For me, discovering a previously unknown Heuriger in Neustift am Walde is a bit like realizing that my house had an extra room that I was not aware of. Having lived in that wine-rich area of the 19th district and having visited it several times per year, I was quite sure that I have seen every single tavern there.
Obviously not. Prager, a small Buschenschank off the main street of Neustift must have been there for decades if not centuries, yet most people seem to be unaware of it. It was nearly empty when I arrived and remained so during my entire stay.
To be fair, it is not that this tavern creates a welcoming impression. It’s self-service only – including wine, which is very unusual – and when I went inside to place an order, it was dark and uninviting, the buffet featuring some unidentifiable foodstuffs that must have stayed there since the beginning of the lockdown seven months ago. Fortunately, I did not get any of those, for when I ordered my Brettljause, the bored girl playing with her phone behind the counter simply shouted something in the direction of the kitchen, where (I hoped) fresher ingredients were available.
The plate that arrived at my table later was arranged in a rather haphazard way, but by that time I have drunk enough of Prager’s surprisingly excellent wine to be picky. What puzzled me a bit, however, was the presence of just a single slice of bread, and a rather small one for that matter. I spent it almost immediately on the Grammelschmalz, so there was nothing left for the remaining Geselchtes, Schweinsbraten, cheese and black pudding. This did not bother me much (and I was too lazy to go and ask for more), but if you like your Jausen with plenty of bread, make sure you ask in advance.
Despite my initial reservations, all the ingredients, even the black pudding, did not disappoint. The Schweinsbraten especially tasted “right” – the taste I totally missed during the lockdown. If you want to experience Neustift’s wines away from the noise and tourist crowds, Prager is an unsophisticated, but a very viable option.