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Wurst - Calgary German Beer Haus

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From Gilchrist this morning, looks like a German Beer House if finally coming back to Calgary. In the old Wildwood/Gasthaus location.

I pray they don't screw it up. So much potential I am hoping for. Homemade kase spaetzle, knoedel, multaschen, boots of beer, steins. Please.

Too many German places run by 60 year old grannies in this city. Well, all of them.

http://www.wurst.ca/

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    1. re: nonlinear

      Just to clarify, those foods are what I am hoping for. The site doesn't mention whats on the menu.

      1. re: fotze

        I hope for this too! Homemade spaetzle would make me weep with happiness.

        1. re: messier

          A little out of the way, but the Austrian Canadian Club just off 32/Deerfoot has great spaetzle and will sub it for potato if you want. Great schnitzel too.

          -----
          Austrian Canadian Cultural Centre
          3112 11 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

          1. re: messier

            Easy to make at home by the way!! Also quick and they freeze well :-)

        2. re: nonlinear

          Went last night. Service was attentive, especially considering how busy the restaurant was that night. We ordered a ton of appies - complete rip-off. The taste was okay but the portion was tiny. Then we ordered two $40.00 platters of meat (pork and sausage), which was very filling but really salty and bland. However, the guys I was with really enjoyed the meats so perhaps it was just me. I noticed the manager was trying very hard to please customers by being proactive, responding to questions, concerns, etc. Personally, I enjoyed the environment, beer and service but it was really pricey. Next time we'll skip the appies and go straight for the meat.

          1. re: clouie

            Went Saturday night and ate in the dining room. I really liked the decor, loved their chairs, but was a little sad that the trees they promote on the website were fake. It does reduce the upkeep, but it's a little mall-like. They have the "in-house water filtration system" that's so popular at Una and Boxwood, which is nice. There are (housemade?) quick pickled vegetables on the table when you sit down - light and refreshing.
            We had very quick service, and only a few bumps due to the newness of the place. Like, our meals came out before we had been served our drinks, and the bread was served halfway through our meal. The bf chose the Jager schnitzle (with mushrooms, veggies and spatzle) and I had the beer braised mussels. The schnitzle was tender, with a deeply flavoured sauce and generous amounts of mushrooms. The mussels were swimming in large chunks of bacon, fennel and pearl onions in a delightful beer-y broth. Thank god they brought out the bread to sop it all up!
            We finished with the apple strudel with homemade vanilla ice cream. Not bad! The pastry was very crisp, with warm, well-cooked apples inside. Full disclosure - we only ordered dessert because we wanted to try out more beers, and didn't want to venture downstairs (to the beerhall) quite yet.
            Once we had finished dessert, and cleared the bill we went downstairs. They've done a good job of keeping the two spaces separate - the noise downstairs was not very audible upstairs, etc. The hall was completely packed, so we only did the tour and went on our way. The kitchen is open to the beerhall, so it might be fun next time to eat downstairs and see the chefs go at it.
            Final thoughts - food was good, service needs to work the kinks out, and next time we'll be trying out the beerhall.

        3. They have more info on their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WurstCalgary#...

          It sounded very promising when I saw the ad in City Palate, but I'm a bit thrown off by this statement on their facebook page:

          Although you'll find tributes to Bavarian food on our menu, we think you'll find we're far from traditional. Our chefs have put their own twist on European brasserie fare featuring charcuterie, fresh fish, Alberta bone-in tenderloin, rotisserie half-chicken and a raw seafood bar brimming with oysters, Dungeness crab, Atlantic lobster and scallops. Much like restaurants throughout Bavaria, our culinary team uses fresh ingredients from local producers whenever possible and absolutely everything, right down to the condiments, are made and prepared in-house.

          Oyster bar?? I don't know how that fits in with the German theme.

          3 Replies
          1. re: llkerr

            "tributes". How disappointing. Sounds like it will be as Bavarian as, well, any other restaurant in Calgary that uses local ingredients and by gum, makes their own condiments!!!

