Sunday, June 6, 2010

Viennas Restaurant and Cafe

A charming place with good food, that's how I'd sum up my experience at Vienna's Restaurant and Cafe the other night. We went there for the food and were not disappointed.

First off, I am a bit confused by the name. On, it's called Vienna's Restaurant and Cafe which I'd say aptly describes the place. However, their web site and signage advertises them as Viennas Coffeehouse--they do have coffee but that's only a part of what they offer. Nonetheless, I'd say this is a fairly good place to eat in Debary, but the name is a bit confusing. On top of that, they also offer catering services. Oh well...

Viennas is set up with a European atmosphere. When we entered the building, we found ourselves in a big wide lobby--there are other businesses in this plaza. But then you go through that lobby to enter Viennas itself. In the front of the restaurant there are a few tables and some counters or display racks with desserts and the like. Walking past this, you arrive at the dining area, a large room with a prominent fireplace. I'd guess it holds about 50 people. When we arrived, one table had opened up, otherwise they were full--a good sign. Christopher, our waiter, quickly showed us to a table and wiped it down almost immediately. Christopher had a slight German accent and explained to us that he had only been in this country for about 6 week. He did a good job.

I was there with my friend Tommy and we both ordered a cup of the soup of the day, a creamless Creamy Tomato Basil. Yumm, it had a great flavor. It did appear to be indeed creamless. My guess is perhpas thickened with breadcrumbs and then pureed. However it was done, it was a success, I liked it a lot. I will say it could have been a bit hotter, and this was a theme that seemed to run throughout our meal--most everything could have been just a bit hotter. Nonetheless, this way I didn't have to blow on it to cool it or wait. It was so good I ate it rather quickly. It was very, very good.

I had a side salad with my meal. The salad was good, nice and fresh. The dressing was a roasted garlic viniagrette. It was very good, though I will say the roasted garlic was not a predominant flavor. Nevertheless, it was a good salad, nice and refreshing, and a nice prelude to the rest of the meal to come.

I should mention the beer list. Viennas has a somewhat extensive offering of European beers. I tried two of them, on a Czech Republic Black Ale called KruĊĦovice. It was interesting. A bit sweet for my liking, but not bad. The second one I tried was a Polish beer, Okocim Mocne. It's a malt liquor. I'm not a huge malt liquor fan, but it was good, though again just a bit on the sweet side for my taste. I will say I was able to give our waiter the correct pronounciation of the Polish beer--he pronounced it mokne... but it's more like motsne. A small point. But I did like the nice selection of European (and American) beers that they have. They are, however, a bit pricey, but that's to be expected since they are not commonly found here in central Florida.

When we were first seated, our waiter did warn us that the kitchen was a bit backed up (recall we got the only open table) and so service was a bit slow. I like that he let us know that up front. True to his word, service was a bit slow. However, it was not excruciatingly slow and we enjoyed our pauses between courses.

Eventually our entrees arrived. Tommy ordered one of their specials--a chicken breast stuffed with blue cheese and apples and served with linguine and spinach. Oh my! This was a very good dish. I was afraid the blue cheese would be overpowering, but it was not. It's sharpness was tempered by the acid of the apples--I'd guess them to be granny smith or some similar tart variety. The chicken was very tender and the apples and blue cheese worked together--it was a very good dish. The linguine and spinach, though, was pretty ordinary. I could have benefit from a bit of parmesan or romano. It wasn't bad, just not all that special, I thought. But overall, this was a very good dish.

I ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu. It came with a choice of two sides and I had the red cabbage and the spaetzle. The chicken for the chicken cordon bleu was very tender and juicy, though maybe just a bit on the salty side. I'd guess it had been brined, and just a bit slightly over-brined. It actually was a large chicken breast that had a pocket cut into it and was stuffed with swiss cheese and ham. The bread was then breaded and baked, perhpas in a salamander because the top was nice and crisply  I liked this a lot, it was very good. The red cabbage was also very good, though only warm an not hot. Anyway, it was very tasty and well done, brasied correctly with no cabbagey flavor or odor. The spaetzle was good enough, but a bit on the plain side, dressed only in butter and parsley. I'd have liked some gravy of some sort to go with it. It too was just warm, not piping hot. It was good, just not great. But overall, it was a very, very good meal.

We had a nice time here at Vienna's. The food was good, the service was attentive (well, except for the one iced tea refill reminder) and the atmosphere nice. They were faily busy, a testament to their popularity, though we did not see any line at any time either. Still, it was a good time with good food and I would not hesitate to eat here again.

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