2015 was a record year for Brettljausen. With 69 of them tested and reviewed, not a single week passed without a Brettljause of some kind. It was an increase of more than 100% compared to 2014! A geographical expansion took place, too, with Brettljausen of all the Austrian States (except Vorarlberg) and South Tyrol sampled. Although some truly exceptional Brettljausen were found, the overall score did not change much, averaging to 5.4 out of 10 compared to 5.3 in 2014.
The competition for the top spot was fierce, resulting in nearly a photo finish and five winners instead of customary three.
The third place and the Bronze Brettl are shared between Jausenstation Bichlalm in North Tyrol and Wirtshaus Vögele in South Tyrol. Not only is Bichlalm’ Almerjause excellent, but the hut also provides a magnificent view over the Hintertux glacier and is a great place to hide from heavy thunderstorms. Wirtshaus Vögele, despite its city-center location, serves a wonderfully original Brettl, which is a breath of fresh air compared to most South Tyrolean Marenden.
The second place and the Silver Brettl go to Weinbau Denk in Lower Austria and Graukogelhütte in Salzburg. Denk was the first wine cellar visited along the Eichberger Kellergasse, and if the other cellars there offer similar quality, it is a paradise for Jause-lovers. If there is one thing that Denk should change, it is the name of the dish: “Gemischte Platte für 1 Person” sounds very unromantic. Graukogelhütte provided one of the most impressive slices of Speck on its Brettljause and did not let down with the other ingredients either.
Finally, the greatest honor and the Golden Brettl of 2015 go to the hard-to-find Gasthaus Plasch in Ferlach near Klagenfurt, Carinthia. Their “Brettljause mit Produkten aus eigener Landwirtschaft” is exactly what the name says: a brilliant mix of all kinds of meat coming from their own production. It is the only Brettljause from Carinthia we reviewed so far, and having it win the top award is quite an achievement.
Gasthaus Plasch also managed to beat the competition in the taste, authenticity and atmosphere/service categories. For variety, Eoryschenke in South Styria was the absolute champion. In terms of size, Magdalenenhof in Vienna turned out an unexpected winner. As for being good value for money, the super-cheap but super-good Brettljause at Mostschank Familie Luif in Burgenland gets the highest praise.
Finally, the worst Brettljause of the year was contested among the newcomer Jerusalem (Vienna), Uferhaus Staudigl (Lower Austria, just outside Vienna) and Heuriger Hamböck near Krems (Lower Austria). Jerusalem turned out to be the worst, if only by a couple of points, by proving that creativity can be evil.