Ottenthal Spezial – A Storybook Cafe
Many weeks had passed from when I first discovered Ottenthal Spezial until I finally arranged for a breakfast date there with one of my best girlfriends. The interior is a purist, yet dainty mixture: white walls, red checked pillows on plain wooden chairs, green bistro tables and a multitude of accessories reminiscent of the Austrian namesake Ottenthal near Wien, home to the owner Martina Julien's husband.
Immediately, we were captivated by jars filled with vanilla crescents, Ischler tartlets and other Austrian delicacies next to a counter full of fresh croissants, crumbles and cheesecakes, as well as apple strudels and Sacher torte. When we sat down our eyes started wandering across the surrounding tables. We'd rarely seen such a beautiful breakfast.
What we saw were picturesque stands stacked with smoked ham, salami and cheese as well as homemade pâtés, a fresh salad of cherry tomatoes, and heaps of fresh fruit and jams. Generous individual servings of Bircher muesli topped with fruit, eggs in any way imaginable and tea and coffee specialties, mandatory for any Viennese coffeehouse, were lined up next. The coffee is a soft roasted blend by Danesi, mild and low in acid – perfect!
When the waiter asked us about the desired temperature of our water – chilled or room temperature – I was head over heels. I love my water at room temperature but I usually have to mention it explicitly myself. My scrambled eggs with lamb's lettuce arrived just the way I wanted it. And my friend was swooning over her Bircher muesli as well as the 'small breakfast' which was just what she pictured it to be.
When we were about to leave the cafe, I actually felt bad that there wasn't an inch of free space left for a piece of their homemade cakes, but I promised myself I'd come by more often to try everything on the list once. I glanced at all the beautiful bonbon jars filled with colorful candy lined up along the exit. Oh, how I wish I were a child again!