Austrian cuisine is not known for its subtlety, particularly in regards to its plethora of meat dishes (see Schnitzel, Leberkäs, Würstel etc). The self-confidence that comes with this sort of food culture meets its logical conclusion in the comically macabre and delicious restaurant Said the Butcher to the Cow on the Ringstrasse near the State Opera House.
Said the Butcher to the Cow is a red meat and burger joint so self-assured that it asks its guests to “Obey the Food Chain”. And it does not back down. The restaurant makes great burgers, but forces you to address the fate of the cows with an array of references, jokes, and photos of the secret behind their success.
For example, on one of the place-mats, a story is told where the cow asks the butcher: “Will you still love me when I am old and ugly?”
The butcher responds, “Don’t worry, you will not get old.” The story concludes with both butcher and cow being strangely reassured by their conversation.
As someone who eats meat, but believes that we need to understand the consequences of this decision, I found this restaurant to be refreshing and honest. The burgers are well worth their price and the ambiance is unique among burger spots. As long as we are eating the burger, should we not be able to identify with both the butcher and the cow?