Under $10: Wurstküche

wurstkuchePREFACE
This “sausage, fries and beer” joint, situated in the arts district mere steps away from “America’s largest empty indoor Japanese but soon-to-be-Korean shopping mall“, has been open about eight weeks now. It has generated a fierce amount of buzz in that time, so Mary and I finally checked it out for lunch the other day. (You guys know me: I can never turn down a glistening, juiced, chubby sausage!)

“CHUBBY SAUSAGE” SKINNY

Definitely not the cheapest joint, but lots of sausages to choose from at three different price levels. Dipping your toe into the water with a basic brat will set you back $6 to start. “Gourmet” sausages go for $6.75, and “Exotics” (rabbit, duck, snake, rabbit-duck-snake-mango-chile, etc) go for $7.75. There are at least three soy-based veggie options in the $6 range; be advised that all meat sausages have pork casings. For this outing, we chose a “Gourmet” Mango Jalapeño (chicken-turkey) (obvs Mair’s choice) and an “Exotic” Duck-Bacon-Jalapeño (Ryan). Adding a large (begpardon – groot) Belgian fries to the mix tipped us just over $20 for two people, but with Mair’s KCRW card the balance tipped back down to roughly $17 clams, sans drinks. Since I am a beer drinker, I had to try the beers (and why wouldn’t you at a place with 24 imports on tap?)…be advised, the taps are priced to sip. Beer + sausage + fries = ends up bumping your solo cost to “Under $20″ or considerably higher, depending on your intake. (Where else can you buy one of those ridiculously monstrous 6-liter, $250 bottles of Duvel to go with your meal?) Pleased to report those l’il free taster glasses are very cute, though, and more importantly, used liberally. Back to the sausages: They were good. Maybe not great for the price. Duck-Bacon-Jalapeno was admittedly full of flavor, but what that flavor was at the end of the day is anybody’s guess. I’m calling it “generic exotic game” flavor.

SAUCE RUNDOWN
This place is custom-tailored for the toppings crowd and may well appeal to frozen yogurt topping bar fans and sausage aficionados alike. You get to choose toppings for your sausage, and then toppings (aka side sauces -ed) (fuck off, ed! -ed) for your fries. For the fries we chose pesto mayo (mair) and bleu cheese/ walnut/ bacon (ryan), and were tossed a “fresh strawberry ketchup” from the staff as well, so they could gauge our interest in the taste. Mair’s sauce was the clear winner; the bleu cheese concoction, having the consistency of frozen ice cream, was not a dipping sauce so much as it was a scooping – or even shoveling – sauce. (But then, what was I thinking: cramming those three ingredients into a tiny plastic tub wasn’t exactly going to liquefy any of them.) Strawberry ketchup tasted exactly like strawberries and ketchup. Not my favorite combo, but it might be yours. (If so, don’t invite me.)

SEATING ODDITY (WHERE SHOULD I PUT THIS THING?)
The space is situated in a triangular lot where Third intersects with Traction, just across from the grave of Al’s Bar (RIP Eternal). The address is listed as “800 E Third.” Once you get inside, the seating at the sausage counter is ridiculously sparse; be advised that a gigantic indoor biergarten does in fact exist, just down the hallway past the lavatories.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Wurst lunch in town. Ha-ha-ha! Enough with the puns funny guy. But seriously, now: How anyone could not go poke around Crazy Gideon’s across the street afterward is beyond me. I had to talk myself out of a few sweet deals lest my lunch run “Under $2000″. Recommended; gallery below.

» Wurstküche (official site)
214.687.4444
Hours vary; consult the website.