I am remembering the good times I have had at the sausage houses and gardens of München. The whole family sat out in the sunshine with blooms in the gardens and drank great steins of beer while drunken children would play and, sometimes, vomit. And so I was looking forward very much to the new Occidental Wursthaus (6635 N Baltimore Ave., 503-719-7102) in St. Johns.
The German-style brewery across the parking lot has made a bar upstairs with a balcony view of the iconic bridge. I say "Prost!" to that, heartily. But imagine my surprise to find Bavarian-style white sausages from cleverly rhyming sausage-maker "Urban German" served even after noon. Can you imagine it? Were I eating that morning sausage in afternoons in Bavaria, every person would laugh at me. "Then you will lose your hair!" they would say. And the white-poached sausages were all sliced up, denying me the satisfying ritual of carving them out of their intestines with a knife.
But I do like the Urban German bratwurst and the wonderful house-made mustards, even if the traditional-made pretzel came out a little dry this time. And even on a hot day, the dark Occidental beer was balanced, malty and nice. The "Hopfenweizen" had me confused, though. What is that? It was hoppy and sharp. Where are the beer-garden radlers of my youth, with lemon soda mixed in with the lager? Or the refreshing Russians mixing hefeweizen with sparkling lemon?
But still I will say: It is a very nice patio for bratwurst, and a warm feeling in the pub, even when none of the children are drunk. And the view of the St. Johns Bridge and the river is one of my favorite views in town.
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