For the last three days I was walking around Vögele every evening, looking inside and finding no spare tables (except for yesterday when the place was closed). The reason for this was that Vögele had been the only restaurant I had researched before travelling to Bozen, and I just could not leave the city without trying their Brettljause.
I felt lucky when through the window I saw a couple who were paying and preparing to leave, so I immediately jumped in (in retrospective, I should have probably researched a bit more and realized that Vögele had several rooms located on several floors). It was the second best decision I made today; the first was going to the Seiser Alm. Vögele’s Wirtshaus Brettl was not only highly original; it also restored my trust in South Tyrolean cold-cut cuisine.
The whole dish was constructed by someone with quite an imagination. It was served with three slices of warm bread stuffed with walnuts. It also contained two spreads, one of which was a strange reddish mix of horseradish with berries (cranberries, possibly), and the other best described as “cow’s ass” cheese with fried onions on the top. Both were fantastic.
In a true Marende fashion, there were Speck, sausage and cheese, but with a big difference: each of these ingredients came in two different sorts. One of the Specks was drier and saltier than the other; one of the cheeses had a slightly fruity taste (maybe coming from the crust), and the Kaminwurzen-replacements were a proper Italian salami (just thinner than usual) and a rather typical salty Tyrolean sausage, again much less hard than a Kaminwurzen. The strangest ingredients, however, came in the form of Ruccola (Arugula), a crunchy red cabbage, which I took for red beet at first and two warm breaded squares, which were probably filled with cheese but were so thin that I cannot say for sure. Even the picked cucumber tasted special, as if Vögele had prepared it itself instead of buying it in a can.
I am surprised somehow, as I had expected Vögele to be a tourist magnet rather than an authentic and creative Tyrolean restaurant. However, having tried their Brettl, looked at the other dishes and noticed that most of the customers were locals (predominantly Italian-speaking), I can only conclude that Vögele is indeed one of the best restaurants one can visit in Bozen. South Tyrol is not only about boring Marenden, after all.