Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst
120 1st Ave
(between 7th St & St Marks Pl)
New York, NY 10009
Have you had a currywurst before? I hadn’t until very recently. Currywurst is one of those things that is common and around enough that I always assumed I would definitely try at some point because it was just… always there… like that college friend who lives in the same city as you but you never see because you figure you can see her anytime. Luckily, K.B. was in town and since she grew up in Germany, comfort food for her after a tiring weekend was currywurst. We checked out Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst because it is supposedly one of the best currywurst places in the city. The place is dark with brick walls and wooden tables and stools. It’s what you would imagine a German beer bar to be like. They boast an extensive German beer list with beers like Weihenstephaner Vitus and Pinkus Jubilate (I don’t actually know beers, I just thought those sounded funny).
First up, a large Currywurst with Fries ($12). A pork and veal sausage is sliced up, pan-fried, and topped with their homemade tomato curry sauce. The sausage was extremely moist and tender. The natural saltiness of the sausage tasted so damn good with the tomato sauce and curry powder. I wish we had more sauce because I ended up scraping the bottom of the paper container with the fries.
We also ordered the special combo plate ($18, I think), where you could choose any two special sausages and two sides. I chose the Chicken with Turkish Apricots and LAW picked the Kaese Krainer, which is apparently an Austrian favorite consisting of a beef and pork blended sausage with creamy Swiss cheese, garlic, and onions. I wanted to try the famous Pretzel as a side but since they were out, we had the German style kale (since kale is all the rage now*), and the apple cinnamon flavored red cabbage. The plate came with a side of creamy mustard to balance the sweet and salty flavors of the sausages and sides. Sausages were deeelicious. They were both tender and jam-packed with lots of flavor. I can’t decide which one I liked more… the chicken and apricot one was subtly fruity and extremely moist, while the kaese krainer was super creamy and had a nice kick from the garlic and onions. The sides were pretty good but nothing special. They were both very soggy and exuded lots of liquid juices. I’m glad I got them though because meat on meat is a bit too much.
J.W. ordered a sausage combo plate and potato salad as a side. This potato salad was surprisingly good. Imagine the taste of that homemade potato salad you always have at those potluck holiday meals… then imagine what the best of that kind of potato salad would taste like. This is it. Nothing fancy. Just great, creamy potato salad.
K.B. ordered the Thueringer Bratwurst (beef and pork with marjoram and garlic) with a Brötchen. Brötchen is the German word for a white, small round roll, and is often served with bratwursts. The bread should be dense and very dry to soak up the meaty juices of a good bratwurst. K.B. made sure I had a bite because the bread is very unique and she was delighteeed to find that the bread was authentically German.
We were there on a Sunday night where there was only one guy running the whole show. It was extremely impressive. He was the waiter, bartender, cook, and server. There were four parties in the timespan of our dinner, one with a party of 6, one with a party of 4, one with a party of 2, and then us, a party of 6. Impressive skills, dude!
* Chop’t offers kale now!!