For many people, the flavor of Vienna means elegant cakes, like the city's beloved sachertorte, or a fancy pastry from the Demel bakery, or hearty meats like tafelspitz—boiled beef served with its vegetable-infused broth, creamed spinach, browned potatoes, and apple-horseradish and cream-chive sauces. I couldn't afford such extravagances then, but even my modest tastes of Vienna were memorable—and, like so much of Vienna's food, reflected the influences of the lands the city once ruled. With guidance from Ernst and Branka, I ate German-style sausages; roasted chestnuts on the way to class; and, at their house, crunchy backhendl (bread-crumbed fried chicken). Every now and then I'd splurge at a gasthaus, a combination pub and cafe, where I'd fuel up on semmelknodl (bread dumplings, a Czechoslovakian specialty) and goulash, a gift from Hungary. Vienna's most famous dish, wiener schnitzel (tender veal in bread crumbs), is actually a tweak on Italy's costoletta alla milanese, supposedly imported by an Austrian field marshal who was stationed in Italy in 1848. The real thing, served at places like Weibel's Wirtshaus, was often beyond my means, so I'd go to such hangouts as Schnitzelwirt to have tasty, inexpensive pork schnitzel.