For over a decade, a local taste of German food and culture was a fleeting experience found only on weekends in October at the Deutsches Haus. Although no one can deny the timelessness of the Chicken Dance, native Berliner Sven Vorkauf set out five years ago to offer a taste of his home country without the musical flair, serving up sausages at festivals around town under the name Bratz Y’all—an apt title connoting both his passion for his indigenous cuisine and his affinity for his adopted home. After garnering a strong following and collecting multiple awards at the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Vorkauf set down roots this spring with the opening of a brick-and-mortar location in the Bywater.
Tucked behind Pizza Delicious just a stone’s throw from the Piety Street bridge to Crescent Park, the short walk up the gravel driveway leads to a biergarten oasis of wooden picnic tables shaded by parasols. Patrons congregate over massive glass steins filled from the German-only beer list, excusing themselves from their tables only to order another round from the window conveniently cut out from the side of the building. Inside, half a dozen high-top tables overlook the massive open kitchen, which churns an extensive menu of German fare.
The bakery side of the operation delivers freshly baked pretzels, whose golden brown crust sprinkled with crunchy salt crystals gives way to a soft, bready interior. These biergarten staples are best eaten either in a dip of warm beer cheese or with a smear of Bavarian caraway-brie spread tinged pink with paprika. The pretzel is also employed for the Nürnberger, a Ron Jeremy-sized pork sausage extending well beyond both ends of its pretzel bun and topped with caramelized onions and sauerkraut made from a traditional recipe slow cooked with ham hocks, champagne vinegar and a judicious amount of caraway seeds that results in a mild sweetness. Other sausage delicacies include the Berliner, a smoked pork currywurst slathered with apple-curry ketchup and topped with curry powder and crispy fried onions, and the King Brat, an indulgent pork sausage stuffed with white cheddar and wrapped in bacon.
Aside from the sausage fest, the specialties of the house include a schnitzel, a slow-roasted pork shoulder and the Sunday-only schweinshaxe, a Flintstone-sized pork shank.
Take heed that the convivial nature of the biergarten often leads to another round of beer and food, and Bratz Y’all is no exception.
617-B Piety Street; Wed-Thur 11a–10p, Fri-Sat 11a–11p, Sun 11a–10p; (504) 301-3222; bratzyall.com