With it being Oktoberfest and all, we figured it would be appropriate to dedicate this week's Versus to the beloved bratwurst. Whether you like beef, pork or even veggie, there is something comforting in biting into a big juicy link and washing it down with a cold beer this time of year. With so many brats to chose from in this city, the toughest part of this challenge wasn't eating our weight in sausage -- it was trying to narrow down the challengers.
4759 Brooklyn Ave. N.E., 523-1680
What started as a small walk-up window under Cedars on the corner of 47th and Roosevelt is now a full-fledged German restaurant. The guy who owns it used to be a cop in Germany. He said he decided to move to Seattle because there was a need for good bratwurst. He's right. More importantly, he's lived up to his promise of providing our city with a good product. The Red Brat ($4.65) is a mix of pork and beef and comes on a homemade bun. The small little bun is cute, almost laughable, but it is a sturdy sucker that cradles the girthy brat like a prized trophy. Topped with sauerkraut, this brat is incredibly juicy. It is not overpowered with any condiments (those, you can find in squeeze bottles on every table). Our only complaint is that the bun just wasn't long enough. Every bite culminated in the brat nearly sliding out of its soft, chewy pouch. It really was a hassle. A tasty hassle, but a hassle none the less.
|The French baguette compliments the German brat.|
1511 Pike Pl. #206, 839-1000
You can't hold a 'brat-off' without including Uli's. It's a Pike Place Market mainstay. The friendly German giant known as Uli Lengenberg is Seattle's very own Master Butcher. And now that he has a cafe next door to his meat counter, he's attracting even more fans. Uli's German Bratwurst ($7.25) is considered a menu classic. The pork brat is mild in flavor (no spices we're told, just some citrus) and served in a fresh baguette with white wine sauerkraut, grilled onion, Dijon and house made curry ketchup. During our most recent visit, Uli's was out of grilled onions, and our brat came a little dry. Fortunately, what the sausage lacked in moisture, the kraut made up for. The friendly kitchen staff did also threw on a couple of raw chopped onions, which added some zing to the brat and made us feel like we got our money's worth.
Both of these brats gave us the urge to book the next flight to Germany. Really good stuff, and we're certainly going to eat both of them again. But this is Versus, and there must be a winner. We liked the actual sausage at Bratz better, but as a total package, Uli's wins the brat battle. A bun that can withstand the power of a strong sausage is often overlooked, but Uli's nailed it.