            If they read Chowhound, maybe this will help them. This is my all-time favourite Bavarian "Haus", a true must for any ChowHund who travels to München

            http://www.weisses-brauhaus.de/index.php

            Das Menü, auf englisch:

            http://www.weisses-brauhaus.de/pdf/Sp...

            1. re: Scary Bill

              I am cautiously optimistic. Leberkäse is apparently on the menu.

            2. re: llkerr

              Just took a look at their site/fb.... Grant Parry of The Bison in Banff is the exec chef. This may explain the statement you read as it sounds a lot like the philosophies from The Bison.

              Promising... I loved the original Bison menu and still love their charcuterie although not sure how German it is.

            3. I really miss having a great pub in that location, I really hope they can do a great job with it. Homemade Spaetzle (kasespaetzle bitte!).... mmmm.

              I heard this project is related to Mercato somehow... any idea if that's true?

              1 Reply
              1. re: crazy_eoj

                The manager, Mike Mendelman, is the son-in-law of the owner of Mercato. He’s been up in Banff tearing it up at the Maple Leaf for years. A former member of the Calgary Irish Rugby club, he’s a speedster on the wing, but, sadly, has hands of stone.

              2. Given it's taking over the old Wildwood spot - are they also running a brewery? There's no mention of it on their website or Facebook page.

                5 Replies
                1. re: mountain_bug

                  This place looks amazing...they've posted their menus now on their website. Mmm. Spaetzle.

                  http://wurst.ca/menus.php

                  1. re: leahj

                    Is "Franzl's Mixed Grill" a nod to Franzl's Gasthaus which used to be at that location?

                    1. re: 23skidoo

                      It looks like it is. I was nearby yesterday, and it looks like they uncovered the old Franzl's sign.

                      1. re: 23skidoo

                        Does anyone know what's happening next door (the old Tech Shop location)? I thought it was going to be incorporated into Wurst, like a big indoor/outdoor patio, which has proven to be untrue.
                        Originally, I had heard that Mercato people had bought it, to make another pizzeria, but that was two years ago and I haven't heard anything since.

                    2. re: leahj

                      Doesn't sound very Bavarian to me (born & raised Bavarian) but I will try it.

                  2. Wow, they do have maultaschen on the dinner menu! Now if they could also put flammen kuchen on the menu, we would definitely swing into Calgary to try it out.

                    1. The beer menu has a couple of interesting things on it, once you get past all the InBev products. And there's a lot of them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Leibowitz

                        The "Guten Tag Red Eye," under their "Beer Cocktails" list is hilarious. If you're drinking Bud and Clam, you should be overpaying for it. Well done there.

                        1. re: Leibowitz

                          I agree, that is a little embarrassing. At least put a German beer in there.

                      2. If it says book for fathers day at the top of the screen does that mean that it will be open soon?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Roarasaur

                          It's open now. I was there last Friday.

                        2. We went to Wurst for Father's Day brunch and it looks as though they still have some major kinks to work out. We decided to sit downstairs in the Beir-Garten area. It's a very cold, barn like space - I guess that's the idea. To start our meal…they had no food menus!! The waitress explained that there weren't enough to go around because some had been spilled on and ruined. One beer menu had been photocopied so small that it was an illegible 1 font. Some of the German beers on tap, that we wanted to try, had run out. After sitting there for about 10 minutes, waiting for a menu to be freed up from another table, we just got out our cell phones and downloaded the menu. Problem solved I guess.

                          The server, although very very nice and perky, she was pretty awful. It wasn't that busy, so the servers spent most of the time convening near the bar, either chatting to each other or the bartender. On numerous occasions we had to wave and signal for service. A number of the servers looked at us and then just looked away or walked off, probably because we weren't 'their table'. If you continually have to get a server's attention to ask for more drinks, more water, cutlery, etc, then they aren't doing their job.

