Mr Artner (or possibly Ms Artner) has two restaurants in Vienna specializing on rather excellent steaks. This Heuriger in a difficult-to-reach (without a car, that is) village of Höflein must be where it all began. Although open just for a few weeks a year, this place seems to be very popular, since at the time of opening all the tables were reserved (fortunately for a much later time) and within half an hour the garden was full of people.
The menu offers no steaks whatsoever, but a good mix of meat and cheese specialties, including a Brettljause. It’s filling without being big – and at less than 6 Euro I did not expect it to be – but it’s nicely arranged and features those small details that distinguish a good Jause from a mediocre one. For example, it has a green onion in it – a welcome addition and so far unique in Lower Austria. The mustard comes in a glass and is slightly stronger than the standard stuff served elsewhere. The ham-bacon (I can’t think of a translation for Schinkenspeck) is served as a thick piece. Finally, the bread is super-fresh and is a joy to eat by itself.
On a slightly negative side, the blood sausage lacked any flavor, the salty “house sausage” was served as four tiny round slices and was thus impossible to really appreciate, and the Schweinsbraten were subject to the small bones problem (really small ones fortunately).
With this Heuriger being open so seldom, it is a shame to miss it. The service is great, the garden is cozy, and the wines are superb – the strangely named Massive a. especially is worth every cent of its very high price. The only trouble was that today someone up the street had a serious problem with the canalization, so the entire street stank of toilet. Unfortunately quite a bit of the smell had penetrated the garden as well, spoiling the otherwise very satisfactory experience.