The recent travels that took me to Verona, Italy, also included a side trip to Vienna, Austria. As you may already know, Austria is at a cultural and political crossroads right now. The razor-thin victory of their Left-ish establishment party in April has been overturned by a judge due to alleged ballot irregularities. A new election is in the works for September or October of this year, giving hope to a very disconcerting far right-wing candidate whose rhetoric smacks of hatred, anti-immigrant posturing, and hyper-nationalism.
Which way things will go is anybody’s guess. And while I did experience a few less-than-pleasant encounters with some angry Austrians, I have nothing but great things to say about Miznon, a tiny cafe in the center of Vienna. My wife and I had just finished some business and were hungry for something quick, simple, and delicious.
We definitely found it at Miznon in the form of some incredibly tasty pitas (not a staple in my diet back in the states). Not only did we find great food; we found great energy. From our brief conversation with the lovely Carina Slaviczek, who manages the Vienna location, I learned that the restaurant originated in Israel and has several locations in the middle east and Europe.
The Vienna location had, in my estimation, people from about half dozen different countries and cultures working happily together in the kitchen and on the floor. Obviously, some were immigrants. I’m guessing some were native Austrians. But the small and perhaps cliche moral of the story is that people from different backgrounds can and do work together productively and harmoniously very often, if simply given the opportunity.
My sincere thanks to Carina and the gang for taking the time to talk with us and pose for quick photos during a very busy afternoon shift. We’re also grateful for the hospitality and laughter that came out of the kitchen just as often as the great food. It was inspirational.