I like sausage as much as the next guy, or maybe I don’t, because I’ve never been a big bratwurst fan. I think it’s because I’m wary of eating huge portions of fatty meat in one sitting. I like sausage occasionally, and in smaller quantities – sprinkled on a pizza, say, or in a taco or omelette – rather than as a bulky inflated hot dog. I do love biscuits with sausage gravy, but a biscuit with a big sausage patty is usually just about all that I can handle.
Still, when I met my wife over at the Cary Whole Foods for lunch one day recently, I was drawn to the Bavarian Brathaus truck parked outside. They were offering homemade bratwurst on a pretzel roll with mustard and sauerkraut for just $5. They also had goulash and potato salad for sale, but I figured (correctly) that the sandwich alone would be enough to fill me up, making for a cheap lunch.
The good news was that the sausage itself was not fatty at all; in fact it was surprisingly light. It reminded me somewhat of a chicken or a turkey sausage, and I wish now that I had inquired about the types of meat(s) in it. The bad news was that the overall experience was a bit lifeless. The meat was remarkably mild and flavorless, and the bun was fresh but lacked some essential pretzel-ness. The sauerkraut was similarly dull; really the only thing that brought flavor to the sandwich was the zingy horseradish-mustard (a flavor that I don’t particularly care for). I don’t know how they do bratwurst in Germany, and this one wasn’t bad, but it was a little disappointing. About 2/3 of the way through the sandwich, I removed the sausage and substituted some of my wife’s peppery chicken (from the Whole Foods hot bar). Not being a huge sausage guy, it was more satisfying that way.