Saturday, September 12, 2015

Holiday in Vienna

Pizza a la Halal

We are told travel is an educational experience, and that was certainly true of our 2014 trip through Austria & Germany. I now know to check for any holidays which happen to fall during our trip, as they can seriously impact the ability to visit certain sights and also where you are able to dine.  As Americans, we have adopted a much more relaxed approach to how holidays, especially religious holidays, are observed.  In the German speaking part of Europe, this lackadaisical attitude is definitely verboten, with most stores, offices, museums and restaurants closing so their employees can celebrate appropriately.

The Ascension Day, or Christi Himmelfarht, holiday found us looking for a restaurant on the Praterstrasse in Vienna, and one of the few open was Koko Pizza. It only took a few minutes of looking about the small shop and reviewing the menu to realize this was a different kind of Pizza parlor. The reason it was open at all on this religious holiday was because it was a Halal restaurant operated by Muslims. This meant no beer or wine to wash down our pizza, but rather orange sodas.

A veggie pizza and meat pizza were ordered along with a Greek salad. The salad was made with wonderfully fresh ingredients, as we have come to expect in Europe, and was by far the best part of our meal.  The vegetarian pie was interesting with thin sliced slivers of onions and peppers atop the tomato sauce, cheese, and crispy crust.

The meat pizza was the mystery segment of our meal.  We were never able to determine exactly what sort of "meat" was on it, but the rather thin mixture was definitely poured out of a can.  It tasted okay, but we were kept guessing as to the contents.  It was one of those very unfamiliar tasting meals which many American tourists never experience by sticking to only the familiar and the ordinary.  We found this to be another of those interesting multi-cultural experiences that make some of the best travel memories.

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