A skiing day with culinary delights on the Hohe Salve
Germknödel (filled yeast dumplings), Kaiserschmarrn (rugged pancakes), Kasnockn (small cheese dumplings): there are dishes which are a must on a ski day in Tirol. Where to get the best titbits and which other highlights the mountain huts in the ski region Hohe Salve have to offer, I have tried it all out for you.
Gipfelalm Hohe Salve – Rundumadum
“Rundumadum“ -the name speaks for itself, meaning “all-around” in our dialect. The panorama restaurant is situated right on the top of the Hohe Salve. Though it is as big as an inn, it is as cosy as a mountain hut. Gipfelalm offers its guests several dining areas, self-catering as well as served. Since 1941 the summit restaurant is owned by the Ager family and you can feel the familiar hospitality as soon as you enter the impressive building. Peter Ager tells me what brought him to build the “Umadum Stubn” (rotating panorama dining room) at the Hohe Salve. “From up here you can see 73 three-thousand metre peaks. And no matter in which direction you look, the mountain panorama is always amazing. And we wanted to make this accessible to our guests. That is what brought us to the idea of building a rotating restaurant – the Umadum Stubn.” In early December 2016, the doors of Austria’s highest situated rotating restaurant which provides 70 seats where finally opened. But it is not only the view which leaves you breathless – also the rustic wooden ambience and the delicious menu are impressive.
“For us, the quality of our dishes is extremely important. We work with local suppliers. Let me give you an example: if we look down the mountain, we can see the farmer our meat comes from,” Peter Ager tells us with a pride smile on his face. Turn, watch and enjoy is the motto until sunset. From an altitude of 1.829m, I continue my journey via the south downhill run in the direction of Stoagrub’n.
Extraordinary folksy – Stoagrub’n Hütte
I can see the witch on the sun deck already from afar. How appropriate, I think, because the hut reminds me of a gingerbread house. The sun deck is fully occupied, so I take a look at the inside which has been designed in a rustic style, with much love for the detail. It is incredibly homely. I particularly love the cast-iron menu boards which hang on the wall above the seats. I’m heartily greeted by the innkeeper Hans Ager. He has already prepared a cosy spot by the fireplace for me, but before we sit, he shows me the chicken ladder and the fox which pop up out of the wooden wall just like in a cuckoo clock. And this won’t be the only “prank” I’m being played today. Hans is a very creative landlord who is constantly coming up with new ideas. For example, he had produced champagne and wine glasses with wooden handles. And shot glasses from walnut shells. And he goes in for top quality. For him, a wine cellar with finest drops is just as appropriate on the mountain as is an original “Stoagrub’n Hauspfandl” (hearty casserole dish), which my companions and I are being served after a delicious aperitif. My tip: for all who can’t make up their mind about what to order – there are “Genussgipfel Wappen” on the menu – emblems which mark all those dishes that take you as fast as possible and directly to the peak of culinary delights. And don’t forget to take a closer look at the menu – it is quite amusing and creative.
Then the “pan” is served and I can’t believe my eyes – there are cheese macaroni, spinach dumplings, sauerkraut, spareribs, speck dumplings and more. Actually, I don’t know where to start. Already the presentation is a treat to the eyes – yummy, and it even tastes better. There is no way I could manage a dessert after that, but a shot from the walnut shell is gratefully accepted. This was just perfect! I say goodbye to Hans and set off in the direction of the middle station.
If you take the red downhill run from the summit you get straight to the Rigi of Tirol.
Alpengasthof Rigi – the mountain restaurant with a touch of Switzerland
At 1.531m above sea level lies this mountain restaurant which has been run by the Eisenmann family more than 50 years. Why it is called Rigi of Tirol I ask the innkeeper’s wife. “It actually relates to one of the most scenic mountains in Switzerland, the Rigi, by the Swiss also called the queen of the mountains. It shares some features with the Hohe Salve such as being accessible from all directions. This is why the Hohe Salve is also called Rigi of Tirol.” she explains to me. Probably this is also why the mountain inn was named after it. The huge sun deck is very popular especially with those who love to catch some sun while taking in the fantastic view. Most of all, the inn is known for its homemade cakes. The covered apple pie is just as delicious as my grandma’s. Paired with an aromatic mug of coffee it makes you just feel like home here. But back to the south side – if you ski down to the Salvenbahn middle station, there is no way to get around Salvenalm.
Drive in – Salvenalm
Situated right by the piste you can literally ski to the doorstep of Salvenalm. It is a mountain hut just the way you would imagine: old wood meets a homely atmosphere where Tyrolean delicacies are made from regional ingredients. But when I enter the hut I’m hit by a totally different smell: PIZZA! My mouth is watering. The pizzaiolo is tossing the dough, adds the fresh toppings and pushes the pizza into the oven. The smell of freshly baked pizza is quite a strong rival to the traditional yummy cheese dumplings which it makes it rather hard for me to decide. And there is still the popular Salvenalm toast on the menu – with turkey meat and mushroom sauce and served with salad. The agony of choice.
My tip: if you want to savour the whole menu you can stay overnight. The Fuchs family owns an apartment house as well as a farmstead right next to the mountain inn – holidays right in the centre of the ski area. However, it is time for me to go now, because one culinary classic is still missing on my list: Kaiserschmarren (sugared pancake with raisins) which waits for me near the middle station at Berggasthof Tenn:
Tasteful in all respects – Berggasthof Tenn
The mountain inn is very attractive already from outside and reminds me of a beautiful farmstead. The interior is very appealing too and reflects the proprietors‘ skills in interior design. They created a homely ambience in Tyrolean country house style by using a lot of wood. I go for a seat on the sun deck with a panoramic view. The friendly waitress is on the ball and takes my order promptly.
While I am enjoying the sun, my Kaiserschmarren is sizzling in the pan. Since this dish tastes never the same wherever you go, I am very excited to savour this one and look forward to this culinary highlight. It is being served with apple sauce, icing sugar and cranberries, without raisins, and it is delicious. I take an espresso along with it – I am really happy …
catching some sun on the deck of Berggasthof Tenn
Cornelia Schierl is an all-round athlete and loves outdoor sports activities. On her discovery tours leading all over the Kitzbüheler Alpen she explores the secret spots and hidden gems of the region. more details