Of all the eateries in and around Abtenau, the tourist brochures single out Gsengalm as the most authentic one. They stress that the products come from the hut’s own farm, which – as it turned out – is located quite far from the hut itself. Like, in a different village. Still, it’s probably for the better, since otherwise I would have been eating cheese, beef, chicken, and possibly a bit of a tabby kitten and Golden Retriever.
According to the hiking map, this is one of the most distant huts (undoubtedly, adding to its authenticity), but having reached the top station of the cable car at 9:30 am, I was at Gsengalm at 11:15am, and that by walking very slowly. At the end, I even had to make an exception from my self-imposed rule of drinking no alcohol before midday, because, let’s face it, I am not going to revisit Abtenau any time soon.
The message from the girl delivering the Brettljause was, “If you need more bread, ask – I just don’t want it to get stale.” The first thought I had was, like, who do I need two slices of bread for such a tiny Jause? Really, even the wooden board was about half of the standard size. Not that I was especially hungry, having had a breakfast at the hotel only two hours earlier and already planning a second Brettljause later in the day. But truth be told, it was indeed an unusually small Brettljause, the kind that better be extremely good if it wanted to stand up to competition.
Well, extremely good it was not. The three types of cheese were good, I admit, their not having a strong taste (otherwise, what’s the point of covering a slice with pepper powder?) quite compensated by having at least some taste. A few thin slices of Speck and a few (very few) thicker slices of Schweinsbraten in some reddish sauce (no idea where it came from) concluded that Brettljause.
Oh, I forgot to mention the butter, which could have been the king of the show, had it been featured in quantities larger than what was sufficient for one-third of a single bread slice. Based on the tiny bit that I tasted I believe the butter originated from the owners’ own cow, but having to ration it to make it survive more than one bite did nothing to highlight its strengths.
Look, don’t think I am complaining. Gsengalm is a nice, friendly place, and the fact that it is so easily reachable is an advantage rather than a drawback. It may even be the most authentic hut near Abtenau. It is just that Abtenau is not a champion when it comes to Brettljause places.