If you are what you eat, Berliners are made of currywurst. The homegrown flavor of postwar Berlin is Herta Heuwer’s patented sauce of English curry, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, slathered over sliced pork sausage that’s first been steamed, then fried. Every Berlin mayor has to get an official photo taken with the stuff before they’ll even let him in the building. The city’s also installed a Currywurst Museum. They eat more currywurst per capita than we eat pizzas.
But no one has opened a dedicated currywurst cart in Portland until now. The new Deutschland Curry cart is all about the sausage—specifically, cumin-spiced pork bratwurst made with the help of a butcher in deeply German Mt. Angel.
The best item at the cart is the original. The cart’s paprika currywurst and fries ($6.50) has an affably faithful rendition of Heuwer’s sweet-tangy Chillup sauce, with just enough spice to bother a German (which is to say, not much). The fries are hand-cut, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, with an option for Berlin’s customary mayo as a dipping sauce. The basket is a spaceship back to the unsavory tourist sections of the Ku’damm.
Of the wurst variations, stick to the Hungarian lecso dog ($6), a hot-dog-bunned brat slathered in a fondue made from Tillamook aged white cheddar and a stew of acidic paprika, tomato and peppers. The lentil dog ($6), on the other hand, is an experiment gone wrong—it’s like a hot dog that fell in cumin mud—and the fondue brat without the lecso ($6.75) is a dull white paste.
But all the cart
really needs, as every Berliner knows, is the straight-up currywurst and
fries, plus access to beer. As Herbert Grönemeyer noted in his smash
German hit “Currywurst,” that curry sure does make you thirsty.
- Order this: Currywurst ($6.50).
- I’ll pass: The lentils are a no.
GO: Deutschland Curry, Southwest 5th Avenue and Stark Street, 866-5903, deutschlandcurry.com. 11 am-3 pm Monday-Friday.