The Sacher Torte Experience

IMG_3558No doubt the Sacher Hotel is one grand old hotel. With a storied past and a famous cake that people come from all over the world to indulge in.  The Sacher hotel and their namesake cake have become an institution. IMG_3543I was a little bit self-conscious doing something so touristy.  In truth I was half expecting a bus tour to pull up any moment whose theme was: the original Sacher Torte experience!  Thankfully, that didn’t happen. The staff at the Sacher kept everything very classy, not showing any disdain or approaching any table and saying: Let me guess, you want 4 Sacher Tortes, right?

As I waited to be seated I contemplated the very old world, kind of prissy, cafe.   Which is nonetheless a perfect, period, piece much as it was when it opened.  Classy and classic, yet all those oil paintings and chandeliers are really not my thing, so I asked if I could sit outside and enjoy the terrace and the first cool night since arriving.IMG_3545The menu is actually in the format of a mini newspaper which is for sale in the gift shop.IMG_3546It also contains the food , drink and most importantly the dessert menu. IMG_3548They sell over 360,000 cakes a year for both domestic and international consumption. They come in a variety of sizes and come in their very own wooden box.IMG_3571The prices range from $27.65-$58.68 a slice in the cafe is very reasonable $7.15.

Before we get to dessert tho lets start with dinner.  Just to prove all tourists just want to eat cake, I actually ordered dinner.  Of course in German, on the menu, it looked very exotic, but when the waiter looked at me and said: OK so you will have the fried Chicken. Anything to drink with that?  

To my credit I did not ask for decaf coffee like the table next to me.  The table next to me which turned over twice during my dinner, and yes everyone ordered Sacher Torte. Not that I say that with any withering criticism – I ordered it – it’s just, well it’s a cafe with a full menu and if there are 4 of your why not try something else?  I was just me so it’s not like I could order three desserts.  And a Viennese coffee and dinner.

Speaking of dinner, it was presented with great style.  The chicken was well cooked and the leg still had the bone in.  Differentiating it from Schnitzel I suppose, nonetheless it did taste very much like one.  Garnished with fried parsley, because you know, fried food taste better 😉IMG_3551 IMG_3554The side dish was most strange to my New York palette and took me by surprise.  A lovely salad a top running potatoes. I’d had something similar in Berlin, but somehow had forgotten about them until last night. Oh and the chicken was served with its liver a fried and breaded.IMG_3555 IMG_3556In addition I had 2 glasses of lovely Gruner Veltliner which were reasonably priced at $6 a glass.

So what about the Torte.  When the waitress finished clearing my table she asked if I wanted any dessert.  Being the sly, not totally clichéd and absolutely self-conscious tourist I am, I said:  I’ll have the chocolate cake. 

The presentation as you can see was classic. The cake itself is so hyped and I have had other versions, so what I think is that it’s very sweet. The cake itself doesn’t have so much flavor and has a distinct crumb to it that is just shy of being dry.  Apricot jam is often between the layers and on top along with a think over the top chocolate ganache which both fills and covers the cake.  A single dark chocolate medallion and a dab of mit shlag which unfortunately looks like it was from a can of Ready Whip is the only adornment. My qualms with it have nothing to do with the quality or craftsmanship which goes into mass producing, I mean making this fine product. It’s just not my favorite dessert.  Was I glad that I went: Hell yeah!  Did I have a good time:  Indeed.  The only thing I would do differently next time is come with someone, as company would have been the only thing that would have made this experience even more special.IMG_3560 IMG_3561

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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3 Responses to The Sacher Torte Experience

  1. Frank Canino says:

    Oh dear…. How I envy you…..glad I can live the life vicariously with you



  2. Leslie-Anne says:

    What is in the little yellow packet beside the chicken?

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