On a Sunday evening Bozen is a dead city. All the shops are closed, most of the restaurants as well, and the streets are spookily empty. I can consider myself very lucky that Steidlerhof remained open, as I would not have had another chance to visit it in the next two days.
Not that the route to this Buschenschank was easy. If Grinzing and its Heurigers were located so high and at the end of such a steep path, I doubt that we would be talking about the Vienese Heuriger culture these days. But South Tyroleans seem to be a much tougher folk, not afraid of climbing a couple of hundreds of meters to get their quarters of wine (well, they drive mostly, the careless fools that they are).
Inside, Steidlerhof looks more like a Heuriger-Restaurant than a Buschenschank. There is no buffet, and their menu is quite extensive, featuring stuff like spare ribs (to be tried the next time) and a „bucher’s plate.“ Their self-describing „Speck, sausage and cheese plate“ is very much a Marende-thing when it comes to the number of ingredients, but quite a different animal once put in the mouth. The Speck is cut amazingly thinly – so thinly that the slices are almost transparent. It is also the absolutely right way to deal with Speck, as its taste really comes out. The „sausage“ is the replacement for the Kaminwurzen: while also cut into small slices, it is a real Italian sausage, with the distinctly piggy taste one may love or hate. I cannot say I like it, but the sausage was easy to chew, and I got the impression of eating something of a rather high quality. The cheese was of a soft variety, not particularly tasty, but going quite well with the fresh bread, especially since butter was sadly missing.
Even if the Brettljause itself was average (but getting better with every sip of their seriously good wine), it is the location of the Steidlerhof that really makes it a must-visit location of Bozen. The view over the night city is amazing, and there is something mesmerizing about an illuminated cable car going over your head every few minutes. Cable cars that are operational until almost 11 p.m. is something I still have to get used to.
And finally, the Brettljause was served on a pig-shaped board – the fact that is not obvious until one finishes eating. That alone is worth an extra point.