                          The food was sadly disappointing. I ordered the butter poached lobster omelet with wilted greens and cheese. It wasn't really an omelet in that the eggs were just placed on top of a pile of spinach and hunk of lobster tail meat. Yes, the lobster portion was certainly more than fair for $18, but the lobster was cold, tough and stringy and the greens weren't wilted at all. It was like having a plain omelet on top of a salad. Father was disappointed that there were only two hot German foods on the entire brunch menu - one was bratwurst, one was a chicken schnitzel sandwich. He ended up ordering the Mountain breakfast, basically bacon/eggs and hashbrowns. He asked to substitute the bacon for bratwurst, which they obliged for an extra $2. The bratwurst was so dry and crumbly, it had no flavor at all - no spices, no pepper, no salt. We have both had bratwurst in Germany, so maybe our expectations were high?

                          And one last petty complaint was the conditions of the ladies bathroom. Garbage cans were overflowing with paper and the countertops were sopping with water. It was only noon so I'm not sure how they got to be such a mess in 2 hours. Obviously they aren't checked regularly. And it looks like they haven't worked out a staff locker/room situation, as there was unsightly mass of coats, shoes and backpacks at the end of the hallway leading to the bathroom. Again, a petty complaint but details matter to me.

                          I really hope they are just in the stages of working out these issues. There are too many new restaurants in this city and just not enough time or money to go back to the ones that didn't catch my attention, the first time around.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: TSAW

                            Seems like they could solve all of their problems by changing the name to "Worst".

                            I wonder who the brainiac is who thought the name was creative and catchy?

                            1. re: Scary Bill

                              A funny aside about the name... I read a John Gilchrist column on the weekend that clearly said the restaurant's name was anglisized (sp?) and pronounced a 'w', not a tradtional bavarian 'v' sound. But the server said "Welcome to Vurst"... Odd. I'm not sure I really know it's name now.

                              1. re: TSAW

                                Strange because Wurst is with a W in Germany anyways. Spelled or spoken.

                                The Bavarians would say Wursht though.

                                1. re: josey124

                                  In German, it is indeed pronounced with a 'v' sound, as in "Braht-voorst," with the long "oo" sound. So the "vurst" pronunciation is kind of a halfway bastardization/compromise, possibly to prevent conjuring ideas of a worst/wurst impression of the place.

                                  1. re: aktivistin

                                    Well, in Bavaria it is definitely a W not a V. and a Shhh instead of a S.

                          2. I went there last Friday and wasn't blown away either. I really hope they're just ironing out the kinks. Here's my "review" that I sent to my friend afterwards: "On my way home from work on Friday, [my friend] called to say she got the night off work unexpectedly and "did I want to go to Wurst?". It had just opened the night before. [my husband] and I drive by this place every morning so I've been patiently awaiting its opening. It's really nice inside and service was good. I spotted an interesting beer that was half wheat beer, half grapefruit juice but they didn't have it in stock. They sold 200 ml glasses of beer so I ordered an Erdinger (which is usually served it a very tall glass). My friend wasn't impressed with her meal (beef tenderloin bone in). I got 1/2 rotisserie chicken with hazelnuts & jus, served with wilted greens and 'melted potatoes'. The chicken itself was nice. The potatoes were too runny and like instant potato. We both hated them. I wanted to substitute the baked sweet potato topped with speck (bacon) from the 'sides' menu but they wouldn't let me so I got both potatoes anyway... the sweet potato was huge (and it should have been... it cost $10!). I took home half the chicken and half the potato. I also got a side of sauerkraut to try (took half of that home as well). I really enjoyed the kraut but I'm not an expert on how it should taste, since it was my first time eating it.

                            I thought the decor, washrooms and service were good, though we were there at 5:00 on a Friday (before the rush). I'd give Wurst a second chance but i'm in no rush to get back there.

                            And yes, the downstairs is quite dungeon-y. Many people were drinking beer out of a giant boot shaped glasses. It was almost life-sized, which I don't understand because your beer would definitely get warm before you got to the toe. I wouldn't choose to eat downstairs... it seems more like a "let's get really drunk during Stampede... wooo!!" type of atmosphere.

