I had only been to Wurstküche once, about a year and a half earlier. Although the place was packed with hipsters and it took more than 40 minutes to get our food, and although the price for some fries and sausages was over forty bucks (even without alcohol), I still kind of liked it, in no small part due to the fact that the fries were the best I have ever had.
Over the weekend, Elizabeth and I headed down to Wurstküche with my parents, despite the fact that in that post on Pommes Frites I agreed with the maxim that you can never step in the same river twice. (This is what is known as foreshadowing.)
They would amble up to the counter and know what beer they wanted to order, but only then would they turn their attention to the menu that they had been holding for the last quarter-hour. "Oh," they would exclaim with surprise, "let's see, do I want a bratwurst or a spicy sausage? Well, last time I ate a spicy sausage I had gas for days. But then again it might complement the beer." These things went on for several minutes. I think the shortest amount of time someone took was three minutes to order two things.
When it was my turn, I was prepared. It was not hard to be; I had spent my time in line studying the menu, which I could see easily since I wasn't wearing my sunglasses indoors... something I had in common with less than half the people in line. I ordered four different sausages with the appropriate toppings, two orders of fries and four dipping sauces in about thirty seconds and moved on. (I'm not saying that makes me better than everyone else ahead of me in line. But I am saying it makes me more considerate.)
I ordered the rattlesnake and rabbit sausage. On my previous trip I'd eaten the "Austin Blues" - peppers and smoked pork - and it was really good, however I wanted to try something a little more exotic this time. But eating rattlesnake and rabbit is like eating alligator or conch: the novelty of what you're eating far outweighs the flavor of the meat, which is minimal at best. Not bad by any means, but more of a vehicle for other flavors, in this case the hot peppers and mustard. The hot peppers were outstanding and genuinely spicy. But the sausage was very bland and I cannot recommend ordering it.
But taste is everything in these matters, and I excitedly grabbed a couple fries. An even bigger disappointment. Unlike the previous visit and the best fries I have ever had, crispy and hot, these were barely warm and completely floppy. It was almost as if they had neglected to fry them for a second time. I was hoping to introduce my parents to the best fries I had ever eaten, and instead I ended up showing them the third-best fries I had eaten that week.
"What do you think?" I asked my parents, not particularly wanting to hear their answer.
"They would probably be really good if they were hot," my dad said.
Tzatziki. Elizabeth's favorite.
After the disappointment with the fries, I think that my second trip to Wurstküche will be my last. I'm not saying it's bad place, not at all. But some places are made for guys like me and some are not. A dart board, Van Morrison on the jukebox, and a bartender who knows how to execute the proper two-stage pour to a pint of Guinness? That's heaven. Loud volume and crowds of people wearing sunglasses indoors who don't apologize when they bump into you? Not so much. Throw in the long wait and the inconsistent food and I don't feel any need to return.