When it’s cold and rainy, and there’s a soccer match to watch, do as the Germans do: hunker down with a sausage and a beer.
Bratz, which started serving German fare first as a food cart (2006) and then as a walk-up window (2008), expanded in 2010 to a two-room restaurant on the corner of 50th and Brooklyn in the University District.
Inside this rather cavernous hole-in-the-wall, you’ll find ample servings of, of course, bratwurst, but also pretzels, currywurst, schnitzel and spaetzle — with German wheat beers to wash it down and a (preferably German) soccer match on a nearby TV.
The picnic-style tables are long, the plates heavy and the schnitzel variations nearly endless.
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The menu: There are only a few staples on the menu, but each comes with its own set of permutations. The schnitzel — thin, tenderized pork cutlets that are deep fried — can be ordered sliced or whole, topped with peppercorn cream or beef marinara ($9.45), or stuffed with Swiss cheese and smoked ham, a la cordon bleu ($10.75). Brats come two ways: white (pork only) or red (beef and pork) made locally following an old family recipe from Germany. The dish that’s most often recommended by owner John Bunch — “the No. 1 dish in Germany 71 years in a row, and our No. 1 best-seller” — is the currywurst ($5.15), a brat that’s sliced and smothered in a thick curry sauce. Sides include fries (seasoned, curry or with mushroom gravy, $2-$2.95), red cabbage ($2.25) and spaetzle ($2.25).
What to write home about: The plain Wiener schnitzel ($4.95), served simply with a lemon slice, is a bottom-dollar winner. Even better, it’s not too heavy, so you can also sneak in an order of currywurst.
What to skip: Before Bratz introduced its eggplant schnitzel, I would have said to skip your vegetarian friends.
The setting: More Deutschland than U District.
Summing up: An order of peppercorn cream schnitzel ($8.45 with fries), currywurst ($6.95 with fries) and a side of spaetzle ($2.25) served two, and came to $17.65 before tax and tip.
Katrina Barlow: 206-464-3251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.