It’s my fifth visit to the Steinerne Birne, and I still have not run out of Jause options. (Though to be honest, I took the Urige Jause on two occasions.) Moreover, since my last visit, the menu seems to have become richer by a Jause or two. The “pear-shaped-board snack,” to give it a literal translation, is definitely new. On the other hand, the number of ingredients is limited, so at the end of the day, the Birnbrettl is not that different from the other entries in the menu. It is like a Vierkanterplatte (called Vierkantteller these days) served on a board instead of a plate with less cheese. Or like a Mostbaronjause without exotic stuff. None of this matters, of course, as long as the result is good. And good it indeed is, even though still not quite reaching the simple perfection of the “Urige.”
The board was so full of various stuff that it was hard to count them all, and impossible to remember after drinking all that Most. Unfortunately, some ingredients, like the interesting potato-filled Braten were served as a single slice buried under other meats, resulting in me swallowing them without really having a chance to appreciate the taste. The highlights were definitely the heavily spiced Schmalz, the Geselchtes and the traditional meat-filled potato dumpling, but actually all the meats and spreads were fresh and obviously locally produced. Even the bread tasted homemade.
A slight disappointment came from the horseradish, which came shredded into such tiny pieces that it lost all its strength. This was, however, more than compensated by my experience with the “Farmer’s Tequilla,” which I ordered as a digestive. In place of a lemon it was served with a roll of Speck, filled with horseradish so strong it made me cry. Brilliant stuff.
As usual, today the Heuriger was nearly full, and had I not arrived half an hour before the opening time, I would have had big troubles finding a table. Out of all the Mostbarons, the Steinerne Birne has the easiest to reach location, being only a few minute walk away from the railway station. The downside of this is that there are not that many opportunities for hiking in the area around it. However, if one has half a day spare, it may be worth buying a train ticket and travelling there all the way from Vienna just to try some of the best things the Mostviertel has on offer.