I feel like such a fraud today D: Today is Bratwurst Day, and I’ll be giving you a great recommendation for where to get some of the best brats in the city…but I won’t be eating them with you. I can’t eat bratwurst! 😥 I’ve said it before on national food holidays involving cased meats, but I have a problem eating foods with lots of nitrates, especially hot dogs and sausages. Delicious hot dogs and sausages! Bratwurst, which directly translated from German means a finely chopped meat sausage, definitely fits into that category. But while there are some cased meats that I will eat and gladly feel sick over later–like a Nathan’s hot dog fresh from Coney Island–I’m not all that fond of the super briny, salty taste of brats. Usually braised in beer to give it a rich depth of flavor, bratwurst is beloved in Germany and any country with lots of German roots, including the United States. The food’s been around since the 14th century and there are numerous varieties when you travel around the different regions of Germany. Here in America we’ve made our own variety: “beer brats” are typically poached in beer to cook them and give them that extra flavor before putting then on the grill.
Here in New York, where the German immigrant population tended to also be Jewish, we’ve got more garlic knockwurst hanging around in delis than bratwurst, but the national appeal of beer-braised sausage has come to the city, especially in the German biergartens of Williamsburg. One in particular has a pretty handy bratwurst grill menu: Radegast Hall & Biergarten doesn’t just have one bratwurst on the menu, they’ve got a whole different section of their German fare dedicated just to these plump, salty sausages on their grill. You can have your brats plain or with a pretzel roll; or, you can go full-hog and go no hog at all with their unique venison or chicken sausages. Of course, being a biergarten, they have an extensive drinks menu, with a huge amount of German and Belgian beers on tap and even more served as bottles. You might want to opt for a pitcher or liter of draft beer today, however: every Thursday the biergarten’s special boasts free bratwurst with every liter of the daily special. I might not even be able to pass up free brats! So grab a few friends, grab a pitcher, and celebrate Bratwurst Day with some delicious, authentic German brats on the house!
Radegast Hall & Biergarten
113 N 3rd St (between Wythe Ave & Berry St), Williamsburg
“Williamsburg’s Austro-Hungarian beer hall serves a deep selection of imported brews and Hofbräuhaus-style brats one block and half a hemisphere off the Bedford Avenue drag. Slovakian-born partners Ivan Kohut and Andy Ivanov gutted adjacent warehouses to create two distinct drinking spaces. The garden side boasts a retractable roof under which a grill man serves up sizzling meats and savory fries gobbled up at the long rows of wooden benches.”–New York Magazine
“Great for low-key lunches by day, by night Radegast becomes a vibrant and even rowdy hangout where local hipsters and college students can throw back pitchers of Hofbräu and eat unbeatable Venison brats and pretzels till the wee hours. Prost!”–Party Earth
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Great SPACIOUS place for a group of 10 or even 20 people. Great selection of imported beers from Germany. Their sausages/bratwurst are eeeeee-mazing. It’s really a nice place for a group of large friends to get together.”–Zhi Z.
“Though a full kitchen offers food ranging from appetizers like chicken and rabbit liver mousse to entrees like veal snitzel, and including brunch and dessert, the play here is to send someone to the grill as soon as your party sits down. Place an order for one of seven types of sausage (prices range from $7.75 for pork bratwurst to $11 for the massive, heavenly venison sausage, and include fries and sauerkraut) and have a free-for-all at the self-service condiment station, where four types of mustard (the Radegast Mustard’s the best) are offered along side ketchup and a chunky, awesome horseradish. One of these platters constitutes a meal for an adult, though the sausages are so good you’d do best not to fill up on fries and try a few different kinds.”–Logan M.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!