The Unvegan

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Going Aussie-ish on Brats Brothers

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Ostrich, emu…what’s the difference?

In a clear trend of awesome, Brats Brothers is one of the newest gourmet/exotic sausage/bratwurst places to hit LA (okay, they’ve been around since 2007, but just moved to a new location). Within 48 hours of learning of its existence, I made my way out to Sherman Oaks for lunch to see how it stacked up against its brethren. Made up to look all German-like and with a hostess/waitress that was also decidedly German (accent and all), Brats Brothers seemed a little more authentic than hipster-loving joints like Wurstkuche.

The menu had your regular run-of-the-mill bratwurst like Italian, Polish, cheese-filled and whatnot. They even had good old American hot dogs, which I assumed were for the children that could potentially show up. But, as usual, I was in the mood for something exotic. Their exotics ranged from gator to wild boar to kangaroo. While the ‘roo would have been my first choice, they were sold out and I went with the bratwurst named for the native land of the kangaroo. It was called The Aussie and was made with ostrich and pistachios. I was hoping the bratwurst was called The Aussie because it sounded like the O-S at the beginning of ostrich and not because they thought ostriches live in Australia (as we all know, ostriches are from Africa, emus are from Australia and their bastard cousin, the rhea lives in South America). Look, you came to a food blog and learned about animal geography, you deserve at least 12 gold stars.

But I digress, back to the bratwurst. Each one could be upgraded to a meal, which included two sided and a soft drink. This sounded great, so I ordered Beef Chili and Bavarian Tater Tots as my sides, then prepared to get meaty.

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Mmmm…pistachio flecks.

The meal took a while to arrive, and frankly everything took a while. It should be noted that I don’t totally blame the restaurant for this as our waitress/hostess was pulling double duty while her regular waitress stayed home to do homework. Why the manager approved this, I don’t know, but I can only assume the normal waitress is his daughter and doing this homework meant she would not fail school/die in a fiery crash.

Anyway, bratwurst. Delicious. Not only was it a healthy size, but it was glistening like meaty gold. The bun was a little bit squishy, in a good way, but a bit big for the bratwurst. Yet, once I loaded it with curry sauce, my side of beef chili and hot sauce, everything fit just perfectly. Don’t worry, though, I tried the ostrich before loading it up and it was certainly tasty. The ostrich had a unique poultry flavor that was a little tough, and the pistachios added some interesting texture, if not a ton of flavor. One of my favorite parts of the brat was the casing. It was thick, but had an awesome snap when bit into. The only downside was that it was a little bit dry. I’ve experienced this before with ostrich, which is why the curry sauce was perfect on it, as it enhanced the flavor while keeping it moist.

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Stop smiling at me, plate full of spaetzle, sauerkraut and Hungarian bratwurst!

The sides were not huge, but they were quite delicious. For the tater tots, I had kind of expected regular tots with some sort of Bavarian spice dusted on. Fortunately, this was not the case and I was delivered three fried, cheesy potato balls. They were awesome. The beef chili was good, too, but not as good as the tots. It had some unique spice to it and consisted of a majority of beef, with some beans inside for additional texture. I loaded it up on the brat, but it was certainly fine to eat solo.

Despite the service, my Brats Brothers experience was decidedly positive. I loved the bratwurst variety and the total lack of a vegetarian brats (just eat your kale and quit whining). I also saw that they have themselves a bit of an eating contest. This is one huge version of their Santa Fe Fire brat (beef, pork, jalapenos, habaneros, onions and cilantro), but a huge platter of fries. If you can eat it all in 30 minutes, it’s free. If not, it’s only $16.95. Next time I go, I may take them up on the challenge and even be willing to eat onions if it means winning a challenge. We shall see, but challenge or not, I know where I will be heading next time I need some bratwurst in the valley.