Star power – as in a Michelin. Culinary delight – as in a tender beef.
When you think of fine dining you don’t think of McDonald’s. But some places are anomalies you’d never dream of dining at within your homeland, yet in a foreign land they become a wonderland.
It’s noisy and crowded. It’s user friendly. And it’s an architectural splendour. On this famous pedestrian shopping street of “Sound of Music”, Austria lies a treasured enclave built for hungry tourists (but who knew, way back when). This hundreds year old structure with cavernous stone ceilings and arm’s length thick walls reminds you how potent the winters must have been – and the hunger. I enter my favourite nosh pit, neither a meat fan nor a Vegan, just hovering in an eternal limbo of Guilt versus Gluttony. For now Burger wins. I snuggle into a booth with my succulent package of tomato, lettuce, onions and the no-no. I apologise for my pleasure at the taste of a beef positively oozing with exquisitely juicy flavour that slowly dissolves onto my palate as if produced by The Gods (before they became vegetarians). Fluffy potato wedges seem to have been born on a cloud of slightly salty moisture. Some say the secret is in the soil – so rich with nutrients that even the cows grazing on it are proud to forfeit their lives for the cause. After a meal I laze away in thoughtless wonder (and digestive guilt) watching an Asian mother wipe drippings off her twin ruby-cheeked ketchup kids in a corner … and window side, the afterglow of Spanish lovers searching for a last hint of chicken wings in each others’ eyes.
I am so satiated and yet a dear cow has died to allow this perfect experience to occur. Oh the might and fight for culinary delight! Who knows, maybe I will yet convert. But of one thing I’m sure; even next time’s lettuce leaf will somehow taste delectable in this fertile Austrian soil of the McGods.