As another fellow foodie said, "Life is all about balance.". So with that in mind I set off by foot to my final destination at WVRST sausage hall hoping to burn off some calories. It isn't that simple when walking along King street west and passing by all those other nosh pits. This gave me some time to try to recall one of Stella (@Foodieyu) Vlog gems and Kiki's blog about WVRST. Let me also warn you that when I used google maps street view they still show the photos of ex "Conviction Kitchen" from Chef Marc Thuet. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant coming to this meetup. I found out that I'm not a big drinker from being with some friends. Only recently did I start to drink more than socially and the shear concept of drinking all night was unheard of. Mind you, when I drink with those friends we have a beer or two and go straight to the hard stuff. Is it a case off too much, too soon? Another night of blurry insobriety was not how I wanted to end the evening. The night might have come to an abrupt end with a burly bouncer guarding the entrance. He stopped allowing people in since the place was packed and it was only 7:30pm! My group , luckily, was already seated so the bouncer squeezed me inside. Other late comers weren't so lucky as those were made to wait even though the rest of us were inside. To the left of the entrance is a great mural(?) paying homage to the city and the TTC. Pretty cool stuff!
The place is pretty spacious and has nice ambient lighting where as our corner spot was quite dark. As this was my first meeting with the group, the introductions were quick and pleasant. Not wanting to offend any of the members or the organizer I got the ok to take some shots with the flash. I tried a few pictures without flash and those just didn't turn out well. Thank goodness some already ordered something because I wanted something to warm me up. A hot and fresh order of 'Dirty Fries' just landed on the table. These fries look hand cut and was smothered in pepper, sauteed onions and jalapenos. At first I didn't think it was just ketchup on those chips. Looking at the menu I find out that it was a house special sauce that was a bit like a mix of a smokey barbeque sauce and a spicy curry which works really well together!
This place was really kind to actually make a pairing menu for our group! That really impressed me with the thought and effort of how they treat their customers!
Once I got some food in me I started to take the dive into the world of microbrews and exotic beers. Staring at their menu and lengthy beer selection left me completely dumbfounded as the only thing I recognize wasn't even a beer at all. Needless to say the lineups for food were long, however, the waitstaff was very considerate in reminding people that drinks can also be ordered at the bar and not just at the service counter. Starting off I got pint of the Hacker EdelHell from the bar and returned to our table. Right away a few people sitting beside me knew what I had ordered and gave me some background info. These people really know their stuff! Lagers, Ales, Stout, Pilsner, IPA were all so new to me as I sampled and savored. After some more chit chat a live dj started kicking out some tunes. Things started to get pretty loud and the place had a good lively vibe. One of the members commented that it had an authentic beer hall feel. Apparently they also have 2 large drop down screens for leafs games. Sorry I couldn't get a better picture of there beer taps on the wall since they were so busy. This shot below was when things started to slow down later in the evening.
When the lineups have died down a bit I head over to make my order. Why can't more butcher displays be like this? :)
I was deciding what I wanted until I was completely flustered by a celebrity look alike behind the counter. She looks so much like Pippa Middleton that I thought I was on the show "I Get That a Lot". The question was begging to be asked. Of course her answer was "I get that a lot". :) My order was one of the suggested pairings of Kranjska sausage with a pint of Black Oak Pale Ale and those Duck Fat fries with the Maple Rosemary Dip for sharing. The other option when ordering a sausage is to have it on a fresh toasted roll with two toppings. I'm starting to see this order system in more and more places ever since I went to Big Smoke Burgers. With so many glassware on the table the opportunity presented itself with a line up photo op of the usual suspects. Don't let the second one from the left fool you in the picture below. That beer mug holds one litre of brewski! All they are missing are beer boots!
Fries just kept on coming our way from sharing with the group or individual entrees that I started to get full even before my food has arrived.
The entree arrived piping hot and the even though the sausage was sliced the pieces were still nice and juicy. Those who fear garlic don't have to worry since it was mild while enhancing the pork. The portions was a bit smaller than I hoped but these are premium products so I am not too disappointed. Heavenly wouldn't begin to describe the those wonderful duck fat fries! The duck fat gave it a rich buttery taste and not at all oily. Each time I munch on the fries I can't help imaging having duck confit as well on the plate! I am still in awe of those fries and the sweet salty pairing that I can't get enough of. The Black Oak Pale Ale is worth mentioning as well since that was when I think I found one that I liked. It is a bit more body while not feeling heavy like a Guinness and a good hoppy taste. Things started to get a bit fuzzy after a few more drinks because I would almost swear that the large fries was served on the large serving tray that came with the sausage and fries! Must be those beer googles!
This is another great place that belongs on King Street west like it fellow compatriots. The communal seats are great for large parties and the food and drinks are excellent! If you're lucky enough then you might also catch a glimpse of a celebrity. ;)