Tasty Treat Number One: I had a pork dish called schweinsbraten at Gasthaus zur Alten Press, and if that sounds extremely Austrian: yeah. The whole restaurant was extremely Austrian.
When you’re in a place like that, you have to wonder how much of the design/decor is earnest, and how much is just them playing up the stereotypes to appeal to tourists.
(Not that they get many tourists in Graz — even my Airbnb host was a little puzzled as to why I was there, so I explained that I was visiting for the Arnold Schwarzenegger museum, and he feigned interest, like “oh, I was thinking about going there…” You’re clearly not interested, Airbnb guy. We don’t need to play this game; I know I’m a weirdo.)
Either way, the food was delicious; it was a great example of a really simple, comforting meal, with fork-tender pork, semmelknödel (which tastes kind of like an Austrian version of the stuffing you might eat on Thanksgiving), and cabbage, all topped with a rich gravy.
Tasty Treat Number Two: Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax has been around for almost 500 years — since 1569. Coming from Canada, where there was a pretty huge deal made about our recent 150th birthday, going to a bakery that’s more than three times older than that feels a bit strange.
The lady behind the counter spoke perfect English (which is delightfully common here), so I asked her what she recommended, and she suggested the Mozartkugel.
This consists of a marzipan centre, surrounded by what basically tasted like thick chocolate buttercream frosting, a cakey pastry, and more marzipan, with the whole thing covered in a generous coating of good quality dark chocolate.
Marzipan is one of those ingredients that can magically make pretty much anything more delicious, so I enjoyed this quite a bit.