Monday, September 8, 2008

Haas & Haas

Haas & Haas, on Stephandomplatz in Vienna

International tea house associated with a tea shop

"A variety of international breakfasts," the guidebook said, and the menu at Haas & Haas didn't disappoint. We'd arrived in Vienna by train at 6 am, found ourselves a room and showered, and were hungry for a good Austrian breakfast. Haas & Haas offers not only that, but breakfasts from many other cultures, including Chinese (dim sum), Japanese (miso soup), and American (baked beans and a fried egg). Given the curious composition of the American one, one wonders how authentic the others are, but we were interested in an Austrian breakfast, and we assume they got that right.

Their tea menu reads like a wine list, and you can buy any of their teas from the shop next door (which we did, later on). Tim had a Marille-Pfirsich (apricot-peach) blend that was delicious; Mark thought highly of the coffee. We ordered a sweet pastry, scrambled eggs on toast, and an omelette with herbs.The herbs in the omelette were rather subtle but still good, and the scrambled eggs moist and creamy. The sweet pastry was nice: lightly sweetened dough sprinkled with nuts and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

The ambience was terrific, though. We were seated in a small interior courtyard, decorated with flowers and plants and very peaceful, just a few steps from one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vienna. We may have been there late, but the courtyard wasn't crowded, and the whole breakfast was very relaxing.

The tea shop is worth mentioning too. They have hundreds of tea varieties that all sound delicious, not to mention the shelves full of tiny travel-friendly jams and jellies. We also picked up some jellied fruit candy to snack on, which had very rich flavors. The staff all spoke English and were glad to help us decide among their many products. If you're at Stephansdomplatz around breakfast time, whether you're feeling international or not, this is a great place to unwind before resuming your touristy day.

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