Monday, September 5, 2011

Kurkonditorei Oberlaa

I know I'm jumping around on my travels, but I couldn't resist making Oberlaa my next post.  My friend Lauren and I went here in search of great pastries courtesy of Rick Steves.  If you are not familiar with Rick Steves, then I insist that you become familiar with him.  Warning: tangent ahead.  By the end of our trip, Lauren and I were referring to Rick as the third traveler, the man who made it all possible.  Lauren and I had traveled before together and bought a country-specific Lonely Planet which turned out great.  For this trip, because we were visiting four countries together (and I was visiting six countries total), we opted to bring along Lonely Planet's Central Europe
 and Rick Steves' Eastern Europe.  While we loved the Lonely Planet and it had some great tips, Rick Steve was truly irreplaceable.  His self-guided walking tours clued us in as to the history of buildings and neighborhoods, the different architectural styles, and other great facts.  Best of all, many of these guided tours were extremely exact, to the point of telling you to turn a certain amount of degrees in order to view the next landmark he would describe.  I'm not trying too plug him too much... but Rick is our homeboy and I wouldn't travel through Europe without him.

Anyway, Rick recommended this place Oberlaa in Vienna.  Since I was on a "No Dessert Left Behind" trip, I said that we had to check it out.  Lauren doesn't quite understand it and I'm not sure I do either, but I love walking into pastry shops.  The scent of freshly-baked pastries, the different aesthetic of each shop and the shop's pastries, and the chance to peruse the unique pastries each shop devises is too entertaining for me to pass up, even though most of the time I won't be able to purchase anything.  When I walked into Oberlaa, I looked at the glass display cases with bulging eyes and disappointment:  I speak no German and, by this point in my trip, had lost my translation card for describing my allergy.

Luckily, that disappointment soon turned into glee as I saw a sign offering a list of Oberlaa's "Glutenfreie" products!  I was astounded to see the café had an option let alone various gluten free choices.

I coaxed Lauren into splitting two desserts with me... and by splitting, I mean taking a bite out of each one and letting me pig out.  Again, "No Dessert Left Behind" was my mantra and when traveling in a foreign country, I feel no need to deprive myself of gluten free treats when I happen upon them.  The photo below is the Esterházy Schnitte and it was delicious!  It had a bit of a nutty flavor to it, but both Lauren and I enjoyed it.

I believe the second dessert we ordered was the Schoko-Mousse Torte, which was also delicious.  It was similar to a flourless chocolate cake but much lighter than many such cakes in the U.S.  While they can often be too dense, this definitely truly tasted like a mousse cake which was fitting, given its name.

Lesson learned:  Listen to Rick Steves and you will not be disappointed!  On the day we visited the café was serving Viennese people along with tourists.  It's a great spot to bring a newspaper and relax after touring all of the great sights that Vienna offers.  Walking around the city was akin to walking around a museum; it is an absolutely beautiful city!


I believe that there are multiple locations around the city.  I apologize for not having more information available below, but my internet sleuthing isn't as good in German as it is in English.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Oberlaa
Neur Markt 16
Vienna, Austria (Map)
   

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