It’s nice to see that Josefstadt, Vienna’s 8th district, remains full of weird tiny restaurants. They open, they close, new ones open in their place, and no one really knows why they succeed, fail or exist.
The strangely named Avalon Kultur is a case in point. Food-wise, it advertises itself as serving products from the Lower Austria’s region of Waldviertel, but considering that the food is very basic and is served between 18:00 and 22:00 only, it is quite obvious that the kitchen plays a second role to the establishment’s main purpose: literary events, small cabaret performances, and so on.
Of course, culturally insensitive as I am, the only reason for my visit was to try Avalon’s Brettljause. Fortunately, I must have arrived on a non-event day, because no one tried to read me books while I concentrated on the cheese, Speck, Geselchtes and Schmalz.
The Brettljause looked very simple and tasted likewise. The cheese was totally boring, but the two meats were quite satisfying to eat, though I would not be able to say whether they came from Waldviertel or from a nearby supermarket. The Schmalz was the ingredient I most looked forward to, as it was quite nicely presented and looked as if it could be something special. The look was deceiving, unfortunately, as the Schmalz did not have any particular taste, resembling butter more than fat. Besides, it was swimming in a bitter brown sauce, which was actually quite unpleasant.
And that is the problem with many Josefstadt’s weird tiny restaurants: they are cool, they look interesting and inviting, and one truly wishes they continue to live and prosper, but there is hardly anything about the food they serve that would encourage one to try the same restaurant twice.