While many cannot separate or explain Austrian or Viennese cuisine without reference to German food, it is important to note that there are as many differences as there are similarities. Further, many of the dishes thought to be classic German food are actually Austrian. The two most quintessential items, of course, are the Wiener schnitzel and the apfelstrudel. “Wiener” literally means “from Vienna.” These Austrian delights are cornerstones of Austrian cuisine and our menu here at Grünauer. Another common misconception is that Austrian food is all heavy, hearty, cold weather fare. To the contrary, Viennese cuisine places strong emphasis on seasonality, cold salads, light soups, fresh fish and, when the protein on the plate is heavier, the accompaniments are often of a lighter variety to balance the dish. Lastly, the menu in a Viennese gasthaus changes with the seasonal availability of various fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and other delicacies.
Our approach in Kansas City follows the same template. We use classic Austrian techniques and family recipes to mold quality, local ingredients to achieve a refined product that satisfies both our commitment to tradition and the regional palette. Our Bavarian-born Executive Chef, Matthias Seyfrid, is the embodiment of this approach. He applies the tradition he was steeped in to the place he has come to know and love- Kansas City. All of our pastries, breads, dressings, soups and sauces are made in house from scratch. The only items we don’t make from scratch in our kitchen are those which skilled artisans with decades of experience can make better and in larger quantities than we can. One example is the master Austrian butcher Chef Martin in Chicago, who began helping with the family business making authentic, old world style sausages, at the age of four. This allows us to offer a product of unparalleled quality at a price that our valued patrons can afford. Our greatest compliment is when someone with a reference point to true Austrian cuisine tells us that they feel transported to the homeland or reminded of a meal made by a relative.