There’s a new bratwurst in town that I keep hearing about from people and it took me awhile to figure out where it was. It’s a little bit outside of my lunch radius, since it takes me 15 mins to walk – yes, I walk at the pace of a 65-year-old with a walker and severe arthritis.
Sausages are delicious and in such a simple form that you can’t possibly screw it up, right? Unfortunately, I’ve been disappointed time after time again – lack of spices, poor choice of meat/combination of meats, not enough fat, ripped casing, etc. The more disappointed I got, the more I realized that a sausage is actually very complex. It’s served exactly as the maker intended, from the amount of crunch from the casing, to the seasonings and spices, the texture of the meat, how juicy it is, all served into this sausage – after you take one bite. That’s a lot of pressure to get everything perfect.
Why did I come to Bestie after I started hearing the great reviews from others? To be honest, I wasn’t here for the food. I saw pictures of the interior and it looked beautifully designed – kudos to Scott & Scott Architects for a nicely executed project. All the print work was done beautifully – wonder if the owners designed it? Bestie is located on Pender Street in Chinatown, the area that’s slowly converting from old Chinese stores to these “hipster” (or whatever you want to call them) run places, like vintage stores, bicycle shops, and hair salons. The staff working here are pretty hip, a little bit retro, with their clear framed glasses or clubmaster frames, bright lipsticks, and toques.
The service here was friendly, one of the staff was a bit overbearing. I came here with the bf, and they explained how their menu worked as it was our first time. There are two styles to the dishes, one is currywurst in which they slice the sausage for you and put it on top of fries with house made curry ketchup; the other is the sausage and sauerkraut where they leave the sausage whole, with fries and sauerkraut on the side.
I ordered their classic pork thuringer in the currywurst style with a mug of their 33 Acres of Ocean Pale Ale. First, the beer. I didn’t like it. It’s too light and I’m not sure how I else I can describe it. To give you some context, my favourite style of beer is the Hefeweizen, especially the one from Weihenstephan. Fortunately for me, that beer tasted much better with my food. The bratwurst was quite good, the spices seemed simple without that overly saltiness you often get with sausages. The grind on the pork was pretty fine and has an adequate amount of fat, which is my preference (also the same reason why I don’t order chicken sausages). The only thing minor thing that bugged me was the casing, wish it was a little thicker so that it gives it the nice crunch when I bite in. The fries were delicious, just crispy and not overly salted. The house made curry ketchup paired well with the sausage and fries. Might be nice if they served the ketchup on the side so that my fries wouldn’t get soaked.
The bf ordered the chicken with artichoke and pancetta in the sausage and sauerkraut style with my favourite beer mentioned above. I thought the sausage was just mediocre, as it tasted like it was just a bunch of things shoved into a casing that didn’t quite go together for me. The sauerkraut was a little too acidic and sour with the ketchup on the same plate. But their house mustard condiment – that packs a punch. It doesn’t taste like your generic French’s mustard (which probably has been sitting there for 6 months plus – lets not kid ourselves), it’s quite heavy on the horseradish and I think it’s awesome.
Overall it was a satisfying experience. Our bill was a bit over $30, which may be a little high for those who want a filling meal. I would come back for the bratwurst (pork thuringer) though, then maybe wander over to New Town for some fresh apple turnovers.
105 East Pender Street, Vancouver