If there were an award for the most improbable place to find a Brettljause, Käpt’n Otto would be a serious contender. Despite being there for three generations (according to a poster on its wall), this restaurant is not much more than a glorified Würstelstand with a terrace (which was closed today). It is also self-service, and one has to place and pick up the orders from a small window facing a basic “garden,” consisting of several wooden tables and benches. The Danube is just a few meters away, and the view on the Donauinsel is passable, but sitting under a bridge with cars driving over your head is somehow unsettling.
This location is strategically advantageous, however, because of the vicinity of the cruise ships’ stops and the fact that the cycling path towards Klosterneuburg and Tulln starts here. Therefore, the main clients must be cyclists and tourists in a hurry, although today the tables were mainly occupied by local Stammgäste, mostly sitting alone and, honestly, not looking completely normal.
After seeing the Brettljause on the menu, my second surprise was to realize that it was served on a proper and rather impressive wooden plank. That is where the surprises ended, however, for the Brettljause was as simple and bad as I had expected. While the two spreads (an herby one and a Liptauer) were OK, the sausages and the cheese were of very basic supermarket quality and not particularly fresh.
The knife and the fork, together with a napkin, came in a paper envelope with the restaurant’s stamp on it and the Corona-appropriate message “Be Save” [sic]. For cyclists, Otto could be a nice and convenient place to stop for a quick drink and a snack, but as far as its Brettljause is concerned, the message should have said “Beware” instead.