I’ll say the following upfront: I’ve been a fan of the Propeller ever since Leonhard introduced me to it on one of my visits to Graz before I even considered studying here.
The Propeller is a restaurant whose main target group are students - a fact that can easily be guessed by its location near the Karl Franzens University. It’s not your ordinary dive bar however. The Propeller has something that quite a lot of student’s bars miss: class. Make no mistake, you’re not amongst the high society there nor are you in some elitist club. You’re in a laid back restaurant that manages to combine class, good food and a relaxing atmosphere into an ambiance that I enjoy quite a lot.
Leonhard once called it “an uptown student’s restaurant” 1 which I think is a pretty accurate description. It’s perfectly fine to show up there with your friends, your family or your date. I can pretty much say that everyone I’ve dragged there has had a good, lasting impression.
For example when my father was in town for a weekend he had dinner with me on the first day there and was positively surprised - I get the feeling that student’s restaurants are said not to be particularly great most of the time. The second day of his visit was spent with his wife and some friends of hers eating at a hotel restaurant if I remember that correctly. According to him the food at the hotel was no match for the Propeller.
I’ve been there many, many times and there has only been one occasion when I wasn’t satisfied. While I can generally recommend their “Create your own wok” thing I’d advise you to stay off the shrimps. Not that they aren’t delicious. It’s just my humble opinion that 3 tiny shrimps for 3€ are not really a good deal.
Anyway. Most of my visits were for their excellent “Schuberpfandl”. This highly recommendable dish consists of pork fillet, Spätzle, mushrooms and cream sauce and is served in a pan. I am particularly fond of the Spätzle-cream sauce combination. Also the amount of food in the pan is exactly right for my appetite.
Recently I’ve been there with Matthias for one of their specials. The Indian weeks didn’t only sound great but also made for an astoundingly refreshing change from the dishes I usually order there.
While I had the Chicken a la Madrocas 2 - marinated with a Madrocas curry spice mix and aromatic rice - Matthias ordered the Tandoori Chicken with rice. We generally agree that the rice was superb and the meat very tasty. Another thing that’s important to mention is the quite short time it took for the food to arrive - another positivum. While I didn’t find the lack of additional side dishes like vegetables or a creamy sauce that bad, Matthias seems to think that the Tandoori Chicken is not usually served this way. On the other hand we both agree again that for a theme weeks offering the whole thing was fine.
You may want to check out their website for some pictures of the location - If you’re on a device without Flash, you’re not missing anything short of an annoying animated text. I was also quite sad that the link for a newsletter is not working. When clicking I’m only presented with a blank page.
I also want to add that since the last but one time I was there they seem to have set up separate smoker and non-smoker areas which is a huge plus.
One more thing: I’ve heard a lot about their lunch buffet which seems to offer a good variety of dishes and is reasonably priced. However I’ve only once made it there in time for the buffet in a about two and a half years of studying in Graz. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the mood for something big that time and went with a salad.
Should you visit this place: Yes.
Propeller is part 5 of Cuisine Notes: