Posts Tagged ‘cafe’

First IST Austria Poker Night

June 10 2011

Morten and I bought 500 poker chips online. Then, we organized a poker game. We had a 5 Euro buy-in and 1 cent / 2 cent blinds. The game started at 19:00 and just ended (around 00:00). We has seven people in total play. We wanted to keep the game “friendly” so we never raised the blinds and we had a pot limit on the raises. Of all the people playing tonight, I was the biggest winner. I left with 13 Euros (+8 Euros)! Go me!

On another note, today I was working from coffee shops in Vienna. First, I was at Cafe Ritter on Mariahilfer Straße. The tea came in a pot and the Goulash soup was pretty good.  The only problem was that you had to go through their smoking section in order to get to their bathrooms.  Then, we went to Akakiko on the top of a tall building, again on  Mariahilfer Straße.  The food we decent, and the view was very pleasant.  The removal of the smokers on the rooftop terrace could have made this experience a bit nicer though.  Finally, we attempted to go to one of my favorite bagel shops, Bagel Station.  However, this place has closed and Campus Suite has opened in its place.  Although they don’t serve bagels, their iced tea was decent.  I was also eyeing a caramel apple torte, but I did not try it.  Perhaps next time …

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Thai Restaurant in Vienna

May 28 2011

The other day I shook hands with David Mumford, a Fields medalist.  This is the first person who actually won the Fields Medal that I have met.  (I met Andrew Wiles a few times, but he was too old to receive the Fields Medal at the time he proved Fermat’s Last Theorem).  Mumford’s talk was about diffeomorphisms of maps.  At the end of a talk, he focused on an ancient Chinese map that was very detailed (and etched in stone).  They had parallel horizontal and vertical lines.  Due to the curvature of the earth, these lines do not correspond to lat/lon lines.  He said that it is amazing that they did not realize the world was round after making such a detailed map of such a large area.  Perhaps they recognized it but refused to acknowledge it …

After the talk, Filip and I went to myKai, a Thai restaurant on Franz-Josefs-Kai.  Neither of us had been there before, but it looked good.  We sat outside.  He ordered a calpico to drink, since neither of us knew what it was.  I think it had coconut milk and lemon juice and water.  Sounds strange, but it was quite delicious.  I was jealous that I only ordered a Soda Zitrone.  We shared two entrees, the chicken a la mykai and the Knuspriger Entenbrußt.  We liked chicken a la mykai dish the best.  It was quite delicious.  We picked it because the dish shared the name with the restaurant, and so we figured we couldn’t go wrong.  The name chicken a la mykai is quite funny to me actually.  I was in a Thai restaurant in a german speaking country ordering a dish with the english word chicken and the french phrase a la mykai.  For dessert, we tried to order Maronitasche (tasche is the german word for bag.  maroni is a nut), but the waiter said that we should get Bonnentasche (bonnen=beans) instead since it was better (although it wasn’t on the menu).  Sounded strange to us, but we ordered it anyway.  In the “tasche” was a bean puree and some fruit.  The dish came with a scoop of ice cream and was drizzled with chocolate and raspberry sauces.  Quite good!

Right now, I am sitting at Cafe Drechsler.  This is one of my favorite places to come to do work.  Today, I am just drinking a Soda Hollar (hollar is a flower), but I might soon get my 1 euro 80 glass of wine before I head out.  Usually, you sit at a cafe until you can grab someone’s attention to pay the bill.  At times, this is harder than you’d expect.  But, if you are here and the shifts change, the former waiter/waitress will come over to ask you to pay.  You don’t have to leave then, they just need to settle their checks before they leave.  This just happened to me.  It reminded me of how you pay for things in Austria.  When you pay, they tell you the cost “3 Euro 80”  then you give them money.  If you don’t say anything, they give you exact change back and it is assumed that you will not give them a tip.  If you want to give a tip, you say “4 Euros bitte” when you hand them the money.  At first I was a little confused about this process but now I understand.  Sometimes I’ll see someone try to tell the waiter how much change they want instead, and this just creates a confusing scene.