You will not find Murau in the list of Austrian top 10 destinations. I can bet it’s not in the top 100 either. Actually, the only reasons you may want to visit it are for some good skiing in winter (not that I know anything about skiing, but the Kreischberg cable cars look nice) and as a starting point for hiking in the Sölktal valley. Otherwise, it’s a place to spend one weekend in, take a look at the nearby pond, climb the town’s “house mountain” Frauenberg and forget for the rest of your life.
If you go up Frauenberg, there is no way you can miss Murauer Hütte. It’s one hour away from the summit and is actually easily reachable by car, if you are particularly lazy. Due to a few wrong turns and a missed train from the village where I stayed, I reached the hut having walked almost 20 kilometers, so I decided to forget about the summit and quench my thirst instead. Somehow I didn’t feel like drinking beer, so I went for the hut’s special Almspritzer, a mix of Most (apple cider), apple juice and soda water, which turned out to be the perfect choice. Two liters later, I have fully restored my water balance and felt only slightly pissed.
Heavy food must have helped, too. The Brettljause may look quite light on the picture, but it’s only because most of the thick slices of cheeses and meats are hidden under the onion. In addition to the clearly visible Hauswurst and cheese, there were two slices of different Specks, a slice of Schweinsbraten and two additional slices of cheese. The small bowl on the side confused me at first, for its liquid content didn’t resemble Verhackertes or Schmalz. In truth, it contained cold juice or sauce or soup or gravy – call it whatever you like – that must have been left after cooking the Schweinsbraten. Whatever it was, it was perfect for dipping the Schweinsbraten into. It’s the first time I encounter this stuff, and I hope other restaurants follow the example. The Schweinsbraten was great by themselves, but with the “soup,” it was twice as good.
I liked the Speck too, especially the one that was gently spiced with herbs. Like any tough and thickly cut Speck, however, it required intelligent cutting and slow chewing – certainly not a dish to enjoy in a hurry. As a slight disappointment, the three cheeses were very same-y, only one of them having anything resembling a strong(ish) taste.
Murauer Hütte didn’t save on the side dishes. Two huge picked cucumbers were included, which is almost unheard of. A whole egg was present, too. Recently I’ve always been ordering small salads together with my Brettljausen, but in this case, the “greens” provided by default were almost sufficient.
If you look closely, Murauer Hütte’s Brettljause is quite basic, and that’s why my final rating is above average but not exceptional. Don’t take this as a suggestion to dismiss this location. If you are staying in Murau or simply passing by, trying this Brettljause may be the highlight of your visit.