Elusive Ribs

Address:Ramsau 91, 8972 Ramsau am Dachstein
Status:Open (last checked on 3 March 2024)
Eaten:"Ripperl," mixed salad, three beers (Schladminger), two double Zirbenschnapps

I don’t remember how many times in the past I had walked to Waldschenke to look at it and then think “next time” and turn away. Usually it was full, but mostly I was not hungry enough – all the hotels I had booked in Ramsau offered half-board. Today was the perfect Waldschenke day, however: the hotel I was in had dinner only as an option (and a pretty expensive one too), while today being Sunday and the general lack of snow in the area resulted in the almost complete absence of visitors.

It took me a while to order food, which was fine because the beer was delivered almost instantly and came in a non-transparent mug, which, according to my unproven theory, improves the beer’s taste. The ribs, once ordered, also arrived surprisingly quickly, and their presentation was all but usual: they occupied one end of a deep metal bowl, while the other end was taken up by lonely-looking roasted potatoes. The middle of the bowl was empty, covered by a thin layer of gravy.

Cutting the ribs inside the deep bowl required a major unjustified effort, particularly because the provided knife was only good for butter. I know I could have asked for a sharper knife and a separate plate and cut the ribs there, but for the sake of fairness I always try to experience dishes the way they are served without “improving” them at my own initiative.

Despite looking small at first, the ribs were very “meaty” and filling. Lacking marinade, they tasted like a Stelze (a pork knuckle), but were helped by an herb and garlic sauce that was non-industrial and had a refreshingly light and refined taste. I must say I enjoyed the roasted potatoes too and was happy to have taken the mixed salad, which, while not being special in any way, helped to dilute the heaviness of potatoes and fat pork. I have no doubt – dying too early aside – that I will visit Ramsau again, and chances are, my future hotel will offer half-board, making another visit to Waldschenke redundant. Still, I am quite happy that I had a chance to visit it and cross out its spare ribs off my to-do list – with fairly good memories left.

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