Fotoeins Fotografie

revisioning place and home

Posts from the ‘Culture’ category

“Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.” – S.J. Gould.

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

My Vienna: a taste of Damascus in the 20.

Abu Elabed : an Austrian-Syrian co-production 🇦🇹🇸🇾

I’m on a 4-week stint in Vienna in late-spring/early-summer. On a bright and early weekday morning, I go out of my way to Hannovermarkt (Hanover market) in the city’s 20th district. I only have one destination in mind: to try schwarma (Döner), done Syrian style.

Abu Elabed is a market stand known for its grilled meats; you can even buy ‘em by the kilogram. Established by a lawyer and English-language teacher, both from Damascus, Syria, the stand is well-known for producing authentic food to the Syrian- and middle-East community in Vienna.

They’re open for business when I arrive at about 1030am. Through the large open windows, two vertical rotisseries accommodate rotating spits of beef and chicken. They’re already nicely browned on the outside with small pools of fat drippings in the drip pans below.

One of the staff whips out the long electric blade, slowly shaving off slices of grilled chicken. Stainless steel tongs pick up the mass of meat, slowly shaking off excess drops, so the sandwich doesn’t become drenched in fat. On the counter is laid flat a large circular piece of thin wheat-flour flatbread, onto which first is a light spread of tahine sauce, on top of which the chicken is placed. The staff looks at me expectantly: “mit allem?” (everything?)

“Mit allem; und scharf.” (Everything; and spicy.)

In goes some lettuce, diced tomatoes, red cabbage, onions, chopped gherkins, parsley, another generous dab of cool creamy yogurt Tahini sauce, and a healthy sprinkle of dried red chili powder. It all fits in nicely into a wrap, and I think that’s it. But there’s one last flourish.

The wrap is dipped into the pool at the bottom of the drip pan and is pressed against the hot rotisserie, momentarily lighting the fat on fire. Then, the wrap is placed onto a grill for a couple of minutes, lightly pressed from above with a hard plastic lid. This spreads the browning and caramelization of the dipped fat on the outside, and heats the fat and meat on the inside. The short grill time is done, the schwarma wrap is delivered in a paper envelope and napkins to this hungry salivating customer.

The grilled marinated-chicken schwarma wrap is crunchy, chewy, juicy; light yet substantive. The rich fatty flavour and crispy texture on the outside combines with the fresh crunch of the vegetables, cool tahine sauce, and the tender marinated slightly-chewy pieces of grilled chicken. The ingredients and construction of this shwarma wrap are simple, but there’s a beautiful complexity of flavour and texture in the final product.

I want more, but I have other eating to do later. I tell the staff in German I’ve come from (Vancouver) Canada for this schwarma; it is definitely worth my time out to the 20th district. For a future visit, I’m going to have to pick up and use some Arabic words.

For less than 5 Euros, I purchased 1 (beef/chicken) schwarma wrap and 1 Ayran yogurt drink.


•   German: Abu Elabed: Döner – Falafel – Tandoori Brot – Pizza – Gebäck
•   Engish: Abu Elabed: Shawarma – falafel – Tandoori bread – pizza – pastries
•   Arabic: abw aleabd: shawirma – falafil – khubz tinduri – bitza – mueajinat

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Abu Elabed, in Hannovermarkt: Döner, falafel, tandoori bread, pizza, pastries.

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Abw aleabd. Shawirma / falafil / khubz tinduri / bitza / mueajinat (below, right to left).
ابو العبد
شاورما / فلافل / خبز تندوري / بيتزا / معجنات

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Lunch for under 5€: Chicken schwarma 3.50€, Ayran yogurt drink 1€

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Schwarma choices: lamb or chicken, each on a rotating spit in a vertical rotisserie with a drip pan underneath.

Abu Elabed, Hühnerschwarma, Hannovermarkt, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Pocket sandwich wrap, filled with deliciousness.


