In the queue in front of me they know exactly what they want and the line moves in obedient fashion at a good clip. The woman directly ahead of me, with whom I had been chatting, orders her weekly indulgence, a Falscher Hase (slabs cut from a loaf of pork and beef bound with eggs, tucked in a bun). She tells me it’s a chomp down memory lane for her, harkening back to her days as a Munich grad student, forever hungry, forever broke.
The Sausage Kitchen server working the lunch line overhears my questions about this Munich meatloaf and before I can say Menschenskind I have a fat forkful of the thing suspended in front of my nose. “Here, try it!” It’s probably three bites worth, but I manage to pop the entire generous hunk of it and am accordingly chewingly mute by the time it’s my turn at the counter. All I can do is nod as she points to the items that go in The Sampler Plate. Sauerkraut? (Yes). Fried potatoes… regular ones? (I shake no) or Hungarian ones with paprika, onion and spicy sausage? (To these, I nod).
The Sausage Kitchen's sampler plate
Next come pierogies (cheddar and potato, three of them) and finally, the sausage. By now I can talk. She goes over the options after I ask for details – from the very spicy Cajun sausage to the mild garlic, to the Italian, the bratwurst, knackwurst, weisswurst… The line behind me shuffles and sighs. I go for a Bratwurst, say yes to Dijon mustard, nod to sour cream. I am invited to choose my own drink from the fridge and I move to the window ledge to wolf it all down.
This is the Sausage Kitchen’s Sampler Plate. It’s quite brown, a bit messy, very tasty and there’s enough of it to fill me for a week.
At the cash are donuts, brought in from Montreal I am told, sugar glazed and shiny, filled with a boozy prune goo. I tuck one of those away for later. Surely I’ll be hungry later. I’m still waiting.
Cost: The Sampler costs $7.89 and includes a drink.
The Sausage Kitchen is found at 5 Byward Market Square and is open daily.