VIENNA, AUSTRIA. The 1.5-hour drive from Gyor to Vienna had been the fastest and easiest ride that we had during the tour. Upon our arrival in the city, we immediately headed on towards the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront, our hotel during our stay in the city, which has this spectacular view of the River Danube. Since it was still the peak of the afternoon when we arrived in Vienna, we still had time left in our hands to roam around and do what we please before heading downtown to have our dinner.
A Wiener Schnitzel, known to be Austria's national dish, is what we had in mind for dinner. That is why when we approached the receptionist for some restaurants that she could recommend, we immediately told her that we particularly were looking for a Schnitzel. She wrote Figlmüeller Wollzeile on the paper with the address under it and handed it over with an offer to call in the restaurant so that she can reserve a table for us. We politely declined knowing that we would be able to get a table given that we would already be there before 7 in the evening. Or so that's what we thought.
We hailed a cab to take us to the city center. After 15 short minutes of looking left and right, taking in the sights that we were seeing from the car windows and windshield we were already parking along Wollzeile, just in front of the walkway leading to the restaurant. The walkway was cobbled and a little bit dark which gave us an inking that maybe this place is not that crowded given its somewhat hidden location. We were utterly wrong! Even before we reached the place, we were already greeted by a long queue outside. Peeking through the large glass windows and seeing the place pack with diners cemented in more the feeling that we would not be able to dine at this place. Not tonight, anyway. I later found out that this restaurant is very popular since they serve the largest and yummiest Schnitzel in the whole of Vienna!
Somewhat disappointed but still hopeful that we would find a nice place to dine in, we traversed again the walkway back to Wollzeile Street. From there we turned right and just before we fully rounded the corner found this restaurant teeming with people. Always does "there's-a-lot-of-people" prove to be a clear indication that the food a restaurant is serving is good. Pizza Bizi, the name of the restaurant which I was able to read from the facade, is no exemption
We went in Pizza Bizi expecting to see pizza everywhere but instead found more than what we bargained for. There were also meat meals, desserts and pastas to choose from. There had been a wide variety of options which I think greatly explained the busy atmosphere inside the restaurant. Since my brothers are big guys and we were generally meat lovers, we stuffed our trays with Roast Beef with Potato Wedges, Schnitzel with Rice, another dish with two slabs of meat, Chicken Quarter and an Aglio e Olio.
It had been a hard feat to look for a table for five but we soon found one close to this group of people who turned out to be fellow countrymen. After those brief introductions, conversations immediately ensued about Vienna, about their roots and some more personal information. It is always nice to see, meet and strike up unpretentious conversations with other Filipinos when we are travelling. The compactness of the restaurant, as well as the cozy lightings also aided in giving that extra feeling of comfort and closeness with the other diners.
As for the food, I extremely fell in love with the student price, the servings and the roast beef but not so much with the Schnitzel. I hope to experience one day the Schnitzel from Figlmueller Wollzeile and find out what the hype is all about. Nonetheless, the Aglio e Olio was so clean to the taste I believe I finished it up in no time. We all felt full after we finished all of the dishes we ordered. It was just the perfect appetizer to our next activity: which was to watch a classical concert in the infamous Kursalon Hübner! (Watch out for it!)
ADDRESS: Rotenturmstraße 4, 1010 Wien
PHONE: +43 1 5133705