The Must of Meran

Address:Passeggiata Tappeiner, 39012 Merano, Autonome Provinz Bozen – Südtirol, Italy
Status:Open (last checked on 1 December 2023)
Eaten:"Saxifraga Brettl gemischt mit Speck und Südtiroler Käse," two beers (Forst VIP), an espresso

As a side note, at the time of this writing, Saxifraga is still using ASP (Active Server Pages) for its web site. I feel like giving them three extra points for that. The nostalgia is simply overwhelming.

OK, back to business. Saxifraga is one of the best-known restaurants in Meran, and it is easy to see why. Located on the Tappeinerweg, a very picturesque hiking path above the city, Saxifraga is relatively easily reachable and offers the best views over Meran and the nearby vineyards. The restaurant’s terraces are sensational. Today is the first day of winter, and an annoying and totally non-wintery rain dripping outside prevented me from fully appreciating the restaurant’s location, but even having experienced the inside of Saxifraga, I can only make one recommendation: if you in Meran, even for a couple of days, go there. It’s a true must-see of the city, and both the view and the ambience of this location are going to blow you away.

Forget about its Brettljause, however. Even compared to the sparse Marenden of South Tyrol, this offering looked very poor. It only had two ingredients, Speck and cheese, and although there must have been two or three cheese sorts present, all of them tasted the same: good, especially when mixed with the creamed horseradish, but ultimately very boring.

The Speck, on the other hand, was tasty – though none of the supplied three types of bread went too well with it – but was plagued by the skin problem. Some of the Speck’s skin was too hard to chew. It’s really the first time I am running into a problem like this, and all I can say is, there is nothing authentic about unchewable Speck skin. It’s a huge nuisance.

Such a Brettljause would have been OK for 10 euros or so, the location and the good service considered, but for whooping 21 euros, it’s a bad joke. Drink a few beers – which are, by the way, really good – but save your hard-earned cash for something else.

Actually, since you have read this post that far, let me give you a good advice: walk a few kilometers up the hill until you reach Dorf Tirol (Tirolo in Italian) and visit Köhl’n Keller. Order Krustenschweinebraten and house beer (or wine), and enjoy some of the best pork and drinks you can find that side of the Alps.

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