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Cafe Steinhof


I was thinking this place would be more like Zum Schneider where I had a
traumatic semi-meal (through no fault of the restaurant–a stoned, birthday
boy friend starting digging into my plate of food) a few weeks prior. I was
thinking beer and sausage, but it's a little more refined.

Initially, I was a little thrown off by the distracted, cross-dressing
host. He had this mild Liza Minelli meets Riot Grrl look that I couldn't
figure out. He's the effeminate type I can't put my finger on, the kind who
might get all crazy and try to give me an exotic foot massage without my

So the restaurant is Austrian, not German and what do I know about
authenticity? James insisted there was nothing Austrian about the food, but
he's got his culinary history all wrong, claiming paprika's Indian when
everyone knows it's associated with Hungary. And that's what I had, the
chicken paprika with spaetzle. It was very rich in a dark red sauce, more
sour creamy than spicy as I'd expected. Not a big noodle fan, the spaetzle
still hit the spot, and tasted even better re-heated as leftovers. James the
sour puss (ok, fine, fried cod might not be an Austrian specialty) had
sauerbraten with red cabbage. Items that struck me as Austrian: Black
sausage strudel, liptauer cheese, Gulash, Linzer Torte and Rosti. It's all
German/Swiss/Hungarian mish mashed, but so what. They also had a cocktail
called the Klaus Kinski. While a scary man, at least it wasn't the Arnold

Cafe Steinhof * 422 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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  1. Peter Garn #

    Austria Cuisine – Cafe Steinhof – basically Austria was a big empire till to the 1WW, which included Hungary, Czech, North Italy, Croatia, parts of the Ukraine, Romania….and this is the reason, why we, the Austrians in Vienna have a mix of different cuisines and later it became traditional Viennese kitchen – Vienna was a meltingpot – people from all over Central Europe settled in Vienna, with their tradition of cooking. Most of the traditonal Viennese meals have their origins in Czech, Hungary, Croatia, North Italy. And a lot of beer sorts came from Czech – like Budweiser, Pilsen and so on. So it is difficult so say, what a Viennese cuisine definitive is. It is a lot – mostly influenced by the Hungarians, Czechs, Slowaks, Bavarians and North Italians. All what owner Paul Goebert presents in his cafe, is typically Viennese. We eat the same in Vienna – Gulasch for example came from the Hungarians to Austria. Schnitzel is the only one, I know, which is typically from Vienna. Spaetzle is a meal from West Austria – from the mountain farmes – it was a cheap food. Spaetzle is also well known in East Swiss and Bavaria. Just a quick note – I met Paul Goebert as a young man in the mid 70ies, he was still living in Vienna and he loved cooking – I remember very well, he was well cooking! In the early 80ies he immigrated to the US, sometimes he comes to his hometown Vienna for some days and last year I had to promise him to visit his Cafe in Brooklyn now. Peter-Vienna

    February 3, 2007
  2. Thanks for the details, Peter. You reminded me that I haven’t eaten any Austrian food in quite some time–I’ll have to rectify that.

    February 5, 2007

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