Not the Best, Not the WVRST
This is a great place to take your beer-loving buddies and I stand by that.
A super relaxed atmosphere, WVRST is set up like a German beer hall with long communal-style tables that encourage you to get to know your neighbour. How it works is that you order at the main counter, getting a number in return that you take to your seat so that you can be identifiable when a server delivers your order.
Based on my experience dining here, I would recommend this place if you are looking to drink. The beverage menu, which was twice the size of the food menu, consists mainly of beers and ciders, ranging from pale ales to sours and foreign favourites to good ole’ classics and even local craft brews.
I ordered a Spanish cider called a Mayador from Asturias, Spain that was quite sour. Almost orange in colour, it was very dry and reminiscent of olive brine. After doing some research later I found that the yeasty cider I tried was similar to that of a traditional Spanish cider that is dry, tart, and aged in chestnut barrels to create a sour funk. The more you know!
This cider was by far one of the most unique ciders I'd ever had. It wasn’t your standard Angry Orchard, I’ll tell you that much!
As for food, we sampled a few things, starting with pretzels. A German-style soft pretzel, it was one of the better pretzels I've eaten. But I should note I'm not a huge pretzel fan anyway, so I could still take it or leave it.
Served with our salt-flecked, golden hoops was the spiciest dijon mustard known to man. This is not an exaggeration—our server gave us a warning beforehand! Literally, the mustard cleared my sinuses and had me blinking back tears! Even my hot sauce loving boyfriend had to take a minute to recompose himself.
Thankfully, we also ordered a raclette dipping sauce. Heavenly, it was a godsend, especially after tasting Satan’s mustard. Though it smelled like the inside of a fondue house, the cheese sauce was so ooey-gooey and sharp that it played really well with the buttery pretzel.
With our pretzels, we also ordered a Fresh Leafy Green Salad because you know, #healthy lifestyle and all. That was decent, considering we were at a beer and sausage pub. With fresh lettuce, colourful radishes and a palate-cleaning lemon vinaigrette, it was just the burst of vibrancy I needed after devouring a starchy pretzel the size of my head!
Of course, we also had to have sausage! What I found really neat about WVRST is that they have so many sausages to choose from including classic sausages like Italian, kielbasa or chorizo to game sausages like duck, venison or rabbit. There’s even chicken or turkey sausages if you’re craving lighter fare. Vegan? No problem! Have a Beyond Meat sausage!
Once you’ve picked out which sausage you want sandwiched between a pillowy brioche bun, you can pick two out of four toppings to add on top of your wiener. Sautéed sweet onion, pepper, sauerkraut, jalapeños, giardiniera or melted cheese (raclette or gouda), the options are plenty! You can also opt to have a Currywurst, where sausage is sliced and stewed in a tomato curry sauce and served with bread.
Chris and I settled on onions and peppers to top our sausages as we chose gamey options. Although the currywurst did sound very intriguing! Here’s what we chowed down on:
Blueberry and maple
With a slightly honeyed overtone, the maple infusion played well with the slightly sweeter meat of the bison. A tad coarser than beef, the bison also balanced quite nicely with the real blueberries hiding inside the sausage. The berries also added a fruity freshness.
Pork and beef with light smoke
A smokey and garlic infusion of both meaty beef and fatty pork, the Kranjasnka might have been tricky to pronounce, but it was definitely a breeze to devour! The onions and peppers, along with a streaky coarse mustard, provided excitement and richness to an already intriguing sausage. My Ukrainian guy was in love!
Dijon and red pepper
With a bit of bite, the venison was gamier than a beef sausage. Not as fatty or juicy, the venison when paired with red peppers and dijon, really embraced its earthy forest flavours. The pop of pepper had a mild tang which complimented the meat quite nicely.
Though we had already dined on two large pretzels, a salad and three sausages, I’m sort of sad that we didn’t get to try the Duck Fat Fries. A winner of Now Magazine’s Best Fries in Toronto award for three years in a row, I’m going to save a side of fries for the next time I’m having a pint on an empty stomach!
Overall, the consensus is that WVRST is a cool hangout to join some friends for a beer. If you get hungry, then you’re in luck because you can have a fairly hearty and decent meal without having to search hard. Just look to the end of the beerhall for the glass counter loaded with sausages! Though I wouldn’t set out to come here strictly to dine, I would add WVRST to my list of great bars with a lil something extra.
What’s the most unique sausage you’ve ever eaten? Share in the comments below!