A Late Afternoon Jause with Attention to Detail

Address:St. Magdalena 39, I-39040 Villnöß (BZ), Italy
Status:Open (last checked on 7 July 2015)
Eaten:“Geislermarende,” two beers (Forst)

You cannot get this Brettljause before 14:30. Believe me (if you don’t believe what is written in the menu): I tried to get it the day before and failed. Instead I got a plate of sliced smoked beef with onions, dumpling and olive oil, which was amazing, but naturally I had to return the next day for the real thing. And this was one of the better decisions I made in my life.

One possible reason why they don’t serve this Brettljause earlier is because it must be a pain to make. By 14:30 most of the customers leave to continue their hiking tours, and the cook presumably has more time to cut and arrange all the bits that make up this art piece. Where else would you get at least five types of cheese, at least three of them having some taste? One actually has so much taste that it’s served in a small separate bowl with some onions. Then there are two types of Speck (one sliced, one cut into tiny triangles), fatless Schweinsbraten, red fatless ham, salami and a whole egg (!) with a slice of tomato on the top, styling it as a mushroom with some garlicky cream for the spots. Mushrooms are present as well, in a pickled (and thus edible) form together with pickled paprika, cucumbers, salad, creamy horseradish, half of a hot baked potato (unique!) and a spiced cracker to finish it off. And this beast is served with no fewer than five types of bread – one of which is again the typical stale South Tyrolean tooth-destroying cookie, but the others surprisingly fresh.

OK, to be picky – and I really don’t want to be picky, because it’s simply unfair – the meats were cut in such thin slices that they were almost transparent (well, why almost – I did see the fork through the ham), one piece of each type of cheese is hardly much, and some butter and/or mustard would have been welcome. The fact is though, none of this matters when you actually try this Brettljause at the 2000m altitude with a perfect view of the Geislerspitze mountain and one of the best hiking trails behind you. Travel to St. Ulrich in Grödner Tal, take the train up the Raschötz mountain and walk your way along the Adolf Munkel path from there. Then sit, savor your Brettljause, watching a very white rabbit with very red eyes and ears in the very green grass of the Alm and conclude that life is beautiful and full of joy.

Then you’ll of course realize that it’s too late to walk back, and the forest path to St. Magdalena or the Zanser Alm (your only choices now) are not that beautiful at all, but that’s irrelevant.




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