The Undercover Vegetarian: BierBeisl
The creamy pumpkin soup at BierBeisl
Are you a salad fetishist? I mean a true lover of greens and dressing, not necessarily the meat-free eater that has turned salads into a meal-in-a-bowl art form, but someone who really, truly loves salad at its most basic? If so, BierBeisl has some salads you should check out. The greens are crisp, snappy, gorgeous. The added ingredients are sparse but lovely. And the dressings are kind of mind blowing, given that they're made from rare and interesting vinegars. But apart from the salads, BierBeisl has very little to offer in the way of vegetarian dishes.
Chef Bernhard Mairinger aims to present the authentic flavors of Austria, a country with a diet that traditionally has been extremely meat-centric. So it's hard to fault him for the proliferation of sausages and pork and venison and lard on his menu -- he's only representing his homeland.
But if I were a vegetarian invited to a meal among friends, and this was the idea someone floated, I'd suggest something else. Mairinger may deliver the tossed salad in a way no other chef in town manages, but it's not enough to make a meal.
The pumpkin soup on the other hand, is a thing of wonder. (It was #16 on our list of 100 Favorite Dishes.) Stop by for lunch. Try the pumpkin soup. Stop by early in the evening. Have a delicious salad. But don't count on BierBeisl to fulfill you if meat is not an option.
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