I am pretty sure I first read favorable mentions of Gasthaus Poschl on Chowhound, so I want to thank those responsible for writing about it, since it was quite convenient to our agenda and location in Vienna and was the nicest social ambience we have experienced in the city. We enjoyed the unfussy food and wine -- fried chicken livers, fried chicken and an absolutely delicious dish of sliced calves liver that was the star of the show. The fried chicken was accompanied by dilled cucumbers, which were also extremely tasty, as was the homey breads. We were less taken with the clear beef soup with sliced pancakes (we've tasted better), the potato salad and the warm (read microwaved) Othello im Hemd (the latter of which might have been exemplary, but we just didn't care for the dessert compared with other viennese treats). We drank a forgettable red wine and I wished I had ordered white.
We had a mostly disappointing lunch at the cafe of the Kunsthistoriches museum. Part of the disappointment was my fault: I was under the mistaken impression that, in addition to a cafe, the museum also has an upscale sit-down restaurant. I have no idea where or how I developed this delusion, but had I known, I would not have planned to eat there. In the event, the service was surly, our table wasn't wiped down from prior customers, one order of soup never arrived. Our entrees of sautéed chard (the only appealing item on the limited menu) were fine, mercifully not overcooked (although I could not say the same for the potatoes that came with it). Highlight of the meal was a perfect plum torte for dessert. The coffee was not great. The waiter pressured for tips. Just altogether an experience I wouldn't repeat especially since the rest of the experience of being in the Kunsthistoriches is thrilling.
Cafe Schwarzenberg was quite convenient to our hotel on a rainy cold night. We had visited on a previous trip to Vienna and enjoyed the viennese food. This time was more of a mixed bag, largely due to our feeling we should try new things rather repeated the Flaker goulash, sausages and poppy seed cake we had liked before. While this time we very much enjoyed the clear beef soup with sliced pancakes and with a liver dumpling, we were less keen of beef with fried onions and the Schwarzenburger (the latter was just a disaster). The house specialty Mozartbombe was a bit of a chore to finish, and not among the best of their desserts for my taste. We drank a "bio" pinot noir what was not quite to my liking.
Interestingly -- or sadly! -- the outstanding taste treat of the too-busy and too-short trip to the beautiful capital was the smoked mackerel and dilled herring at my hotel's breakfast buffet! Absolutely delicious. Makes me think next time I want to spend more time in Vienna's delis. We also had the rather unusual experience of visiting the fabulous winter palace of Prince Eugene and afterwards wanting a coffee, and being unable to find an open cafe! Had we walked uphill toward the palace instead of down toward the Statdtpark I'm sure we would have had been spoilt for choice, but it did seem weird to be wandering in the most famous cafe city in Europe only to find cafe after cafe in the Innere Stadt locked tight on a weekday morning or with indications they had gone out of business. We ended up popping back into the hotel just for a coffee before continuing with the rest of our day.