The Wachau Valley in January could be a set for a post-apocalyptic zombie movie: empty streets, locked houses, rain, wind and closed Heurigers. Amon was a welcome exception, being the only open restaurant in Weissenkirchen – a town that normally has more Heurigers than people. Unsurprisingly, only a few locals were inside, the owners undistinguishable from the visitors. Most were quite drunk too, one heavily intoxicated guy demonstrating to everyone how difficult it is to put a wristwatch back on his wrist.
Inside, the Heuriger is very small and dark, but their Brettljause (called “Hauerjause” in the typical Weinviertel’s fashion) was unexpectedly good. There was no Speck or salami in it (again, typical for Weinviertel), but three or four types of ham, all with strong distinct flavors, and a Blutwurst. The three spreads included a liver-y one (fortunately not tasting too strong of liver), a spicy paprika one, and a white creamy one – all clearly home-made. A few slices of plain cheese did not add much, but the eggs, fresh bread, an unusually spicy Pfefferoni, strong horseradish and a huge picked cucumber contributed to an interesting and filling – but not overly filling – dish.
Most surprisingly, the Jause cost me almost nothing – just over ten Euros including half a liter of wine (tips excluded). I knew that wine in Wachau was extremely cheap when bought from the producers; now I see that the same can be applied to Brettljause. The opposite must be true, too: cheap Brettljausen have a good chance to be non-industrial. In April, when Wachau wakes up, I’ll be back.