While on the train from Munich to Salzburg in December 2010, my girlfriend and I found ourselves sitting across from a lady from Salzburg. Upon hearing that it was our first visit to Salzburg, she insisted that we must try the local speciality - Salzburger Nockerl.
She explained that it was a dessert made from whisked egg yolks, flour and sugar and resembled a sweet tasting souffle. She also stressed, several times, that we should only order one between the two of us as a Salzburger Nockerl is very filling!
We saw Salzburger Nockerl advertised on menu boards outside several cafes during our day of sightseeing in the city and eventually decided to give it a try at Cafe Mozart; a popular cafe on Getreidegasse just a short distance from Mozart's birthplace.
The menu advised that one Salzburger Nockerl served two people (at a cost of 10.50 Euros) and that there was a 20 minute wait when ordering one (since they are freshly prepared).
We enjoyed our drinks (I had a Mozart Bier which was brewed by the local Stiegl brewery) and waited for our dessert to arrive.
When it arrived it was an impressive sight; a large egg-based souffle topped with icing sugar. It seemed a shame to spoil it, but we broke through the soft meringue exterior with our spoons and began to enjoy it. The exterior, while similar to meringue in appearance and texture, was not as sweet tasting and the taste of egg was more pronounced (almost like an omelette). The interior was softer and sweeter; it reminded me a little of egg custard. There was also a layer of raspberry (or possibly bilberry) sauce inside the Salzburger Nockerl. We enjoyed it. It was tasty and it was filling. One between the two of us was certainly enough!
So, when you are in Salzburg, be sure to sample a Salzburger Nockerl...but make sure you share it with somebody!
All of the food I tasted in Salzburg was first class, and I went out of my way to try the local dishes.
One of these was Viennesse Beef! Served with a mint sauce and spinach...fabulous!
Remember....Strudel, Schnitzel, Knodel,Bratwurst...
CLOSE THE MENU: When you're at a restaurant in Salzburg and in most of Europe, chances are you won't have your order taken until you close your menu. In America, we tend to keep the menu open so we can ask questions or make picky requests. If you keep your menu open, the waiter or waitress may think you're still deciding and not get your order.
TIPPING: As for tips, the standard is usually 10 percent or just rounding up the bill (37 euro to 40 euro). Finally, you may end up sitting next to strangers. Since most restaurants are tiny, they will frequently sit small groups at the same table. If I get amazing service, I'll tip the American standard of 15-20 percent... why not if it is great service, right? I'd do the same if I toured the states and the locals in Salzburg probably will appreciate it more.
PAYING YOUR CHECK: Also, when you ask for your bill, you are expected to pay at that moment too. The waitperson will give you your bill, expect you to pay right then in cash or give a credit card and then if you give cash, they will give you your change immediately from a pouch they carry around their waste or in a pocket.
THE CHECK/BILL: Many restaurants in Salzburg and Europe won't give you a check or bill until you ask for it because it is customary for the locals to sit and talk for a long time; whereas, tourists more likely want to eat quickly and go see more cool stuff. Ask for your check when your done or almost done eating to ensure a quick escape.
In the UK and, it seems, most of Europe, it is customary when you are ordering a meal to select your starter and main course at the same time. Don’t do that in Salzburg - we found that they cook it immediately then serve you when the food is ready. On three occasions (until we worked out what was going off) we found ourselves faced with a starter and main course at the same time- sort of spoils your appetite. Order one thing, eat it, then order another.
Always tip when you pay the server for your meal; don't leave the money on the table. There's no 'percentage rule'- just round to the nearest convenient Euro increment (Give 6.50 for a 6.10 meal, for example) and it's fine.
It is normal to have a nice glass of wine with dinner. It helps when you can have dinner and the wine with a beautiful woman as well.
Salzburg is such a romantic city.
When you begin a meal, it's customary to say 'Mahlzeit' ('bon appetit') to your companions first. Some people have found me very rude for neglecting this.