Friday, January 09, 2009

Rate-A-Restaurant #194: Wurstkuche

Restaurant: Wurstkuche

Location: 800 E 3rd St. (Art District)

Type of restaurant: Sausage/Pub

We stipulated: Maria, Blogger Preschooler and I were meeting with our friend Mika... but Blogger Preschooler and I also wanted to do some downtown ice skating. The solution: Eat downtown. Wurstkuche popped up as I searched for a spot to eat... and the idea of an "exotic grilled sausage" and draft international beer in the Arts District on a chilly holiday week evening appealed.

They stipulated: The sausages are served on a fresh roll with a choice of two toppings: Either carmalized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers or sauerkraut. The restaurant also offers several kinds of gourmet mustards: Whole Grain, Dijon, Spicy Brown, Honey Mustard and American Yellow. As for the fries dipping sauces, selections included Chipotle Ketchup, Curry Ketchup, Blue Cheese Walnut and Bacon, BBQ, and more. A few that are on the menu, such as Chipotle Aioli, Sundried Tomato Mayo, Coconut Curry Mayo and Pesto Mayo, weren't available when we were there.

What we ordered: Mango Jalapeno sausage (chicken and turkey), $6.75; Roasted Red Pepper and Corn sausage (chicken and turkey), $6.75; Chicken Apple and spices sausage, $6.75. Also, large Belgian Fries, $5.50 (comes with two dipping sauces). As for the beer, I pretty much had to get the Schneider Edel Weisse, $11, for obvious reasons.

High point: The idea of a sausage-only restaurant might turn some people off... but these were indeed pretty good. Nice mix of spice in some of them; good crunch to the sausages, which are grilled the proper amount; and I love the availability of some real exotic stuff -- think Alligator and Pork, or Rattlesnake and Rabbit -- although I wasn't quite ready to actually try them. Also, it's cool to see a spot like this, in the Arts District, so crowded on a Tuesday night.

Low point: They totally forgot about my beer -- and I had to remind them not once, but several times. But Wurstkuche redeemed itself, offering me up a free second beer as an apology. Not one to pass up free booze, I accepted, and told them to surprise me. They gave me a Delirium Nocturnum, a strong Belgian ale that's the best beer I've had in years (granted, I'm not a huge beer drinker).

Overall impression: The idea of Wurstkuche is cool and out-there, and I'm glad to report that it lived up to what we were looking for. The huge back room, where most of the seating is, remains a work in progress and could use a bit more charm. But other than that, a nice first impression.

Chance we'll go back: I do believe I'll be bringing people back to this place -- and forcing at least one of them to try the Alligator.

For a complete list of our more than 190 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.

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