Each time I think I have seen and tried every Brettljause in Vienna worth seeing and trying, the Austrian capital manages to surprise me again. Weinhandwerk is one of the strangest Heurigers in the city, and is currently one of the top recommendations I can give to anyone looking for something different.
Weinhandwerk’s Bergbauernteller is essentially a Marende, consisting of the three classic ingredients of that South Tyrolean Jause: sausage, Speck and mountain cheese. It took me some time to recognize that fact, but when the owner told me he was from the municipality of Lana in South Tyrol, everything fell into place.
The good news is, whereas a typical Marende is generally a very basic and dull affair, surviving on the quality of the Speck alone (and the tooth-breaking Schüttelbrot, once you get used to it), Weinhandwerk’s creation is anything but boring. The wild boar sausage is OK without being special, the Speck is great, the cheese has taste, but mainly the plate impresses by the Weinhandwerk’s specialty: wild herbs. The plate is full of strange berries, leaves and petals (there are more in the highly recommended salad), and each of them, when combined with a sausage or the cheese change their taste completely, but always in a very unexpected and pleasant way.
The location of the Heuriger – half-way up the Bisamberg and a few minutes’ walk from the end of the Stammersdorfer Kellergasse – is very green and quiet, surrounded by a garden where most of the herbs must come from. It also appears to attract a bit “alternative” artistic and intellectual clientele, in part, perhaps, because of its higher-than-average prices, especially when it comes to wine. Still, the experience is worth every Euro, the cook is obviously an expert at his job, and there are quite a few other dishes to try, including a cheese plate and – unless my eyes played a trick on me – a real Schüttelbrot! To be visited again soon.
Update from 2018-05-20. Coming back almost two years later does not really count as “visiting soon,” but it was nice to see that the little Heuriger still exists and prospers. This time I tried a cheese plate and a Räucherplatte (“smoked stuff plate”), and want to give you a word of warning. Do not think it is a Brettljause, a Marende or anything even vaguely similar. It is a collection of some rather strange lightly smoked meats with a smoked fish in the middle of it. Yes, you have read it correctly: a fish. The result is… interesting (though slightly overpriced), but if your tastes are like mine, I would recommend sticking to the “Bergbauernteller.”