after a small group of us went to see art in the streets at the geffen contemporary at moca today, we headed over to wurstküche for lunch. it was a short walk and good for a group. you order at a register, so there is no worry of splitting up the check, and there are huge communal tables with benches that can fit groups of almost any size. i was hoping since it was close to 2p on a friday afternoon that it wouldn’t be too crazy busy, and thankfully as we turned the corner the line had barely creeped out the door. believe me i have been there plenty of times to know if the line is down the street you can be waiting upwards of an hour or more depending how long it is.

the nice thing is that when you eventually get in the door there is usually some nice person to hand out menus and take drink orders, so you can enjoy a cold beverage while perusing the menu. it is fairly simple, basically sausages, belgian fries and beer, but there are many options from which to choose. they have over 20 sausages, 4 toppings, 10 dipping sauces (for the fries), and 40+ beers (mostly belgian and german). not to mention, a few wines and several non-alcoholic beverages as well. you will find it helps to know what you want before you reach the register. not only does it make the line move faster, but it seems to keep those behind you who are regulars from tapping their impatient foots, and huffing a bit. (i kid.)

i usually order the rattlesnake + rabbit with jalapeño, and sauerkraut as a topping, but for some reason i was thinking about changing it up a bit and trying something i hadn’t had in a while like the duck + bacon with jalapeño. well it must have gotten into my subconscious enough, because that is what arrived at the table. i don’t even remember ordering it, but i am so glad i did, because it was a reminder to try new things and not always go with the status quo.

i also ordered a small fries, called a klein, with the chipotle aioli and blue cheese walnut and bacon dipping sauces. one sauce comes with the klein, and 2 come with the groot (large), but i can never decide between them, so i order them both if i get the klein. they have 5 different kinds of mustard, as well as ketchup, at the tables. i prefer the whole grain, but now having tried the duck again, i would probably try a different topping like the onions and sweet peppers and go with the honey mustard. regardless, it was still juicy and delicious.

(as a side note: i have been here in the past and have gotten a sausage so well done that i had to send it back, and they did so happily. twice. not in their defense, because there is no way they should have sent a sausage out that well done, but it was an extremely busy night, and the staff has always been really friendly and accommodating. the owners often walk around, talk with the guests, and bus tables.)

for beer i decided on the blanche de bruxelles, a witbier, which normally pairs really nicely with the buttery mildness of the rabbit sausage that i usually get. although, the duck was pretty rich, so next time i order it i might go for something like a bitburger or spaten pilsner. the staff all seem very knowledgable and would most likely be able to tell you what beer might suit a certain sausage, and if they aren’t too busy (which is almost never), they have been known to give tastes of beer just to make sure it is what you want. this will happen more at the back bar than the front register, being that those pesky regulars are breathing down your back to hurry up and order. (another joke.)

be aware that this is a hip, happening, popular place, so the music can be a little on the loud side, and the line can be ridiculously long, but it rarely disappoints. it is a stylish but casual local neighborhood hang out that isn’t pretentious, but rather it feels very inclusive. i have seen all sorts and types there. perhaps it is the large open room, with warm wood tones, or the shared common tables, but the vibe is social and friendly to everyone. perhaps it is simple as what they have put on their FAQ page:

“Q: Are children and grandparents allowed?

A: Absolutely, the more diverse the crowd the better.”

as were were finishing up, at the next table a college aged kid wearing usc shorts was helping what seemed to be his 90+ year old (great?) grandmother maneuver into her bench cane in hand, and i thought it seems as though they mean it.