Of all the Gebäcks that Austrian Heurige offer with their Brettljausen, the Salzstange is my firm favorite. Particularly when served fresh and still warm, this long roll with lumps of salt on its crust is good enough to be enjoyed by itself and is a perfect company to various cold spreads. Unfortunately, with the lumps of salt comes a danger: should any of them hit a wrong spot on your tooth, pain ensues, and this stupid salt seems to repeatedly find vulnerable places on your teeth that you didn’t even know existed. In my case, the very first bite split one of my teeth in half. OK, perhaps it simply removed an old and big filling, but the way I currently feel it with my tongue, a half of the tooth is gone.
As you can imagine, this was not a perfect way to start with a Brettljause, especially the one I had been quite looking forward too. The menu of Humer left me choosing among different kinds of platters, from the most expensive selection of game cold cuts, to a rustic plate of thickly cut meats, to a delicious-looking cheese plate. Finally, I went for the most standard Hauerjause, keeping in mind to return soon to try all the other specialties.
The dish I received looked colorful and even joyful, and if not for that tooth-breaking first bite, I am sure I would have enjoyed it thoroughly. The Schweinsbraten with the crunchy golden crust looked particularly appetizing and didn’t disappoint. I also loved the small slices of spicy fat speck. More of the same would have been too fat to eat, but those two slices were tantalizingly good. On the other hand, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Verhackertes or whatever that meaty spread was, for it had very little flavor. The second pinkish creamy spread, probably an overly liquid Liptauer, was better. The ham and the thinly cut Speck were OK but not impressive, and a couple of salami slices looked almost out of place, as if stuck between the other ingredients as an afterthought.
Looking at the dishes the people at the neighboring tables were getting, I felt a bit stupid with my overly conservative choice. In different circumstances, I might have considered ordering more wine and some smoked spare ribs, but this time I was too traumatized by my tooth misadventure to experiment. Nevertheless, Humer comes out as a recommended place with excellent wines and creative cold cuts to try.