Brettljause Awards 2022

After two COVID-plagued years, 2022 finally brought travel – and therefore Brettljause – freedom. It was also the year when I got my two COVIDs, having been spared during the peak of the pandemic. I ate 39 Brettljausen, representing a 30% increase over the previous dismal year, which is still a far cry from my food orgies of 2018 and 2019. The times of eating two Brettljausen a day are gone, and I find myself not only regularly ordering a mixed salad to accompany my Jause but sometimes realizing that I enjoy the salad more than the main dish. I blame all this on my age.

Anyway, the absolute highlight of the year was my return to South Tyrol and the fantastic Geisleralm, which I declared the best place in the world to eat Brettljause exactly ten years ago. It was with a certain fear of disappointment that I tasted the “Geislermarende” – particularly because its appearance and ingredients have changed quite a lot – but I didn’t need to worry. Geisleralm is still the king, and the only reason it is not getting the golden Brettl is because I don’t review the same offer (meaning same restaurant and same dish name) twice as a matter of principle.

Instead, the top award goes to Mostheuriger Hansbauer, which, funnily enough, I also revisited after a ten-year break. The difference here is that Hansbauer offers different types of Brettljause, and while the “Baronjause” that I had tried in 2012 was excellent, the “Hansbauerjause” was better. It was so good that no other Jause I ate this year came even close. Not only was its taste top class, but it also beat the competition in terms of variety, authenticity and size. Moreover, it pushed Hansbauer to the top position among the Brettljause-providers of Lower Austria, reached #5 worldwide for the taste and variety, and established itself as #4 worldwide in terms of size. They don’t call Hansbauer a Mostbaron for nothing.

The silver Brettl for 2022 belongs to Weizerhütte in Styrian Teichalm region. I was a bit disappointed with the region itself (crappy weather may have played a role), but the Brettljause of Weizerhütte could improve my mood significantly. For the amount and quality of food it provided, Weizerhütte was also the best value for money of all the Jause locations I visited in 2022.

The third place and the bronze Brettl deservingly goes to Maier Heuriger in Großgöttfritz. If you have never heard of Großgöttfritz, it’s because it’s hidden in a remote and tourist-free area of Lower Austria. The huge and authentic “Maier-Platte” is, however, a perfect excuse to pull out the map, search for this village and plan a trip.

Although its Brettljause is kind of average, Unterhof Alm near Filzmoos wins this year in the “atmosphere and service” category. The Hofalmen are a beautiful location at any time of the year, but in winter they have a special charm. Even my Instagram followers could feel it somehow, for they gave the picture of that Brettljause more likes than any other – and that is despite the fact that the picture had neither snow nor mountains on it.

Either I was lucky, or I had learned to choose my Jause locations carefully, but in 2022 I largely managed to avoid disasters. The average rating I gave the Brettljausen was 6 out of 10 (which can make you question my attitude towards averages, but I don’t care), and only three were rated as being below average. Of those three, the anti-champion was the Brettljause of the appropriately named Loser-Alm, which served a sloppily arranged mix of supermarket ingredients. The view from the terrace is OK, but the food is certainly not worth the two-hour hike.

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