Brettljause at a Chocolate Factory

Location:Zotter Bio Café
Address:Bergl 56, 8333 Riegersburg
Status:Open (last checked on 4 May 2024)
Eaten:Brettljause, two 0.4l beers (Lava Bräu)

When I spontaneously booked a hotel in Feldbach, Styria, less than 24 hours before the arrival, the last thing I had in mind was to visit a chocolate factory. From my past experience, the best way to explore the hilly south-eastern part of Styria is with an e-bike, cycling from hill to hill and sampling the wines, volcano ham and beetle beans with pumpkin seed oil. Unfortunately, completely unexpectedly and, I must say, very stupidly, Feldbach did not have a single bicycle rental service despite having three shops selling e-bikes.

Thus, I had to take a hike instead, selecting the impressive-looking castle Riegersburg as the ultimate destination. A few kilometers before it, however, I came across a huge parking lot, indicating a major tourist attraction. Zotter Erlebniswelt is an entire complex of chocolate-related entertainments, none of which, obviously, interested me. I was more impressed by the food offerings, served from two food trucks and ranging from burgers to sandwiches and ćevapčići. The place was so crowded, however, that finding a table outside was out of question, so I walked into the “Bio Café” and found a Brettljause.

The café shares the same building with a chocolate shop and a shop selling hams, and with people constantly passing by one’s table, the atmosphere is nether cozy nor relaxing. On the other hand, Zotter’s Brettljause is not designed to be savored for a long period of time. It is small, yet quite creative and attractively presented. The fattest and the saltiest ham (I would have called it a lardo or a Speck, but the café’s menu insists on hams) was by far the tastiest one, but the other two, as well as the salami, were good, too. I have actually seen them taken out of a fridge and sliced in front of me.  

What I enjoyed most were the greens, however, and there were plenty of them, including the obligatory Styrian beetle beans. Everything was served in tiny quantities, but these “side dishes” created the variety that the main ingredients lacked.

At 13 euros, the Brettljause is certainly overpriced, but at least the effort that went into its preparation is evident. If you want a quick snack and do not mind the noise of people around you, Zotter’s Brettljause is a good choice. And rest assured, there is no chocolate in it.

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