“Back to the woods,” says the Rieglerhütte’s slogan, written on all the signs pointing to that place. In the woods it is indeed, located in the most remote area of Vienna that there is. One step in a wrong direction and it’s Lower Austria, guys. Actually, the only reason it still has a Viennese address must be some weird arrangement among Austrian politicians going a few decades back. Honestly, I still cannot place the Rieglerhütte on the map. It’s somewhere, reachable by a bus from Hütteldorf, followed by a 20-minute walk through the forest. It’s really unusual and it’s totally worth it.
The Rieglerhütte stupidly mentioned a Brettljause in the PDF version in its menu, having made me attracted to it like, sorry, flies get attracted by horse shit. There is a horse farm nearby, and the horse shit is abundant, so the above analogy is fully valid.
Alas. there was no Brettljause, but there were some ribs on the menu, looking like a perfectly good alternative. What made them perfectly good was primarily the smell that came out from the restaurant’s own open-air grill. Despite all the advances in the grilling technology, I still have a soft spot for fire-grilled stuff, and the ribs of Rieglerhütte did smell and look good.
The second selling point was the fact that the ribs came with Chimichurri, which, according to Wikipedia, “is an uncooked sauce used for grilled meat; it comes in a green version (chimichurri verde) and a red version (chimichurri rojo) and originates from Argentina and Uruguay.” (Don’t thank me for saving you a visit to Wikipedia, by the way.) The version I got was greenish-red, probably combining the above two sorts and had a slightly sour taste. It was a sauce, but it was unlike any other sauce I tried in Austria, to say nothing about Vienna Woods.
The sad truth is, really good ribs require, in addition to quality pork, two things: a good marinade and a creative sauce. With the sauce present and good, the lack of the marinade was all too noticeable. What Rieglerhütte’s super-friendly staff have served me was a well-cooked potato with cream, some boiled corn out of a can and a bony piece of pork with Chimichurri on top of it. The ribs were OK as part of the above package, but would not have stood a chance as a standalone dish because of their deep and utter blandness.
Having said that, the Rieglerhütte is one of the best discoveries I have had in Vienna since a very long time. It might be self-service only, but the location is unique, the cooks and the cashiers are mega-friendly, and the food is much better than expected. It’s definitely a place to return to, whether there is a marinade or not.