The Layout Trouble

Location:Weingut Buschenschank Leitgeb
Address:Trautmannsdorf 104, 8343 Bad Gleichenberg
Status:Open (last checked on 31 May 2024)
Eaten:"Herzspurjause," three ¼ Chardonnay

When I first visited Leitgeb two weeks ago, I could hardly believe how slow the service was. It took at least an hour before the salad I had ordered finally arrived, and when I decided to pay, I had to wait for three quarters of an hour, ask for the bill twice and eventually walk to the counter and pay there. To the Buschenschank’s excuse, it was very full on that day, and I was sitting in the garden, at the farthest table possible.

Today was different: it had rained most of the afternoon, so the garden was closed, and only two rooms were available – a large one with long tables and a smaller one where I had found a table all for myself. And guess what, the service was super-slow again, the three serving ladies seemingly doing everything to pretend I wasn’t there, though I was sitting mere five meters from the counter, facing it. After 15 minutes of waiting to place an order, some less patient customers would have left, but I was too determined to try Leitgeb’s Brettljause. Besides, I was spending the time trying to understand what the hell was wrong with that place. Eventually I figured out that the main culprit must have been the restaurant’s layout.

Imagine the room I was in: a long bar counter along one wall, with not enough space behind it for two people to pass each other and a door to the kitchen right in the rear. In front of the counter, a few tall round bar tables with people standing around them, drinking and continuously ordering refills. By the opposite wall – three or four normal tables, one of them occupied by yours truly. The door to the larger room was located on the side, close to the counter and the kitchen, so two of the serving ladies were constantly travelling between the kitchen and that room without noticing anything around them. Meanwhile, the third lady was frantically filling glasses, but clearly not fast enough, because the customers from the other room, tired of waiting, came to order at the counter, thus creating a queue. Worse still, the payment by debit card was only possible at the bar, resulting in more people roaming around and making the five meters to my table an impossible distance to cross.

At one point, however, I was blessed with some attention, and things improved dramatically afterwards, starting with the wine that proved to be quite wonderful. Two types of Brettljause were on the menu, and I went for the more expensive “Herzspurjause” because the menu specifically mentioned “hard and soft cheese.” The soft one was a Gorgonzola, which has a strong flavor by definition (whether you like it or not is a different question). The hard one must have been some sort of a Bergkäse (mountain cheese) and quite strong as well.

Of the meats, the dry salty ham was great, and the others were absolutely good, but the two spreads – a cottage cheese one and a pumpkin-flavored one – were quite plain and boring, hardly adding anything to the taste of the bread itself. Perhaps they were only supposed to compensate for the lack of butter, which was served as a pathetically small slice, albeit heart-shaped. On the other hand, the horseradish was incredibly strong, filling my eyes with tears each time I put a bit of it in my mouth. Styrians aren’t proud of their horseradish for no reason.

Because of its closeness to the spa town of Bad Gleichenberg, yet still enjoying a beautiful location in the middle of vineyards, Leitgeb is kind of an obvious place to visit. The service there is friendly, though its efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. If, however, you don’t mind waiting, you will be rewarded with a smallish but fresh and tasty Brettljause and very good wines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *