The core Martinigansl season usually starts after the Austrian national day on October 26th and lasts for about two or three weeks. The climax of the season, however, is the St. Martin’s Day itself, which is celebrated on November 11th. I am quite sure that there are purists out there that would wait for that day to take their families and friends out for a big goose feast.
This year I ended up eating a goose on that very day, though more by circumstance (that is, being hungry and near a goose-serving place) than through careful planning. Still, today being St. Martin’s Day and Saturday, I made sure to arrive at an off-peak time and thanks to that, managed to get a table. For some reason, I naively thought that St. Martin’s Day geese must be somehow special, as if the restaurants purposely kept the best birds aside for the holiday.
I was wrong, of course. Or, more exactly, I hope to be wrong, because if the goose I had was the best that Heuriger Schneider-Gössl could offer, I would be scared to try their off-holiday geese. Though not disastrous, the leg I got was dry, flavorless, scarce of meat and just deadly boring. Dousing the meat in the sauce did nothing to make it tastier; it just made it wet.
The goose was so bland that I almost appreciated the subtle taste of some spices in the bread dumpling. The only thing I thoroughly enjoyed, however, was the white cabbage with bacon slices inside. Though tasty when served hot, it only got better as the plate turned colder. I even asked for a second serving, to have something to chew while finishing the young this year’s wine.
Schneider-Gössl is the only restaurant so far where I had the chance to try all three of my “reviewable” dishes: the Brettljause, the spare ribs and the Martinigansl. As much as I can recommend the first two and as much as I like this Heuriger in general, the goose is not its strong point.