A Dripping Goose

Location:Genuss Heuriger Pachinger
Address:Brunnengasse 45, 7000 Eisenstadt
Status:Open (last checked on 18 November 2023)
Eaten:"Martinigans'l 1/4 mit Erdäpfelknödel & Rotkraut," two ¼l white wine (Welschriesling 22 Ried Hochberg)

Most Austrian Martinigänse come from Burgenland (while most geese served in Austria most likely come from Hungary). That is why I cannot shake off the misconception that geese at Burgenland’s restaurants should be noticeably better than in Vienna. A part of that misconception probably comes from my experience with Heuriger Oleander, which serves a damn good bird, and somehow I was holding high hopes for the goose of Pachinger.

The first difference that hit me was that while Oleander had always been packed, Pachinger was nearly empty when we entered it at 13:30 on a Saturday. Mind you, I always prefer spacious and quiet halls to crowded noisy rooms, but even the waiters looked too relaxed, as if high demand was not something common to their restaurant.

Mercifully, the quality of the goose was not affected by the Heuriger’s lack of clients. Although I doubt that the goose was cooked specially for our arrival (in the way that Oleander does), it was still very well prepared, with the meat having a genuine goose taste. It may sound strange, but recently I have tried geese that I would struggle to recognize as such were I eating them blindfolded. Pachinger also did a rather good job at the final preparation step, which is applying very high temperature from above to make the skin of the goose crispy but prevent the fat from evaporating completely. The skin was partly crunchy (could have been crunchier, though), and just the right amount of fat remained underneath to make the goose taste juicy. The fat was still hot and even dripping on the table and the floor when I was not careful, adding to the feeling that the dish was very fresh. Unfortunately, the care that had obviously gone into the goose was missing from the red cabbage and the dumplings. Both side dishes lacked any spices and were just an “extra weight” that I could have easily lived without.

Although I enjoyed the goose of Pachinger a lot, ultimately it was quite far below the Oleander’s level of excellency. I guess my expectations were too optimistic, but today Burgenland did not offer anything special that I had not experienced in Vienna in the past couple of weeks. Nevertheless, the absolute highlight of the lunch was at the end, when the restaurant’s cat jumped on the chair next to mine and tried to pull the goose’s bones from my plate onto the floor. Cats are good at recognizing quality.

Leave a Reply

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