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Living large with Brats Brothers authentic gourmet sausages

Posted By Karen Young On January 4, 2011 @ 12:42 am In Budget Dining,Burgers, Hot Dogs & Sandwiches,Cuisine,Dinner,Eat,Featured,Food,Happy Hour,Lunch,My Daily Find,Restaurants,Sausages and Hot Dogs,spotlight | 1 Comment

(NOTE: Since this article first appeared, Brats Brothers moved to  a new and bigger location in Sherman Oaks. Beer and wine is now served 13355 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks (just east of Dixie Cyn).)

BY KAREN YOUNG

There are times when I wish I was a 250 pound guy. Okay, I take that back. There are times when I wish I could eat like a 250 pound guy (without a health risk, of course) and not think about it. My dinner at Brats Brothers in Sherman Oaks was one of those times.

Black Forest Brat with grilled onions, spaetzle and red cabbage salad. Photos: Karen Young

I’ve driven by Brat Brothers for a few years now, but never really thought about checking it out because I’m not typically a sausage eater. However, I  was told by a Czech friend that I had to go, so understanding that he knows something about bratwursts, I decided I should probably grab a brat — I mean, after all, isn’t it just meat in a tube shape?  Coincidentally,  I also heard Brats Brothers was featured on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Not that Guy Fieri has it over my friend, but when  Fieri talks it’s hard not to listen at least.

Brats Brothers is owned by two German brothers, Roland and Peter Radler, who serve up real handmade gourmet Bavarian brats made of all meat, no fillers, and without MSG. It’s a tiny place with about six small tables inside and a couple outside. The walls are decorated in Bavarian kitsch complete with framed lederhosen on the wall.  There’s no alcohol, so BYOB, unless  you want bottled water or soda in a can.

There are two dozen types of sausages available on the menu which is divided into traditional and exotic. Traditional includes choices with veal, pork chicken and beef, infused with such flavors as onion, anise, chili, garlic and, even cheese. For the super daredevil eater, the exotic choices include rattlesnake, kangaroo, alligator, wild boar, buffalo, venison, lamb and duck.

The soft Bavarian Pretzel looks like it's smiling.

My dining companion that evening was my teenage daughter. From the traditional menu, we ordered the Black Forest  —a combination of cured and smoked pork which tasted like a giant bacon sausage — juicy and utterly delicious. We are not in the ultra daring category, so our second choice off the exotic menu was the Sweet Duck made with fig and a bit of brandy. Not terribly exotic compared to rattlesnake, but it’s an interesting sausage that’s sweet and savory, but not as plump as the Black Forest.  It’s quite good, but the Black Forest swept us off our feet. The brats are served on large French rolls made especially for Brats Brothers. When I get a little more daring, I might try the rattlesnake because I’ve heard it’s out of this world good and sells out quickly. I’m just not there — yet.

We were hungry so we ordered two meal plates that come with two sides each.    We choose the Spaetzle which is a scrumptious German version of mac n’ cheese; Grandma’s Sauerkraut made with bacon, onions and tomatoes has the homemade taste, and of course, how can anything made with bacon be bad?; a tangy Red Cabbage salad that’s a good balance on the healthier side; and the Tater Tots which are really round fried balls of slightly cheesy mashed potatoes and chives — just yum. Other sides include french fries, potato salad and homemade beef chili. Definite decadent comfort food at your service. We ate every bite.

Tiny storefront on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks,

A good way to try more variety is to order the sampler plate of four traditional brats for $10.95, which includes a big Bavarian pretzel, sauerkraut and a drink. Go with a couple friends and add some sides for a little exploration fun.  Meals are $8.95-$10.95 and include the two sides plus a drink.  A solo brat sandwich is $3.50-$7.50.  Toppings like grilled onions and regular sauerkraut are extra (average .75).  Another real highlight is a variety of homemade catsup and mustard with ingredients such as curry, wasabi, honey and garlic.

Did I mention we also ordered the giant soft Bavarian pretzel?  How could we not?

Brats Brothers 13456 1/2 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA. 91423 818-986-4020.  Available for catering, sausage packages and spaetzle to go, or shop online.

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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