“Monastery Pan” Sliced Pork in a Creamy Button Mushroom Sauce with Spätzle and a Garden Salad – “Klosterpfandl” – Geschnetzeltes mit Spätzle und gemischte Salat

 

Klostergasthof.  A-6134 Fiecht · Fiecht 5

Austria is full of history, wonder, and curiosity.  Practically every village and every city has a unique charm and history.  You are bound to find ancient buildings, numerous castles and towers, and countless churches, each with a story to tell.  These sacred places of worship, in particular, generally attract many visitors from around the world.  Vomp is no exception.  This tiny town boasts a Barock style church that is actually more of a monastery.  A restaurant nearby is rightly called “Klostergasthof,” or “monastery guest house.”   One of the dishes featured on the small menu happens to be the “Klosterpfandl.“

A mixed garden salad arrives before the main dish.  The salad is bright and appealing with its blend of fresh vegetables – green and red lettuce leaves, arugula leaves, white cabbage, shredded carrots, peeled and thinly sliced cucumbers, potato salad, and a tomato wedge buried underneath.

 

The Klostergasthof is not the biggest restaurant as the dining spaces – one for smokers and another for nonsmokers, as is the standard in the majority of restaurants in Austria – are relatively small.  The place has a time-worn look with a number of old relics.  Tablecloth lined tables are the norm.  This locale appears to be quite popular with the locals and thus can get rather busy on certain days.  On this visit, it took about a good half an hour to 45 minutes for the food to arrival at our tables.

Klosterpfandl’ roughly translates to ‘monastery pan.’  The dish is served in a stainless steel pan with handles on each side and placed on a large, white serving platter, creating the impression of being a visiting guest in an old monastery.  This pan is filled with a generous amount of sliced pork strips and sliced button mushrooms in a rather thick cream sauce.  Occupying the other half of the pan is Spätzle.  The meat and mushrooms bathe in the sauce and assume the sauce’s rich and butter flavor wonderfully.  The sauce contains a bit of paprika that adds a very tiny amount of heat.  The strips of pork are quite tender and work well with the mushrooms.  In contrast to the pork, the mushrooms still have their characteristic springy texture.

 

Spätzle, a beloved side dish similar to noodles, is garnished with finely chopped, fresh parsley to give it a nice hint of flavor and herbal essence.  These egg noodles are the perfect side dish to complement the mushroom cream sauce because it is the ideal item to soak up the incredibly flavorful sauce.  Alone, the Spätzle lacks much flavor.  But combined with the pan sauce, it works exceptionally.

Overall, there is good cohesion among the various elements in the dish.  The flavors are spot on, the meat and mushrooms are cooked well, the sauce creamy and rich, and the Spätzle the perfect trimming for this dish.  10.50 euros is a good price, but the glaring issue on this visit was the long and excruciating waiting time.

 

Overall:  7.5/10

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