Ribs and Wine

Location:Heurigen Ježek
Address:Ambros-Rieder-Gasse 18, 2380 Perchtoldsdorf
Status:Open (last checked on 26 December 2023)
Eaten:Spare ribs, cucumber salad, cabbage salad, ¼ Welschriesling, ¼ Gelber Muskateller, ¼ Zweigelt Barrique

Ježek (a hedgehog in Czech, which explains the great number of these creatures on the Heuriger’s website) belongs to the breed of “advanced” wine taverns that, in addition to the standard warm and cold Heuriger buffet also offer “proper” dishes like schnitzels and spare ribs. The ribs require half an hour of preparation, supposedly because they are cooked fresh upon request, so when I visited Ježek three days ago with a friend, I chose not to order them. I saw, however, many customers eating ribs, usually with their hands, and the leftover bones still had quite a bit of meat attached to them. That gave me a pretty good clue of what the ribs could taste like: tough and on a dry side.

Today I went to Ježek alone, so could afford the waiting time, spending it reading and enjoying the Heuriger’s rather cheap but quality wines. When the spare ribs finally arrived, I was quite happy to have my suspicions confirmed. Eating these ribs with a knife and a fork was a torture: the meat resisted to be separated from the bones fervently. From my side, I resisted touching the ribs with a hand, because they were quite greasy and I did not want to have the grease transferred to my reading tablet.

What I could not have predicted were the lack of salt – an easily solvable problem – and the extremely weird marinade. It tasted heavily of tomatoes and made the think of pasta marinara. It was as if the cook had opened a can of pasta sauce and rubbed its content into the ribs. Some of the sauce had burned, so the ribs had quite a lot of black parts – tasty, but probably extremely unhealthy. This marinade was slightly spicy and could have easily replaced the supplementary garlic cream and cocktail sauces, which were very industrial and boring. I also did not especially like the potatoes, which had been overdone, turning them into hard teeth-threatening chips.

Heurigen Ježek is a cozy place with great wines and the added benefit of being close to Vienna. If you have guests who have never experienced Austrian Heuriger traditions and have limited time, Ježek is a perfect destination (particularly when the nearby and superior Heuriger Wurth is closed). But I would advise to stick to the usual buffet dishes (which are great) and leave spare ribs tasting to other restaurants.

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