Featuring eight kinds of Wisconsin-made wursts, $5 brewskies and cream puffs topped with warm chocolate sauce, The Wurst is one of Wine Country’s best summer restaurant openings.
A Detroit native, owner Charles Bell knows his sausage, offering up “real deal” sausages with caramelized onions, hot peppers, sweet peppers and sauerkraut. Giving a major assist with the opening menu and working in the kitchen, local chef (and new mom) Tracey Shepos formerly of Stark’s.
Recounting the brats of his Midwestern childhood, Bell, who is also a former MC5 bassist and finance guy, said creating the space on paper was good therapy during cancer treatment several years ago. “This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.
What to try: Grab a traditional “Wurst” made with pork, fennel, parsley and smoked paprika, savory Sheboygan Brats, Detroit Polish (a mix of beef, pork, beers and onions) and the Harissa Hottie with pork beef, apricot, harissa, habanero and coriander. All are $7.25, with some fancier concoctions running $8.75. The lineup also includes two chicken sausages, a Nathan’s Famous hot dog for kids and a third-pound locally-sourced beef hamburger called the Smash burger ($8.75) served on a pretzel bun.
When you’re the Wurst, the details that make all the difference. Fresh buns from nearby Costeaux Bakery, five different types of dipping sauces for hand-cut fries (truffle aioli, Liar’s Dice BBQ sauce, peppercorn ranch) and a stellar lineup of condiments including curry ketchup, sweet mustard and several types of pickle relish delight. Somehow we missed out on the Beer Cheddar sauce, but hopefully it will return to the menu shortly.
Endings are sweet, with simple homemade milkshakes and an ice cream puff filled with vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate fudge from Detroit-based confectionary Sanders, and crushed peanuts.
It’s the best of the Wurst in Healdsburg.
The Wurst, 22 Matheson St., Healdsburg. Open daily at 11am for lunch an dinner.