Super Speck

Location:Kogler Speckstube
Address:Haselsberg 4 - I-39034 Toblach (BZ), Italy
Status:Open (last checked on 22 September 2016)
Eaten:Speckbrettl, pork filet wrapped in Speck and baked veal with vegetables, mashed and baked potatoes, ice cream with mint and berries, a beer (Forst), two ¼ red wine, an espresso, a grappa

I am not going to rate this. If I had to, this “Brettljause” would have received a very good rating for the quality of the Speck, a very low rating for the variety and the overall rating so high that it would have screwed up the statistics for years to come.

The point is, the Brettljause’s rating is irrelevant in this case. I might have come to this tiny hut attracted by its name (and a bit by the Internet reviews), but I left it feeling that I have not eaten so well for a very very long time.

The Speckbrettl was provided as a small starter, and it was small indeed: just three or four types of Speck, each served as three or four thin slices. If you ask, they can give you a larger serving, but I doubt it would be more varied. Still, each of the Speck types has a very distinct taste and is extremely good; so good, that I was seriously considering ordering a second plate straight away.

In a way it’s good that I did not, because what followed was a meal that would have been welcome in the best restaurants of Vienna and would have cost me at least three times as much. It’s absolutely top quality stuff, and their cook (Gerhard, according to the website) is God.

The restaurant itself is unbelievable. It’s located on a hill a couple of kilometers from the centre of Toblach and occupies the bottom floor of a house renting out holiday apartments, some 50 meters from a farm with smelly cows. There are only six tables inside, plus a bar with two stools. The entire personnel consist of the waiter/barman and the cook, and there is no printed menu: the waiter simply tells you what dishes are available today (there are just a few) and you choose what you want. The clientele is a mix of locals and what look like “knowledgeable” tourists, but it is clear that the Stube does not suffer from the lack of customers: even on this Thursday evening out-of-season all the tables were occupied.

Having finished the meal and enjoyed the final espresso of true Italian quality, I walked back to Toblach for 20 minutes in nearly complete darkness, with only a million stars providing a bit of light. This visit to the Speckstube was worth the entire 7-hour-plus train journey from Vienna. Savor this gem, while it lasts.


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