Originally posted by GregT:
If you go for the Sacher torte, don't expect to get your hair blown back. I went there with my father specifically for it. He wasn't sure why we had to go to that particular place and then when we got the torte he tasted it, looked at me, and said "You can make a much better cake than this." So I told him the story, etc., and he nodded.
Most disappointing Sacher torte I've ever had. It's worth the experience but there are far better pastries. Seems like they're churning out stuff for tourists. The chocolate wasn't top notch and the tort itself was dry. I wonder what percentage of their customers are from Vienna.
It's kind of like going to Little Italy in NYC for Italian food.
That reminds me of the time we were at the Colosseum in Rome. My wife looked around a bit and then said to me, "You could build a much better stadium than this." Let's face it-- the place was a shambles, and the washrooms were just not up to scratch. Then again, it was a piece of Western history, and worth experiencing. With a bit of imagination, you could almost see the gladiator and sham battle spectacles in the arena.
Sacher torte is based on a recipe that's more than 200 years old, from a time when Europeans were still learning the best uses of chocolate and modifying it to their tastes. It's not like the modern sweeter, gooey, more intense chocolate cakes that we tend to favour here in North America. It's not the world's best chocolate cake, or even close to it. But to have a slice in the legendary Hotel Sacher (a google search will provide a long list of luminaries who have been there before you), perhaps after a brief visit to the beautiful State Opera building across the street… well, that's like eating a tiny piece of history. It just takes a little imagination to make it taste a bit better.