In theory, Burgenland must be a great place for eating geese. After all, I have never seen anywhere more of the beasts than in the area of Illmitz close to the Hungarian border. In practice, whenever I travel to the town of Rust in Burgenland – and I do it at least once per year due to some strange self-created tradition – I end up eating at Römerzeche.
Not that I have not tried finding an alternative. Unfortunately, two restaurants required a pre-order, one called its dish “goose legs” instead of Martinigansl (which was highly suspicious), one had a break between 14:00 and 18:00 (and no goose anyway), and all the others were closed. A stand at the just opening Christmas market offered a Goose Kebap (no joke), but that was simply grotesque.
So there I was at Römerzeche, starting with my beloved Wacholderspeck (which was and remains brilliant) and following with a goose. Which was, rather unexpectedly, a better than average goose, if only slightly so.
I got a leg this time and a generous part of the breast – or at least what looked like a very generous part until I realized that most of it was little more than crunchy skin covering a bone. The part closer to the leg provided, fortunately, enough meat to fill the mouth a few times, and surprisingly, it tasted quite fresh, considering that it could not really be. The bread dumpling was passable, and the red cabbage actually quite good: not too acidic and not too sweet. The bird was swimming in a thick brownish sauce. I am not sure how much the sauce had in common with the goose, as I could easily think of a couple of other dishes on the restaurant’s menu where it could fit quite well. Finally, Römerzeche had decided to be bighearted with fruits, as the goose arrived with half an apple filled with berries and a slice of orange with yet another berry on the top. Perhaps they wanted to say their dish was healthy.
It can be, of course, that having shrunk my goose consumption significantly this year I have become less critical, but for the first time since years, Römerzeche’s Martinigansl has not left me disappointed. Though it’s still not as good as their Speck, of course.