Hairy Pigs and Confusing Butter

Location:Wein- & Genusswelt Garber
Address:Aichberg 36, 8552 Eibiswald
Status:Open (last checked on 27 May 2023)
Eaten:"Gustoteller,” two 0.33l bottles of mineral water, ¼ Schilcher Eibiswald, 1/8 Weissburgunder DAC, 1/8 Vagabund-Traminer, 1/8 Urgestein Sauvignon Blanc, 1/8 Urgestein Weissburgunder

When I add something to my to-do list, I usually do it, sooner or later. This is not quite true about my work, but when it comes to this website, I normally try to visit all the places that I thought deserved to be listed on my continuously updated to-do page.

Garber has occupied a very special place in that list. When I accidentally stopped in that Buschenschank a year ago, I was anything but hungry, but the quality of its wines and the variety of Brettljausen on its menu made it very clear to me that I had to come back, the sooner the better. Ultimately, Garber was the main reason I have been spending my weekend in South-West Styria these days.

One particular thing about Garber is that all its meats come from its own Wollschweine, the hairy pigs they call Mangaliza in Hungary and Burgenland. You can actually observe these pigs running around obliviously from the restaurant’s viewing tower. I would go so far as to say that the pork from Mangaliza is so good that “pork” is a misleading word for it.

Garber’s menu is impressive, and I spent quite some time until I decided on ordering the “Gustoplatte,” which looked like a good compromise between high quality pork and some cheese. Being in Styria, I had expected the Brettljause to come with a fiery horseradish, yet I was taken aback by the amount of it present on the Brettl. Instinctively, I grabbed some of it with my fingers and was very surprised to have it immediately melt between them. For some strange reason, Garber had decided to serve its homemade butter in horseradish shape. This was the first surprise; the second was the presence of tiny bowls with red chutney, which was a good supplement to the cheese and a mysterious green spread with tiny seeds without much taste that neither improved nor spoiled anything.

Garber must possess a set of really fine cutting instruments, for the Speck, the salami and the dry fatless Luftgetrocknete slices were so thin, you could look and see the world through them. Somehow, that method of cutting had a very positive effect on the taste. The meats were extremely easy and pleasant to chew, with the taste coming out much stronger than usually. It almost managed to conceal the fact that the bread was not especially fresh or tasty.

I liked the thickly-cut cheese, mostly because of the chutney. Had the cheese been stronger, its combination with the sweet jelly-like dip would have really stood out nicely, but I was using the chutney with nearly everything, with a rather pleasant overall effect. However, one must admit that the Brettljausen of Garber shine mainly because of the Mangaliza pork. I have little doubt that I will be back; the only thing I am unsure about is what town I should stay in the next time. Garber is a Buschenschank in a class of its own, combining good wines with amazing food, spacious facilities and a great panorama. Go there now.

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