Ottenthal, Wiener Schnitzel, Charlottenburg

If you’ve visited this site frequently enough, you’ll know that my husband is Viennese.  Which means he is a terrible snob about pastries and schnitzel.  (I’ve told you right? That on our first weekend away, he spent an afternoon educating me on Viennese cakes and cafes, slapping the fork out of my hand because I wasn’t pacing myself adequately for our adventures in excess – how I ask you? Can you not fall for such an original approach to wooing?)

We’ve made our way through many a schnitzel in Berlin, me always deferring to his expertise on the subject of schnitzel “This one’s pretty good, right?” I ask as we slice through schnitzel after schnitzel.

There is always some reason why it doesn’t measure up; there is no volcanic bubbling of the breaded outside, it isn’t thin enough, it isn’t big enough, on and on.

I’m glad he wasn’t with me the other night when I had a schnitzel at Austria in Kreuzberg (although I think it’s inspired that they offer a ‘damen’ portion), it was draped over the potato salad making it warm and breaded outside of the schnitzel soggy (It wasn’t much cheaper than Ottenthal either, €17 compared to €19 at Ottenthal).

In his expert opinion, the schnitzel at Ottenthal is as good as it gets.  Coming in second place, the schnitzel at Brasserie Desbrosses in the Ritz and in third place Lutter & Wegner.  Worldwide award for best schnitzel goes to Figlmüller of Vienna.  A place to worship at the altar of thin, breaded and fried.Which brings me to this point, Ottenthal is not a schnitzel restaurant, it is an Austrian restaurant.  A rather fine Austrian restaurant.  One that the Michelin Guide has rated as having good value  and being charming. In the winter, a lot of the ladies wear fur and the men tend to wear a jacket (no tie).  Mozart, that other famed Austrian export, plays and there is even a plaque commemorating him, with a long-stemmed melancholic rose draped over it.  It sounds absurdly kitsch to see it described that way when in fact its elegant and somewhat stark.

I’ve eaten other things at Ottenthal, like tafelspitz (before I knew what it was, boiled meat, with sides like creamed spinach, roast apple (but still boiled meat in broth, can’t eat that unless I’m recovering from an illness).  Mostly I get the schnitzel (he always gets the schnitzel).  It’s dear, €19 but it organic veal and it comes with a large side of exceptionally good potato salad and a lamb’s lettuce salad.  Hrabi always has his with a bottle of Almdudler – the national soft drink of Austria.For the benefit of the this blog, we ordered a Kaiserschmarrn with homemade plum sauce. A crazy pancake made with a lot of eggs and then cut up with a spoon (recipe if you want on Delicious Days).

“Don’t you think this needs some sour cream?” I ask.“What?!” he exclaims choking on is Kaiserschmarrn “That’s like suggesting you make pasta puttanesca with glass noodles! What’s wrong with you?”

Geez! What a purist.

Ottenthal
Restaurant & Weinhandlung
Kantstraße 153
10623 Charlottenburg
Tel.: 030 – 313 31 62
Daily 17:00 to 1:00
www.ottenthal.com

Reservations strongly recommended

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14 Responses to Ottenthal, Wiener Schnitzel, Charlottenburg

  1. Luisa says:

    Hee! You guys are cute. Love the glass noodle outrage. ;) Can’t believe I’ve still never been to this place!

  2. I have to confess the “Schnitzel” looks fantastic. Last time I was there it was not such good, it seems the cook had a bad day.

  3. Giulia says:

    I love Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarrn, but both in one sitting…oi,oi, oi…that’s a lot of food ;) I remember my father taking me to a great Schnitzel place in Liechtenstein, the Schnitzel needed two plates that’s how big it was…beautifully thin, great crunchy and bubbly breading! Mhhhh, miss the Schnitzel…

  4. Oh but Tafelspitz can be soo good too! Served with horseradish (Kren in Austria) sauce, sweet and sour cucumbers, lingonberry sauce and potatoes…yumm yumm yumm. It’s a traditional Christmas dinner in our family.
    Fellas in Stargaader str. had the perfect Wiener Schnitzel until a year ago, when the chef quit. The quality of the food then went down big time. Rumour has it that since one month ago, they are open again with the old chef. I havn’t eaten there since, but it would definitely be a place for you to try out.

    • You know what, I went to Fellas about two years back and thought it was pretty good but haven’t been back since. I remember the only thing that put me off was that their menu was kind of all over the place.
      Your traditional Christmas dinner does sound very yummy indeed. Take some pictures next time would you?

  5. Sasa says:

    Wha…? I read every single one of your posts (and maaaay have read all your archives, a long time ago when I started reading) and I didn’t know you were married to a Viennese! Though, to be fair, that may be one of the pieces of information that was dislodged from my grey matter to make space for the names of all the digestive enzymes or some other thrilling factoids that now reside there.
    While I can’t side with you on the Tafelspitz question, I’m in total agreement about Kaiserschmarrn, even when made well, that stuff is kinda…in need of some fatty moisture – sour cream would really hit the spot there. I never could put my finger on what it needed but when I saw this I was like “yeah, thass right!”

  6. James says:

    This sounds great!
    But is there a dress code, written or otherwise?
    Just cos you mention the fur and jackets… and I don’t go anywhere that doesn’t let you wear jeans with your arse hanging out.

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