When one hears that something is located “in the middle of nowhere,” one somehow immediately imagines infinite steppes, uninhabited taiga or distant mountain ranges. None of them exist in Austria, of course. There are mountains, true, and there are even relatively isolated huts on them, but one has to search hard to find a hut not reachable within five hours of hiking from the nearest bus stop.
The real Austrian “middle of nowhere” is closer than you think. Take the village of Großgöttfritz, for example. Located in the middle of the Waldviertel area of the Lower Austria, it is not especially remote, and with about 1,000 inhabitants not particularly small. It is just that almost no one has heard about it and even fewer care about it. It is not surprising that Maier Heuriger advertises on billboards as far as 30 kilometers away – nobody would be able to find it otherwise.
Looking back, I am grateful for these advertisements, because thanks to them I enjoyed one of the best Brettljausen of the year and quite certainly the best in Waldviertel. To start with, it was huge. The “main” meats – the Schweinsbraten, the Geselchtes and the Kümmebraten – were served as at least five slices each, and on top of them were small slices of Rohwurst, salami and Blunzen, as well as some Liptauer and cheese. I struggled to finish all of them, though I arrived at the Heuriger feeling very hungry.
Boring cheese aside (Lower Austria is not a cheese country), all the ingredients were top class. All of them were quite obviously locally produced, their flavors were strong, and what is important, all different. When you are a Heuriger, not having a supermarket in the vicinity can clearly be an advantage.
The best part of the Brettljause was the one least visible on the photo – the thin slices of Mangalitza Lardo. There are not many places serving this smoked fat (the last one I tried was in the Southern Styria), and it is absolutely delicious, practically melting in your mouth.
As I was eating, at least three people working at the Heuriger came to ask if I liked my dish. It was as if they were uncertain themselves or simply wondering what I was doing in their village. In fact, if there is anything Großgöttfritz should be famous for, it is Maier Heuriger and its fantastic Brettljause.