Savvy Mom: Which Wurst's For You?
A lot of people expressed surprise when the New Bohemia Wurst and BierHaus opened on the corner of University and East Hennepin. Wouldn't it be redundant to open a sausage house next to Kramarczuk's? There was nothing to do, of course, but check them out to see how they compared.
Our first outing was with several other families to Kramarczuk's. Their buffet style works well for picky kids, and they have a variety of local bottled beer and sodas, including Sprecher root beer, one of my favorites. The families were able to gather at a cluster of tables and the casual atmosphere made migrating and talking easy. The sausages were excellent, as were the traditional sides like sauerkraut, borscht, and dumplings.
When my family checked out the New Bohemian, it was just the four of us. Their taps included not only local beer, but one of my other favorite local brews, 1919 root beer, along with over two dozen other taps from around the world, plus a slew of options in bottles and cans. They offer 16 styles of wurst, from classic to adventurous. We tried the bratwurst, the Italian, the ultra beef and pork, and the buffalo cheddar.
Their twist is that you can choose from eight different toppings to go on the sausage:
You order at the counter up front, then seat yourself in the bar area. It's loud, with televisions from all angles. The sausages were good, with snappy casings and flavorful insides. I was underwhelmed by the toppings, though, and thought they didn't do the perfectly good sausages any favors. And it was only in reviewing my notes that I remembered we got the Belgian-style fries; they were literally forgettable.
So while there are two sausage places side by side, they're very different. In addition to sit-down service, Kramarczuk's has meat and pastry cases and a variety of kid-entrancing European treats to go, like syrup waffles, Kinder eggs, and Zotz. New Bohemian is a bar with a huge selection of taps that also offers a nice array of good sausages. If you thought you couldn't bring the kids to New Bohemia, it does have a little something for everyone; it's a bar with benefits. But for a family meal and truly excellent house-made sausage, the classic Kramazczuk's is still our favorite.
215 East Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Tue.-Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Buffet Only); Mon. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
New Bohemia Wurst and BierHouse
233 East Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Open daily at 11 a.m.