“What starts well must end well,” says the proverb that I came up with a few seconds ago. My visit to Bolzano (Bozen) started with a Brettljause at a rather predictable beer place in the city center. Today I conclude my stay with a dinner at a hotel overlooking the city and paying at least twice as much as anyone would consider reasonable in my situation.
Eberle is a great place. I wish I could be there in summer or at least in the middle of a day and enjoy the great view over Bolzano from the restaurant’s terrace, with the Ritten cable cars floating over my head and bats flying around haphazardly. Today I was stuck in the restaurant room, with four Australians (talking almost as stupidly as if they were Americans), a large group of Germans (or Austrians) and a couple of German-speaking “permanent customers” enjoying their solitude at separate tables.
It was a very good Brettljause indeed, being quite far from a Marende, the fact I have recently learned to appreciate. Speck was there, of course (cut thinly and thus very tasty), as was Kaminwurzen (forgettable, but at least coming in small quantities). Better, though, was the second type of Speck (fatter and less dry), a few slices of a soft(ish) Tyrolean sausage, some ham, and five (and I wish I could scream: FIVE!!!) types of cheese. It could have been a tastier cheese, or at least a more varied cheese, but let’s face it: five sorts of cheese is a commendable achievement.
A few other observations, with no intention of minimizing this Brettlause’s merits: First, the South Tyrol seems not to know horseradish in its natural form. Here, again, we are dealing with a creamy spread, which could have easily been replaced with some butter and fresh horseradish. Second – and this referring to the salad available from the buffet – South Tyroleans have no clue how to make a potato salad, or any kind of salad, essentially. Their potato salad consisted of nothing but boiled and cooled potatoes cut into small pieces. The rest was more or less green salad, except for the Sulz (pork jelly), which has really saved my day. Third, the waiters have totally forgotten to bring the bread for my Brettl, the only bread available to me being the leftover from the obligatory “cover charge” starter (mashed capers – very good, actually).
Turning back to the positive side, the Blaterle (the restaurant’s own white wine) is highly enjoyable, as is the Feld (the more expensive Merlot/Cabernet combination, especially with one glass on the house). The espresso once again proves, stronger than any other argument, that the South Tyrol is part of Italy. Finally, the location is to die for; if I ever end up in Bozen again, I have to take the effort of walking the whole of the St. Oswald’s Promenade from the northern part of the city to St. Magdalena.
Be prepared to spend a lot of money at Eberle, but whatever you take, you’ll find the expenditure totally justified.