â€ś Address: RainerstraĂźe 2 / 5020 Salzburg / Austria â€ž
As with most cities that rely on tourism, Salzburg's restaurant scene is predictably diverse. It's also fair to say that the restaurants are, on the whole, a tad over-priced. While Austria is in general not cheap, you do pay a premium on most things in Salzburg. With this in mind we tried to find a restaurant that had been recommended in our Lonely Planet guidebook as being good value but, in spite of traipsing up and down the street in question three times, we couldn't find it. Fortunately we found 'Mundenhamer Brau' nearby and, mistakenly believing it to be a restaurant with microbrewery attached, we decided that it looked like a good bet.
Although the restaurant doesn't brew its own beer, it does serve beers from small breweries in Salzburg and the staff were very knowledgable about the beers available and they were a good accompaniment to the food on offer. Mundenhamer serves a mixture of Austrian dishes and international classics with an emphasis on good, filling fare which reflects the seasons.
Although the restaurant is in the city centre, they've created quite a traditional interior that is evocative of a more rural setting so there's a lot of wood and plenty of 'olde worlde' knick-knacks and it's all very cosy. We visited in September and the place had been decorated with items to celebrate the harvest. It's a sizeable place with lots of tables but they aren't too close together and, inspite of the look of the little booth tables, it is very comfortable. The toilets, both male and female are downstairs which I feel is worth mentioning for anyone with mobility issues.
One thing that was very clear was that this restaurant has quite a few regular customers and in a city like Salzburg it's reassuring to stumble on a place that is liked by the locals. The staff, however, treated everyone alike and came across as genuinely friendly, taking the time to chat about the beers with us and enquiring about the well-being of those customers they were familiar with. I wanted to practise my German and the staff were happily obliging, resorting to English only occasionally when my German vocabulary was lacking. For those whose German is not up to the job, the menu is also available in English.
As is customary in this part of the world the restaurant has a daily special which is good value but we wanted to order from the menu. When they say 'international dishes' I presume they mean things like steak that feature on menus in all kinds of restaurant rather than, say 'chilli con carne' or 'lamb madras'. The menu is meat heavy but there are fish dishes and several vegetarian choices. Alternatively, vegetarians could easily take a meat free starter and add a side dish to make a good dinner.
What I liked about the menu was that instead of just being 'Austrian' dishes, there were regional interpretation of dishes and it was a 'Salzburger Schnitzel' that caught my eye. If I was allowed I could eat Wiener Schnitzel every day for the rest of my life but I thought it was only right that I try the local version here in Salzburg. In this version the meat was not beaten out and it appeared to be coated in a light batter and served in a delicious creamy mushroom sauce. It was rich but there wasn't so much that it became an ordeal. It was served with spaetzle which I absolutely adore. Spaetzle means 'little sparrows' which doesn't really shed much light on the fact that these are, for want a of a better description, little noodles which are usually boiled then tossed in butter or added to soups. There were lots of them on my plate and they were as delicious as any I've eaten.
Himself changed his mind half a dozen times and eventually plumped for the meat loaf, a well seasoned course meat mixture that had been wrapped in bacon prior to cooking. It really was excellent, the meat was tasty and the bacon had prevented it from drying out without adding too much saltiness that I sometimes find overpowers the flavour of the meat it's meant to keep moist. The two fat slices of meat loaf were served with a few well roasted potatoes and a lovely mound of delicious warm sauerkraut.
I really couldn't fault the food we ate here and I certainly didn't see any food going back to the kitchen when the staff took plates past our table; the other customers appeared to have enjoyed their meals as much as we did ours.
Mundenhamer is open Monday to Saturday from 10.00am until 2.00pm and again from 5.30pm until 11.30pm. It's closed on Sunday and public holidays.
Fixed price lunches cost around Euro8 while from the menu, main courses cost between Euro7 and Euro16. We paid approximately Euro30 for two hefty mains and a couple of beers and soft drinks. Considering its proximity to the Mirabel Platz, this is pretty good value.