The Second Dinner

Location:Mexican Cantina Salud
Address:Bahnhofstraße 26, 9800 Spittal an der Drau
Status:Open (last checked on 29 June 2024)
Eaten:"B-B-Q-Baby Backribs," two beers

While the main purpose of my trip to Spittal an der Drau was, like always, to get as far away from the office as possible, this time I had a sub-goal: to eat spare ribs. For a small town like Spittal, it looked incredible to have not one, but two Mexican restaurants, both located in hotels and serving my third most favorite dish. Upon my arrival, however, I noticed that the hotel I was staying in also housed a restaurant (an Austrian/Thai one), which listed spare ribs in its menu as well! I was in some sort of a ribs heaven.

Unfortunately (and stupidly), my craving for a Brettljause won over on the first of my two evenings in Spittal, so when at lunch time on the second day a waitress in a mountain hut told me that they had run out of Brettljausen, I was not disappointed. I was actually relieved that my stomach would not be too full in anticipation of spare ribs later on. The more shocked I was when the waiter at my hotel’s restaurant informed me that all the spare ribs had all been eaten the day before. This news should had left me speechless, but unfortunately some idiot inside me decided to ask for a burger instead.

As I was chewing the burger – which, incidentally, was superb – I could not stop thinking of a missed opportunity and therefore of a partly failed trip. The decision came spontaneously, and having finished the burger and paid the bill, I took a ten-minute walk to Cantina Salud, found a table away from a football-watching crowd and ordered a beer and spare ribs.

Of course, this was a bad idea, since the resistance of my poor stomach, working hard on processing the burger, was impossible to ignore. At the same time, I was starting to realize that had my stomach been empty, I would not have enjoyed Salud’s ribs much anyway. All their taste came from the sweetish spicy sauce that was thickly spread over the entire rack. That taste, while not unpleasant, was so strong that the flavor of the ribs themselves was unrecognizable. What the sauce could not hide, however, was the fact that the meat was quite tough and difficult to cut off the bones. Rationally speaking, cutting it with a knife was not necessary, since the cook had cut the rack into individual ribs already. Then again, I really did not feel like touching the fat, sauce-dripping ribs with my hands.

The ribs came with a nondescript boiled potato, which I left largely untouched, and two dips. The white garlic one was watery and flavorless, the red one contained whole pieces of steamed paprika and might have provided some novelty, had not the strong taste of the ribs’ topping killed every other flavor.

In summary, I do not think my second dinner was worth the effort and the money, though I would be the last one to discard Salud’s spare ribs as substandard. Give them a try when you are hungry; for my part, I was happy to achieve the objective of my trip to Spittal, but even happier when the waiter took the plate with the bones and the half-eaten potato away from me.

Leave a Reply

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