First, there was Wein und Co, the wine store chain. Then they put a few tables in one of their shops, turning it into a mini-bar for those who like to have a glass of wine after work on their way home. Now, they have a “flagship store” in the very center of Vienna, one minute walk from the St. Stephens cathedral, sporting, in addition to a bar, a spacious, if a bit plain restaurant with a Brettljause on the menu.
The first thing the waiter did was to politely ask me to leave my “normal” table and move to the bar because my Brettljause was not “proper food” – despite the fact that only one other table was occupied that late Sunday evening and that my Jause cost hefty 15 Euro. The wine was expensive, too: 10 Euro for a quarter of a liter for the cheapest (though admittedly good) brand.
And when the Brettljause arrived, the first few bites convinced me that Wein und Co wanted me to drink as much of their expensive wine as possible. Absolutely every detail in their rather sophisticated and attractive looking dish was planned with the intention of inducing extreme thirst. It featured two types of thinly sliced and very salty hard sausages, including one with pepper crust, some salami, a fat but very tasty Speck, salty Geselchtes, goose (!) Grammelschmalz and plenty of thickly cut cheese with a slightly bitter taste. To make sure I drank even more, all that was served with some of the most unusual pickles I’ve ever tried: radish and carrots, pickled to the point of losing all their natural taste and turning into something new and great instead.
During the night that followed, I must have drunk at least a liter and a half of mineral water, waking up every half an hour to take another sip. Yet I have to admit that this was one of the better Brettljausen I have experienced, and definitely one of the top ones in Vienna. As a bonus, it made me learn a new word: dipsetic.