Wurst und Bier in Crosswoods has taken strides to create an authentic experience for diners.
A German food revolution of sorts is happening in the unlikeliest area of town.
On the opposite end of the city from German Village, Wurst und Bier has opened in the old Buffalo Wild Wings location, at 110 Hutchinson Ave. in the Crosswoods.
The new concept involves big Bavarian pretzels, an abundance of sausages, an ambitious beer program and European hospitality.
Thomas Klein, a native of Germany, makes sure the fare lives up to his exacting standards.
Klein, who owns several restaurants in his native country, is training chef Brian Hirshfield on the nuances of his menu, which includes three different styles of schnitzel, homemade potato salad, spaetzle and other dishes.
But the big draw is sausage – 17 options in all – made in Bucyrus.
Four varieties are specially made for the restaurant from recipes developed by Klein, whose father was a butcher.
There also are three exotic choices: rattlesnake and pheasant, alligator and smoked duck. All are served in French-style buns, baked locally at Auddino's Italian Bakery.
One variation is the currywurst, a German street food that cuts across socioeconomic lines.
It's served on street corners and in five-star hotels, occasionally with champagne.
It involves pieces of sliced sausage drizzled with a sweet-and-tangy sauce dashed with curry powder.
All wursts, weighing between 5 and 7 ounces, are $5 to $7.50.
Pretzels, which also are an important part of the menu, are served with three different mustards and obazda, a cheese spread with butter, onions and other seasonings.
The menu is rounded out with burgers, flatbreads, wings, sandwiches and something decisively American: sauerkraut balls. Most items are in the $4 to $10 range.
There are 28 draft beers, 15 of which are German, including the Gaffel Koelsch, a style of beer that's difficult to find in Ohio, the owners said.
The German beers are served in full and half liters, keeping with traditional pouring methods.
There are American craft and macrobrews, as well as other imported beers and a variety of by-the-bottle choices.
Wurst und Bier also offers 100-ounce beer tubes – kept cold by putting ice in a cylinder in the middle of the receptacle – each outfitted with two taps.
The 6,000-square-foot storefront, which briefly was home to Jed's Fireballs & Brew, seats 125.
In keeping with the tradition of the previous two tenants, Wurst und Bier will continue to be a place to watch sports, particularly soccer.
The place is outfitted with custom wood tables, some seating as many as 10. Sharing is encouraged by the server staff, Klein said.
"We must get people together," he said.
Klein and A.J. Andreu are the owners of Max Bratwurst und Bier in New York City.
Other investors in the Columbus restaurant are Tim Andreu and Adam Vllasi.
While Crosswoods has struggled in recent years, the owners are pleased with the location.
"We found the perfect space for what we wanted to do," Vllasi said.
Wurst und Bier is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 614-436-2437.