Martin-less Goose

Address:Rathausplatz 11, 7071 Rust
Status:Open (last checked on 27 November 2022)
Eaten:"Gebratene Gänsekeule mit Semmelknödel, Rotkraut und Preiselbeerapfel," Wacholderspeck, two ¼ Blaufränkisch

When you are looking for an early (beginning of October) or late (end of November) goose, there is no better destination than Burgenland. Either it is due to its closeness to Hungary – the country where people eat geese like chickens – or the fact that there are more geese in Burgenland than people (not true, actually), but if you have somehow missed the season or are simply dying for one last piece of goose, take a train to the lake Neusiedl, and you are almost guaranteed to find the dish you want in one of the small towns around it.

For me, a walk from Mörbisch to Rust in late autumn is almost a tradition. More often than not, at the end of the walk I land in Römerzeche, a restaurant on Rust’s main square. According to my earlier posts on this site, I ate goose there twice, though somehow I think that the true count is higher. However, I looked at the history of my past visits for another reason – to check how the dish was called in the past. Unsurprisingly, it was “Martinigansl.” Today’s menu, on the other hand, did not mention St. Martin at all. Instead, it described the dish with pedantic precision as “Roasted goose leg with a bread dumpling, red cabbage and cranberry apple.” It is as if the restaurant was trying to make sure it explained to the customers in detail what they were going to get in order not to have any misunderstandings.

Whatever the true reason was, the dish was exactly what the menu said. Calling it Martinigansl would have been an insult to the good saint. Absurdly small yet expensive, the portion contained hardly more than a bone with some meat around it. The meat tasted boiled rather than roasted, and if anyone told me it came from a chicken, I would have believed it. The skin was the very opposite of crunchy, had an unappetizing gray color and hid at least two millimeters of pure fat below it. The yellowish sauce had no taste at all. The dumpling was so overcooked or prepared with so many eggs that it had the consistency and the taste of an omelette, falling apart into tiny bits when touched by a fork. The red cabbage surprised me at first by an unusual strong taste, but then I understood that the burning sensation it left in my mouth was due to it being too hot and containing a deadly combination of apples and far too much salt. If you want to convert a committed carnivore into a vegetarian, give him such a goose.

Römerzeche will see me again, however, maybe in one year, maybe even earlier. The reason for that is the fantastic Speck that it served ten years ago and continues to serve to this day. The unique Wacholderspeck of Römerzeche makes me forgive all its goose-related sins. Besides, I have noticed something very much Brettljause-like on the menu. It certainly requires further investigation.

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