Hiking and a good Brettljause normally go hand in hand. According to this logic, Leoben would not be the first choice for a hungry Brettljause-seeker. It won’t even be in the top 10%. Leoben is a distant (from Vienna, that is), industrial and (Leobeners forgive me) a rather boring town, which I always thought of as a place to change to a different train or a bus to go to much nicer places. There are some hills nearby and a mountain called Mugel (too distant for a comfortable one-day trip, in my opinion), but none of these look too exciting. Until you discover the Pampichler-Warte’s Brettljause, that is.
As you can see from the ratings, here we are dealing with a serious contender to the Brettljause throne – not quite there with the very best, but damn close. It features three (!) types of cheese: a tasteless one, a good old Dachsteiner and a tasty semi-transparent one, served as a thick slice and making you think of cows each time you bite off it. There are also thick slices of Schweinsbraten and Geselchtes, plus some smoked ham, Verhackertes (tasting strongly of Speck) and a piece of a salty house-sausage. Add to this two spreads (a Liptauer and a green pumpkin one), a piece of an egg, some salty cucumbers and a very strong horseradish, and you have some very serious stuff to digest. It also came with a slice of bread, which, while rather big, was hardly sufficient to spread the spreads on. Of course, extra bread is available upon request.
The Gasthaus’s location is nicer than I have expected, and despite the gloomy weather I’ve spent eating the Brettljause in the lovely garden outside. True, it was cold (quite freezing at the end), but the inside of the restaurant was quite small and had a distinct smell, which one would usually call the smell of home-cooking. Why it would be called like that I don’t know, however, because at home anyone sane would immediately open all the windows and shout at whoever was doing the cooking. I can try to be more specific, but I am afraid to ruin this deservingly positive review. Basically, if the weather allows you to sit outside, go to Leoben, walk to the Pampichler-Warte and enjoy the scenery, the super-friendly service and one of the best Brettljausen this side of the Tauern.