Directions

Public transport with Wiener Linien:

•   U-Bahn U4 to Friedrichsbrücke station, then tram 5 or 33 to stop “Wallensteinplatz.”
•   U-Bahn U6 to Jägerstrasse station, then bus 5B or tram 33 to stop “Brigittaplatz” or stop “Wallensteinplatz.”

Thanks to Lukas Galgenmüller for his food in Vienna videos. I made all images above with an iPod Touch 6 on 31 May 2022. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mX4.

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, twenty-five

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

21 June 2012.

On the first full day of northern summer, I’m on a day trip from Hong Kong proper to the west side of Lantau Island. The small fishing town of Tai O is my destination. It’s not long before my stomach growls in hunger at the sight of a woman making “Chinese pizza” (香妃卷, “heung fei guen”).

Among a variety of deep-fried seafood, Chinese pizza is a specialty of the Tai O Snack shop (大澳小食). The “pizza” consists of an egg crepe base, upon which diced spring onion, pickled radish chunks, roasted sesame seeds, crunchy egg crisps/savoury cracker, salt, black pepper, and homemade savory sauce are added. After a gentle grill, the crepe is folded and rolled, ready for takeaway or for consumption at one of the small tables inside. It’s entirely possible you might want fried-fish or -shrimp as well on the side …

I made the image on 21 Jun 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/13-sec, f/5, ISO200, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-m86.

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, twenty-three

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

5 June 2012.

On Lantau Island near Hong Kong, the cable car ride takes me from the end station of the Tung Chung MTR line in Tung Chung to Ngong Ping. It becomes very apparent the Buddha on the top of a hill is more than simply “large”. The Big Buddha statue itself is over 26 metres (86 feet) tall, and with the throne and pedestal base, the entire structure stands a total of 34 metres (112 feet) tall. the “Tian Tan Big Buddha” (天壇大佛) faces north to the original inspiration of the Tian Tan (Temple of Heaven) in Beijing. With almost 10 years of planning and 3 years of construction with the auspices of the neighbouring Po Lin Buddhist monastery, the opening ceremony occurred on 29 December 1993.

I made the image on 5 Jun 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/100-sec, f/8, ISO100, and 28mm focal length (45mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-m6b.

Danube, Donau, Christian Stemper, Wien Tourismus

My Vienna: 30 days of spring from the 6

Danube morning: photo by Christian Stemper, courtesy of Wien Tourismus (no.50401).

With this entry’s appearance, I’m on the other side of the world, 8500 kilometres away.

I dashed in and out of Vienna a handful of times between 2001 and 2003 when I lived in Heidelberg; but I have no visual records of that period in time. I’ve returned to Austria’s capital city for the first time since 2018. I wondered then how a stay in the Mariahilf, the city’s 6th district, would go.

That time is now, because I’m spending a month in the 6.

To minimize weight, I’m experimenting:
•   32-L backpack as the 1 and only piece of (carry-on) luggage, and
•   “no bricks no heavy glass”, but a compact mirrorless Fuji X70 camera.

The apartment location and neighbourhood are ideal. I’m within easy reach of the city’s U-Bahn, surrounded by the U3, U4, and U6 metro lines. I’ve already located a drugstore and several grocery stores, all inside a trivial 0.5 km (0.3 mi) walk. I’ve also been told I’ll have many Viennese coffees and several meals in the area.

There’s a lot to pursue, see, and do; and there’s no time to waste.

( Click here for more )

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, eighteen

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

27 April 2012.

It’s a beautiful warm sunny spring day in Baltimore, Maryland, and I’m on a stroll around the city’s waterfront. Near the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse at Pier 5, this view southeast reaches across the Patapsco River to the big 1951 neon sign for the Domino Sugar company; the factory building is an active refinery facility continuing to produce sugar.

In 2021, the company replaced the deteriorating neon sign with an LED-sign which was relit for the July national holiday.

I made the image above on 27 Apr 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/250-sec, f/8, ISO100, and 55mm focal length (88mm full-frame equivalent). My thanks to MB and MK for making my visit to Baltimore possible. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-lW6.

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