Restaurant Review: The Wurst

I’ve done very little cooking the past month as I recuperated from my surgery. We’ve been visiting some of our favorite professional eateries. In the process, we discovered a new-to-us restaurant I want to tell you about.

In the small town north of us, Healdsburg, there is a little, privately owned restaurant called The Wurst. As you have probably guessed, The Wurst specialize in sausages. (Wurst means sausage in German.) There are ten different sausage sandwiches, all made to suit the highest quality.

The first item on the menu immediately caught my attention. It’s called the Sheboygan Brat. My dad was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin – a very good place to find authentic pure pork sausages. It turns out the owner is from Detroit and he wanted to serve the same kind of sausages that Michigan and Wisconsin are known for. He imports the Sheboygan Brat directly from the Sheboygan, Wisconsin Sausage Company. [I know that because, when I asked, the owner went to the back room and brought out the box with the company label on it.]

I really like the Sheboygan Brat but I also love the owner’s Detroit Polish. It comes directly from the sausage-maker in Detroit. It contains pork, beef, beer, onion, and has the perfect crunch when you bite into it. All the sausage sandwiches are served on seeded rolls with a variety of toppings.

The other sausages are made at a sausage shop in nearby Sebastopol. Those sausages are all made to the owner’s specifications. The one that is pure California is the Provencial Pig. It’s made of pork, white wine, parsley, green onions, shallots, garlic and spices. Mmm-good. There are a couple of chicken sausages as well as a vegetarian brat made with roasted eggplant.

I think the brats are the star of the place but The Wurst has some tasty side dishes. My favorite ones are the sweet potato fries and the garlic fries. My husband’s favorite is their onion rings. They also offer an interesting variety of dipping sauces: Truffle aioli, Roasted garlic parmesan aioli, Lemon pepper tarragon ranch, Spicy Harissa. There’s also a great table arrayed with a unique relishes and mustards.

The Wurst also offer burgers but, to tell you the truth, I can’t tell you about them because I haven’t tried them yet. I’m still working my way through the sausage list. There is also a list of special beers that my husband says is excellent.

The place is fun and casual. It has the slight feel of a German beer garden. It’s sort of like a California wine country version. There are long table set up both inside and out on the patio with tall stools to sit on. The staff is friendly and chatty. The owner is all over the place, chatting with customers and clearing tables. He’s a former bass player (rock band MC5) with fond memories of his hometown of Detroit. I, for one, am glad he brought his passion for sausages to this area. If you are ever in Sonoma County, you will want to stop for a wurst in Healdsburg.

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