For whatever reason, I really like Innsbruck. Despite having a historical center that one can explore in under five minutes, overly touristic and not very good restaurants and a beautiful, but a “been there, seen it all” kind of a mountain, it has a certain charm that makes me want to come back. Most likely, it’s the way that the light from the two cable car stations stand out against the darkness of the Nordkette at night. It’s mesmerizing.
Last time I was in Innsbruck right after Christmas, and left with one unfinished business: I missed the chance of visiting the Speckeria, the tiny Speck shop in the very center of the city, meters away from the Golden Roof. Now, there are plenty of places to buy Speck in Innsbruck, including the railway station, but all of it comes from Handl, the most known producer. The Speck of the Speckeria, on the other hand, is the produce of the shop’s owner, the Neuböck family. One can buy different Speck types there, one can order a Speck sandwich for takeaway, or one can sit at one of the small tables inside or outside the shop and try the Jausenplatte for one or more persons.
I am not going to bore you with the list of meat types that ended up on my plate, although the owner has listed them all when delivering the dish to my table just outside the entrance. You can find quite a lot of information on Speckeria’s website, though it does not mention that the shop also sells game meat. I had some deer ham as part of the Jause, and it was one of the best parts. There are a few salami types, too – I’ve got some Truffle salami, for example.
No doubt, the Speck is good. However – and I hear dozens of TripAdvisor reviewers disagreeing now – a visit to the Speckeria is a deadly shallow experience. It’s almost pure self-service, the drinks are in bottles and need to be picked up from a fridge, and the hordes of tourists passing by make it very hard to appreciate the meats’ quality. The Jausenplatte is a nice introduction to Tyrolean Speck (and a bit of Bergkäse), but one cannot stop thinking that the real purpose of the Jause is to persuade the tourists to buy more of the Speck – nicely packaged in plastic – to take home as a souvenir. The Jausenplatte is too small, hugely overpriced and badly decorated (a small slice of a salty cucumber, a Pfefferoni and a tiny bit of tasteless horseradish do not count).
The same Jause served in a hut on the top of a mountain with some real beer and side dishes would have tasted differently. The way it is, the Speckeria is little more than a tourist magnet. Sorry.