Normally I start every Brettljause by eating the stuff I do not especially like: liver in any form followed by Blutwurst and jelly. In the case of Steinschaden, there was only Blutwurst, and at the end, it turned out to be the best meat available (especially once I had removed a bit of the forgotten skin).
In a way, this was my fault: I should have noticed that the menu strangely omitted mentioning a Brettljause (except one for two or more persons) and instead contained a number of cheese variations. I asked for a mixed meat-and-cheese Brettljause, however, and ended up with something rather strange.
Hardly any of the ingredients apart from the bread were homemade, and this is not surprising, Langenlois being a wine region, but nothing tasted industrial either. Good things first: both types of cheese – a smelly Bergkäse and some soft thickly cut one – were quite excellent, served with nuts and pumpkin seeds. The spread, possibly originally conceived as a Liptauer, was a stranger thing: too orange in color, as if containing more eggs than usual and not especially tasty.
The cold Schweinbraten came in two varieties, possibly unintentionally: a gray, more meaty one tasting too much of pig and a white fatty one still tasting of pig but in addition full of cartilage. The rather weak horseradish did nothing to improve its taste. The Speck turned out to be the greatest disappointment, however. It looked good but had obviously been smoked without even a bit of salt added. The result was something tasting like old socks (not that I’ve ever tried): very boring and with an aftertaste of an old wet cellar.
All this is a pity because at the end Steinschaden was a very nice place. Its wines are of excellent quality, very varied, and reasonably priced. The tiny Heuriger itself has a cozy fireplace and would be perfect to spend a couple of hours in with a good book. I can only recommend visiting it; just make sure you stay away from anything resembling meat.