Of Snow and Fireplaces

Address:Windischhütte 30, 3400 Klosterneuburg
Status:Open (last checked on 26 January 2019)
Eaten:"Bauernjause," 1/2 and 1/3 beer (Stiegl)

According to the weather forecast, today was supposed to be an extremely windy, rainy and unpleasant day. The forecast was wrong: today was extremely windy, snowy and unpleasant. At least that was what I experienced while hiking up the hill from the railway station, through a small gorge, past a couple of villages with a few quite expensive-looking houses and finally reaching the Windischhütte. Having walked past it many years ago (in my pre-Supergoose life), I could never determine if it offered a Brettljause by just looking at its highly uninformative website. However, the thought that it might have one had never left me, and, as it turned out, my suspicion was right.

Thanks to the weather conditions and the late hour, the hut was nearly empty when I arrived, with one table occupied by a couple who left shortly afterwards, and another table taken by a small group of locals who looked as if they had spent every evening at the hut for the past twenty years. There was also a huge and hairy collie dog, which immediately approached me to inquire whether I was willing to share my Brettljause, and – being a very smart dog – quickly left disappointed. There was absolutely no way I would share that Jause with anyone, so good it looked and tasted.

Although the “Bauernjause,” as they call it, was cheese-free, the quality of the meats compensated for that omission. It was easy to believe that they came from a farm (as the menu claimed) and not from a supermarket; the simple details like the great crunchy skin and the Stelze-like flavor of one of the meats is the evidence to that. The Schweinsbraten, the two types of Speck and even the black pudding were non-industrial and tasty, too, and the mustard was a completely acceptable replacement for butter, when spread over the fresh bread and combined with the fiery horseradish. And there was an egg, too – a whole hard-boiled egg. Such a simple thing, but amazing how many restaurants are too stingy to serve you one.

The only problem I had was the lack of time: as the landscape outside of the window grew darker, I started to seriously worry whether I would be able to find my way to Klosterneuburg, my intended destination. Otherwise I would have happily stayed at Windischhütte for another hour, reading and enjoying the warm fireplace just behind my back.

Just for the record, walking from Windischhütte to Klosterneuburg in winter is a rather stupid idea, which will make your legs hurt a lot the day after.




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