The End Time Jause

Location:Café Zweisam
Address:Kleine Stadtgutgasse 10, 1020 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 11 March 2020)
Eaten:"Tiroler Brettljause," three beers (Zwettler Zwickl)

With COVID-19 currently threatening to kill us all (and more), every Brettljause we eat can possibly be our last one. Actually, as I am writing this mere four days after my visit to Café Zweisam, all the restaurants in Austria are about to close, and the next occasion of having a bit of cheese and sausage with a lot of wine or beer in a nice hut in the Alps may be in a very very distant future. This site is going to become rather quiet in the upcoming weeks.

Thus, going to the Zweisam, one of the last unvisited Brettljause places in Vienna was not an option but a matter of a great urgency. Just a week ago, this small dark bar close to Praterstern was bursting with people celebrating the traditional carnival. This time, three-fourths of the tables were empty. The virus did have some positive side effects, at least for a short while.

The Brettljause at the Zweisam costs 14.5 euros, which is hell of a lot of money. To give it credit, it looked nice – either because of the horseradish, spread generously all over it, or because of the café’s dark ambiance, which made the dish appear mysterious. It stopped being mysterious the minute I tried all of its ingredients: the cheese, Speck, ham, salami, Liptauer and two small salty sausages that are called “Kletzerl.” That’s what is written on the packaging in which they are sold in almost every supermarket I know for less than 40 cents a sausage. The other ingredients were of good quality and nicely presented but ultimately quite boring – the same supermarket that they came from certainly had more interesting alternatives.

I quite liked the Liptauer, I must admit, but the only real highlight was the bread, which was incredibly fresh and tasty. That bread with some high-quality salty butter would have made me very happy. The Brettljause, on the other hand, did not. The café was in fact very cozy (annoying electronic music aside), and I was glad I could try its Jause before the global catastrophe, but I would definitely not like this Brettljause to be my final one. If anything, it’s a good reason to fight the stupid virus and carry on.

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