A Race Against (Closing) Time

Location:Walters Mühle Cafe Restaurant
Address:Schilfweg 54, 1220 Wien
Status:Open (last checked on 14 November 2023)
Eaten:“Walters Brettljaus´n,” two beers (Grieskirchner Dunkles)

Donaustadt, Vienna’s 22nd district, is particularly poor when it comes to restaurants, that’s why any new opening is an event. I was particularly looking forward to Walters Mühle, which unexpectedly popped up on the edge of a field not far from my house. I hoped it would be a good replacement for Gasthaus Hansy in the Lobau, which had sadly burned down.

For a restaurant in, literally, the middle of nowhere, Mühle is surprisingly big, featuring a spacious outside sitting area, which was unfortunately of no use to me, as it was raining and freezing cold. The inside looked clean and modern, but with the ceiling lights shining too brightly and a rather ugly bar occupying one wall of the long room, it did not feel cozy.

The waiter immediately made the point that the restaurant would be closing at 21:00, and the kitchen was only working until 20:00, so with the clock showing 19:40, I had to make up my mind quickly. I actually came in the hope of getting a Martinigansl, but the season was clearly over, and I did not want to enquire of the waiter in case that would annoy him even more. I asked about spare ribs, however, and was told that the cook responsible for grilling had left already. The Brettljause was, therefore, a very safe choice.

My beer arrived very quickly, soon followed by the Brettljause, which I attacked immediately. Two other tables were occupied, obviously by locals, and while it was comforting to know that I was not the only one responsible for keeping the restaurant open, I also did not want the other visitors to leave before me. At the end, I finished first, but during the whole meal I was watching various members of Mühle’s staff depart one after the other, while the waiter seemed to be more interested in his fingernails than the customers around him.

As you can probably guess by now, the Brettljause was not really good. All the ingredients were very standard, although the variety of them was commendable. Noticeably lacking were the greens – a few tomatoes or cucumbers would have made the dish a bit more exciting. A small complimentary schnapps, on the other hand, was a nice touch, and the quality of it was surprisingly good.

Had I encountered such a Brettljause on the top of a mountain and under no time pressure, I would have been quite content. After today’s experience, however, I don’t think I will be back in Walters Mühle soon – for sure not until the restaurant’s garden opens. And when I am back, I will consider other dishes.

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