I don’t have anything against bio stuff. If however I were to name something that would make me choose bio over non-bio, I would come up with two criteria: 1) there is a way to make a bio product from an animal without killing or even hurting it and 2) the taste of a bio-thing is much better. Since 1) is obviously impossible (referring to meat anyway), 2) for me remains the main benchmark. All the stories about “the little piggies who at least had had a nice life before they were slaughtered” leave me cold as cold Schweinsbraten.
“Zum Gschupftn Ferdl” proudly calls itself the first fully certified bio Heuriger in Vienna, and frankly, I don’t give a damn as long as the Brettljause is fine. And I can’t complain: looking at it in an unbiased way, it’s a pretty good Jause by Viennese standards, even a very good one. All the ingredients are totally non-industrial: nothing has a supermarket-y taste, or at least of a coming-in-a-plastic type of supermarket food. The meat half contains some tasty Speck (not much of it, unfortunately), blood sausage (acceptably tasteless) and a salty Hauswurst (good, but could have been better uncut and in greater quantity). The cheese half is represented by three types, including two soft ones. None of the three has a very strong taste, but all three have some taste, making this Jause something of an exception. The two “bio-spreads” include a rather standard, though creamier than usual Liptauer and a strange “potato cheese” that tastes, unsurprisingly, of potatoes. The side dishes, strangely, provide the most enjoyment: the mustard is homemade and brilliant, and the pickles and the radish are fresh (as much as pickles can possibly be). And there is a welcome half of an egg, too.
The bio label comes at a price: about 13 Euro for the “Verschwender,” which is the biggest Jause with meat included. There is also a vegetarian Jause and smaller Jausen, which must be really small, considering that even the “Verschwender” is just about filling. They also serve a 33-Euro “Millionaire Jause” with some special ham, cheese, liver spread and snail caviar. Were it not for the liver and the caviar, I would have even tried it.
Rating this Brettljause is not an easy task. For a Brettljause in the centre of Vienna, this is definitely an achievement, so 7 out of 10 is quite fair. On the other hand, I would have given 7 to something less bio but bigger and more varied, too. The restaurant itself is small and nice without being cozy, the bio wine I tried is unexceptional, and despite all the good intentions, at the end of the day it is a rip-off. For the real stuff one must still travel to Styria or to Mostviertel; this city-bio is a good concept, but concepts seldom make your stomach happy.