Cycling between the little wine villages of Burgenland.

Last weekend Tony had emergency duty, so we were tethered to within an hour or so of Vienna. On Saturday we took a short and familiar wander to appease the toddler.

Sunday we loaded the bicycles for Burgenland. A gorgeous trail connects the villages of Oggau and Rust (pronounced, “Roost”), the latter hosting Gans Burgenland, a festival of all things goose that we have attended previously; in between and amidst the vineyards the vintners had opened huts to offer regional wine and delicious cuisine.

Goose Liver Crepes, Goose Sausage, traditional Roast Goose, and more to tempt hungry cyclists and hikers.

A lovely day for a carriage ride.

Our mistake was not eating along the cycling route, for the crowds in Rust had filled every seat and surrounded every stand-up table in the square, enjoying the festival. We had two options: return to the cycling route, though most of the tables there were filled, as well; or, the dreaded “Find a restaurant on the way home.”  In the provinces the Mittagspause is more observed than in Vienna’s restaurants; we have been hurried through a meal, and have even been refused seating with more than thirty minutes remaining until the mid-afternoon close. We piled the bicycles into the car and took our chances.

Saved by a Genuss Region restaurant!  I have written often about the Wirthaus Kultur of Niederösterreich and how we have enjoyed the above-and-beyond preparation of local fare. The Kulinarisches ERBE Österreich is like an Austrian UNESCO designation for its food; and as we were passing a charming little town we spied these signs on the wall of a restaurant.

The town, Purbach am Neusiedlersee is noted for its viticulture, with lanes of press houses adding a charming effect.

Though it was Sunday, early afternoon, in a small town, the restaurant (no Mittagspause!) could could seat us.  I give you Roast Pork with Plums and Polenta with Walnut Sauce. Tony’s dish was equally as spectacular, but not nearly as photogenic.

And of course, the Heavenly Father joined us.

Blue skies. Colorful vineyards. An amazing lunch. To quote ERBE, “Österreich ist ein kulinarisches Eldorado der Sonderklasse.”