                            1. I went to both Craft Beer Market and Wurst on the same night over the weekend - surprisingly, I'm not an alcoholic ;) Amazingly, both places had the same problem - they were out of a significant portion of their on-tap beers! Opening weekend jitters, hopefully - but Wurst only had 3 available on tap - rather disappointing.

                              It was so busy that we weren't able to get a seat - we just walked in at around 9pm, and should have known better than to try to get a table without a reservation. We ended up sitting around a barrel downstairs, which wasn't too bad but didn't exactly provide a good eating surface. The food looked great when it came - several dishes were served in cast-iron pans, which was pretty neat, and the pork knuckle that my friend ordered was almost the size of his head! Luckily a table opened up shortly after our food arrived so we had some space to maneuver. Unfortunately, it was so dark that I literally couldn't see what I was eating - I ordered the bratwurst, which in the dark seemed to be swimming in some kind of creamy potato-ey substance. Not too bad, but the brat was quite dry - I much prefer them greasier and juicy. I see their website has "bringing mustard back" but I couldn't taste much, if any, in the dish (but maybe I just missed it because I couldn't see it).

                              I will probably go back again, but mainly for the pork knuckle (schweinshaxen) - when else do you get the opportunity to eat something that's like 80% fat? ;)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: uncultured

                                As a side note about Craft, which is an enjoyable enough place in my estimation, I would expect them to be out of quite a lot of their taps on a consistent basis. This is not their fault, but supply issues with Connect Logistics (the major liquor wholesaler for Alberta) and the breweries themselves. That said, with 100 odd taps, you'll still have quite a bit of quality to choose from. With the current beerhouse trend taking hold in Calgary (bloody Finally), this situation should improve over time.

                                1. re: uncultured

                                  The PLT (porchetta, lettuce, tomato) sandwich at Charcut is a good source of pork fat if you need an alternative :)

                                2. I've been a couple times already, mostly for a couple pints with friends. I think they were running out of tap beers because they actually had no idea how much they were going to sell in the first week. I remember talking with one of the owners and he mentioned they went through 43 kegs on their fourth night in business alone. Hopefully they're getting a better grasp on the demand at this point.

                                  I did have dinner one evening and it was very apparent that they're still (very much) working out the kinks. I would advise potential customers to stick with the simple menu items and avoid the more creative options. I've been underwhelmed by plenty of my friends dinner orders already. I did quite like the "Pile of brats" that comes in a skillet with mash and some kind of gravy. That being said, none of the various brats blew me away. I also enjoyed the wurst onion soup and the salty homemade pretzels that came free with the table. I did at one point ask for some hot or sharp mustard for my sausages and was told that all I could have is some sweet brown house mustard. Surely they must have more than 1 mustard??

                                  My opinion is that this place has enormous potential if they would just cut out the overly creative crap on the menu and deliver (mostly) German classics really well. Although they're expensive, they have some great beers here (when in stock) and the beer hall layout makes for a great festive atmosphere where you can hang out with friends or make some new ones. As for the dining room, it's a very nice space but I'd likely go elsewhere to sit down for a civilized dinner until they figure out how to execute their menu with some degree of skill and consistency.

                                  1. I didn't care for the schnizel, it was 3 pieces in a small cast iron pan that were more like breaded medallions about 1/4" thick than what I like (pounded thin and large). Not enough lemon and no wedge on the side. Spaetzle was soggy. Beer was super expensive. It's too bad because I love schnizel and this place is really close while the Austrian Canadian Club is sooo far away. I will check it out again in a few months.

                                    1. Dropped in to the downstairs beer hall last week for a pint with some friends who wanted to try it out.

                                      Waitress: very nice and attentive/great service

                                      Beers: They were out of the Stiegl beer on tap that I first ordered. I have yet to go here without being denied a beer because they have run out of it. Their house 1516 (i think it's called) was OK. Second pint of Kolsch was much better.

                                      Cost for 2 pints and tip: $23 !!!

                                      I love the atmosphere but the cost for those 2 beers is insulting. Keep in mind that I had 2 of the cheapest draft beers available and I am typically more than happy to spend too much on drinks even though I realize it's a poor way to spend one's earnings haha.