The Asparagus Menu at Der Pimpel

A spring walk along the Danube near Vienna lets you experience a forest with a combination of new leaves, blossoms and bare branches decorated only with clumps of mistletoe. The air smells moist, the ground is muddy, and there are snails crawling along the track. It’s a far cry from the dry, peppery eucalyptus scented forests of my beloved Sydney sandstone.

The oak and beech forest offers more promising things to eat than a eucalyptus forest though. People collect the leaves of wild bärlauch (bear’s garlic, or ramsons) and dandelions from the forest floor in spring. The name bärlauch, and the English name bear’s garlic, refers to the way that brown bears like to eat these plants just as much as we do. The other foraging opportunity in spring is for asparagus, and in other seasons there are bramble berries and nuts. I haven’t dared to pick wild ramsons based on a reading knowledge, but I hope to meet a fellow omnivore who has survived the experience to act as a teacher.

Luckily you don’t have to be a foraging expert to enjoy asparagus, or ramsons either for that matter. These delicacies can be found in restaurants too, and there’s nothing like a little exercise to stimulate your appetite. A pleasant walk along the Danube from Regelsbrunn to Maria Ellend should do the trick, and both of these villages are accessible on the S7 train line from Vienna. Maria Ellend is a larger town than the villages of Regelsbrunn and Haslau (which you pass through on the walk), and it boasts more restaurants. Der Pimpel restaurant is part of a winery, and has outdoor seating in a courtyard near an old wooden winepress. It’s the perfect place to sit on a sunny spring day.

The joy of visiting Der Pimpel in spring was their Asparagus Menu. There was an entree of cream of asparagus soup followed by your choice of main course. Inquiring about which dishes were gluten free I was pleased to discover the chef had heard of Coeliac disease (Zöliakie) and was able to advise me about what to choose. Unfortunately the soup was not gluten free, but it did look lovely.

The asparagus salad was gluten free, and beautifully presented. A combination of marinated asparagus, rohschinken (like prosciutto), and watercress gave it a great variety of textures and flavours.

The chicken, asparagus and ramson pasta was a heartier option, and it featured two spring vegetables. This spring produce, enjoyed in the sun, was a happy ending to a morning’s walk, and we didn’t even have to forage for it.

Der Pimpel
Wienerstrasse 7
Maria Elland

Ratings (out of 5 snorts)

Price 3 snorts
Taste 4 snorts
Service 5 snorts
Atmosphere 3 snorts

15 thoughts on “The Asparagus Menu at Der Pimpel

  1. Isn’t it great that you can eat outdoors in such rustic surrounds? I had a giggle at the name of the restaurant – does ‘der Pimpel’ translate to anything?

  2. The food looks as pretty and fresh as the countryside.

    My one visit to Vienna was far too short, and largely spent attending a conference, so I didn’t get a chance to take in such surroundings. Next time, gadget, next time!

  3. Great photos Arwen! It looks absolutely gorgeous! The bear’s garlic is very interesting indeed! I hope you find someone to go foraging with 🙂

  4. terms like wheat-free, gluten-free, etc were never really known in greece until very recently – greek food is categorised in different ways – also shown on the menu card – from international cuisine: fasting foods are always pointed out, as are ladera, which means ‘oily food’, which basically amounts to vegetarian food, since, when there is no meat, there is olive oil

  5. sounds like an absolutely wonderful time in Vienna. The forest sounds like a treat, would be nice to find wild asparagus here in Australia, but sadly I dont think thats too common. Looking forward to seeing your other adventures!

  6. What a lovely read – I especially liked the description at the beginning of your spring walk. Almost felt like I was there… Argh! I want to go on holidays! Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through yours 🙂

  7. Pingback: Mushroom Collecting « Hoglet K

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