kept Zoe entertained by being goofy.|
|Denisa, Bryce, Farrah, Zoe, and Josh (pronounced jōsh)|
|And here Tomas and I are with Grandma and Lori.|
*Farrah and I found out we have both been pronouncing Denisa's name incorrectly for the past however-many-years we've known her, and we each had a different pronunciation. Josh then informed us that we've also been mispronouncing his name and that it's with a long "o" sound.