Along the way

Vienna’s new comfort zone

A small elongated bread roll with a very fresh flavor and a touch of warmth still in it, filled with grilled paprika and a slice of zucchini that is neither oily nor soggy nor obtrusively spiced. Followed by a miniature milk-cream strudel, as delicious as they make at Demel. No, it really is from Demel, and served at the new Nespresso café in Mariahilfer Street, Vienna. The coffee garden in front of the building is not complete yet, but in any case I would prefer to move a meeting to one of the high interior rooms where the air is fresh and at a pleasant temperature, the noise stays outside and is replaced by very discreet jazz music.
The first Nespresso café is a joint venture by Do&Co, the all-round talent of the Austrian-Turkish restaurant scene. One of the sons is lead manager responsible for the new format, for which the next location is currently being sought in London. At the same time the café is an appointed dealer for Nespresso capsule coffee addicts. In a room at the back with a view of wall-high stocks is a terminal at which you enter your order and pay by card. Then you are given the capsules and a “bag” to carry them home.

The floors, walls and furniture are kept discreet in light-colored wood. The wood finish on the walls is decorated with white-backed holes increasing in size as they rise upwards. The coffee menu is behind glass on the shelf areas around the counters, and the saucers for the coffee cups are recessed so nothing can slip out of place. The sandwich packs are also eye-catching – a triangular package in a quarter toast-bread slice format with a see-through window and a product tray that can be pulled out after opening.
A visit is not cheap. A sandwich like that with potato chips costs EUR 5.50, an organic roll with vegetables EUR 3.70 and the milk-cream strudel measuring 8 times 3 cm is EUR 3.90, a muffin is EUR 2.50 and a macaroon is EUR 2.10. A cup of white coffee costs EUR 4.20 EUR, and only the Pellegrino water at EUR 2.30 EUR per bottle is almost economical. Incidentally, the milk-cream strudel is kept warm by heat lamps. A pleasant feature is that the counter and the staff behind it can be approached from several sides. The high table along the wall is the only place to which you still need to carry the delicacies yourself.

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