Posted by: cvancil | April 10, 2009

Possibilities: Old Vienna Restaurant

Naturally when you are traveling and on a budget, one of the concerns is finding places to eat.  And not just fast food places, but establishments that reflect the community and offer good food at decent prices.  When searching for possible dining options, check out Yelp and the chambers of commerce, travel blogs and websites, and talk to those staying with you at your hotel/b&b/campsite.  As fellow tourists, they probably have the best recommendations. 

Hubby and I generally favor the same restaurants every time we visit.  Part of my excursion later this month is to explore new restaurants without breaking the bank.  Over the next week I’ll be sharing what I have found, and the first one on the list is Old Vienna Restaurant in Pismo Beach.   Owned by the Reithofer (the parents are originally from Germany) family who started the business 1972 by cooking home-cooked meals, their children and grandchildren are now running the place.  Keeping the tradition alive – serving great home-cooked food in a relaxing and fun atmosphere – they’ve also had a full bar in addition to an extensive wine and beer list.  Tired of wine tasting?  Then this is the place for you.  Featuring 8 German beers (including one seasonal offering), prices range from $5 (sm – .3 liter) to $12 (xl – 1 liter).  Can’t decide on which beer?  Want to try them all?  Then The Old Vienna Beer Sampler has your name on it.  For $14, you can try all 8 varieties and at 4 ounces each, that’s a great price for 32 ounces of beer!

If you’re hungering for a fancy meal and have the cash for it, then I suggest you experience the dining room!  The dinner prices are pretty typical, with excellent prices for their soups/salads ($2.95 for Vienna Potato Soup) and appetizers ($0.95 for the pretzel).  The main courses start at $10.95 for Vegetarian Gericht to $26.95 for the Vienna Sampler.  (If you wish to split an entree, they’ll bring an extra plate along with the second choice of soup, salad, or potato for an additional $8.50).  But that’s just the dinner menu.  There’s the Schnitzel menu, which has a median price of $17.95 and the Lighter Menu which features smaller portions and healthier side dishes for the median price of $13.95.   If you have room for dessertafter all of this food, you could put yourself to sleep with an after-dinner liqueur, or perhaps a tasty apple strudel will satisfy your taste buds.

As a budgeted traveler, and one that also loves to eat, when I visit Old Vienna I’ll be partaking of their bar menu.  From 4-6pm, the Polish Sausage Sandwich is available and my mouth is watering with the anticipation!  Imported from Chicago, this delectable sandwich is served on pan-roasted rye bread with Dijon mustard, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a dill pickle, along with a side of their home-made potato salad.  The price, you ask?  All of that for $6.95.  Wow!  There’s the famous bar chicken thighs served on a sandwich (also served with a side of potato salad) for $5.95, and potato pancakes for $7.95.   There is typical bar fare offered including soup/salad for $5.95 and Chicken Schnitzel (breaded) Strips served with a side of 3 dipping sauces for $6.95.  My other favorite menu item is The Sausage Sampler.  Served with a side sauerkraut, you have your choice of Bockwurst, Smoked Bratwurst, Polish or Hungarian sausages.  For 1 sausage, it’ll cost you $6.95, 2 are $8.95, and 3 are $11.95.  I say split some sausages and potato pancakes, voila!  Instant, fantastic meal at a decent price. 

They also offer a fantastic seasonal menu around Oktoberfest, which I will definitely try to attend this year!  The current special event is “Springtime in Austria” which takes place every Sunday in April. 

Can’t wait to go?  Old Vienna Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday.  The bar opens at 4, with the restaurant opening at 5.  I hope to see you there!

Pictures courtesty of the Old Vienna Restaurant website. 

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