The viewing tower on Pyramidenkogel near Klagenfurt is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of Carinthia, and it is understandable that restaurants around it want to draw a part of the tourist crowds to themselves. Buchsbaum does that by having „Buschenschank“ written in huge letters on its roof. (There is a roof saying “Restaurant” not far away, too.) I did not need that kind of advertisement, really, having discovered Buchsbaum in advance and planning to visit it anyway. The roof writing got me slightly worried, however. Was I walking into a kind of an expensive tourist magnet, like the tower itself?
I should not have been concerned. When a lazy ginger cat met me at the entrance, while the loud noises of chickens came from behind the fence, I knew that Buchsbaum was a real Mostheuriger. Being the first customer, I could enjoy a few minutes of solitude, looking over the garden with apple trees and sipping my Most – pure, of course, not mixed with soda. “It’s not too strong, is it?” – an elderly lady, probably the mother of the owner, asked me. “Let’s see after I have had the third mug,” I replied and immediately started to feel the alcohol. Most is quite unpredictable when it comes to making one pissed, since its alcohol content can be anything from 6 to 10 percent. The Most of Buchsbaum was definitely on the strong side.
Slowing down with drinking, I concentrated on the Bauernjause instead. It was thickly cut (a thinly cut “Brettljause” was available, too) and looked exactly as farmers much have eaten that kind of dishes for centuries. There was nothing fancy about it, just a lot of pork in various forms and a thick spread, tasking like something between Liptauer and cottage cheese. As usual, I started with the liver sausage, my least favoured ingredient, and did not find it too bad. The Schmalz and the brownish Brattlfett disappointed me a bit because of too much salt. The rest was great, however. The Speck, although containing 90% fat and only 10% meat, was quite easy to eat if cut into relatively thin slices. The Schweinsbraten looked unusual as a thick chunk, and the pinkish bits inside it were slightly off-putting, but the taste was fine, just lacking horseradish (unlike Styria, Carinthia is stingy when it comes to horseradish). The Hauswurst was one of the best ever, and I would have bought some for home, had my fridge not been filled with enough sausages to last until Christmas.
Climbing the tower on Pyramidenkogel is a must for every visitor to Klagenfurt, but regardless of whether you enjoy it or not, you should seriously consider popping in Buschenschank Buchsbaum on your way back. It’s ten times less touristic and twice as good.