Five taverns with homegrown produce
1. Blaue Quelle
If you like fish, you will want to come here. The largest source of drinking water in western Austria gushes from just behind this eponymous tavern, the “Blaue Quelle – Blue Spring.” When guests order a rainbow trout with vegetables here, it is fished directly from the small reservoir behind the house and prepared personally by Alexander Struth. He and his wife Gaby are the third generation of the family to run the Blaue Quelle Guesthouse. The Struth family lend a contemporary twist to traditional recipes that have been handed down the generations by their South Tirolean grandmother.
Alexander Struth in front of the Blue Spring behind his eponymous tavern.
When Markus Singer and Karin Rimml go hunting, they do so in the Rimmlstube’s own hunting grounds. The result is excellent chamois, deer and venison specialities. Other traditional dishes such as Tirolean “Kasspatzln” (cheesy noodles) and “Krautkrapfen” (cabbage fritters) are also on the menu. The brown Tirolean mountain sheep owned by the Rimmlstube graze mainly on mountain and medicinal herbs, which you can taste naturally in the final product. The innkeepers process the meat into lamb sausages and smoked lamb meat.
Mrs Holzer can work magic. That is said, at least, by guests who have eaten at her East Tirolean Mountain Farm at the foot of the Grossvenediger. And indeed: Anna Holzer cooks nettle dumplings, adds dandelion to her tiramisu and complements Campari with yarrow. What others call weeds end up in her soup. Holzer gathers the ingredients for her dishes in the woods and alpine meadows on the doorstep. Flowers, pieces of bark and even lichen find their way into her cooking pot. Her pièce de résistance is lamb roasted in a mountain hay mantle. But of course, that is not all: the Holzer family also keep livestock, process milk into cream cheese and bake their own bread.
Strumerhof high over Matrei in Osttirol
Hannes Ebster is proud to call this country guesthouse with organic garden his own. The fresh salads, vegetables and herbs come from the garden; Ebster even bakes his own bread. The venison tartar with chicken liver parfait, sour cherries and black nuts even won over the discerning palates of the Gault-Millau gourmet guide jury. Perhaps also because Ebster is inspired by his mother’s recipe collection.
5. Postgasthof Gemse
A typical village inn, located directly next to the former Roman road, Via Claudia Augusta: Proprietor, Seppl Haueis, serves excellent game dishes and roasts, in keeping with the traditional ambience of the old Gasthof Gemse inn. On his menu, guests will predominantly find products from the tavern’s own farm, herb garden and hunting grounds, while the dishes vary according to season. The spring menu features asparagus, mushrooms and berries, while autumn dishes include game, pumpkin, smoked meat or Tirolean mountain lamb.
Gasthof Gemse in Zams