Today will go down in history as the day I ate at Rumpler. It took me almost five years to achieve this. Of course, it’s not that I have been trying every day, but for a Heuriger that has a thousand signs pointing towards it, Rumpler is incredibly hard to find open. As I am writing it, it seems to be open from Thursday to Sunday in May and June and then in August and September, but if you want my advice, don’t try it unless it’s a weekend and the weather is super-nice. If you want an even better advice, don’t bother trying it at all, but more about it later.
In contrast to the Althammerhof just a kilometer away, Rumpler does not seem to attract any tourists or hikers. It’s basically a farm (Rumpler obviously being the top farmer of the area, with the street called after him) and its only visitors are the locals, who spend all the time sharing a table with the owners and chatting to them in the incomprehensible local dialect.
There was no menu as such, but they know what a Brettljause is, if you ask for it. Not that it’s any good. The number of ingredients is impressive, and although there is no cheese, the sheer variety of stuff on the board – several types of Speck, a Geselchtes, a liver spread, some salami, a blood sausage, a pork jelly and so on and so forth – creates a certain expectation that Rumpler then astonishingly manages not to meet. Put it simply, everything tastes the same. I had to pause eating and wait for the next mug of Most to be delivered because the food was so dead boring. At one moment I was lucky to find a bit of fiery horseradish, but for the rest of the time, it was all about chewing one piece of a tasteless sausage on a stale bread after another.
Fortunately, the owners have a dog, who kindly agreed to help me in my plight (by coming to my table and looking at me with its sad, sad eyes) and ate a third of the dish.
It’s really the first time that I found something so varied and so authentic so bad. (The meats must have come from Rumpler’s own production because I cannot see anyone seriously buying this stuff at a supermarket.) Well, at least I don’t need to look for this Heuriger’s opening times again.