Bars are fun and it isn’t just because of the alcohol, but also about the overall atmosphere. I’m definitely a fan of my usual local and I can also appreciate kicking back in a new place once in a while. And when Mr. T said, “we should go to all the bars in Park Slope and then make a feature out of it for your blog” I thought that sounded pretty brilliant (I knew I was marrying a smart man). So that’s what we’re doing with a little something called The Bar Beat in Park Slope. This week we’re featuring Side Car.
(Read all the details about The Bar Beat here)
I know I haven't done a Bar Beat in a while, but get excited folks because this month I have one written by a friend of mine, Anton. He had the pleasure of visiting Der Kommisar with Mr. T and I last month and, given his expertise, I thought it was a genius idea to let him take the lead on this one. So, here you go.
As the author of a dissertation on the history of Soviet food, I believe that I can honesty claim to be an expert on both sausage and Kommissars. So when Mr. T and Jess invited to me to sample Der Kommissar, an Austrian/Central European pub in South Slope, I couldn't resist.
Location: 559 5th Ave
We ordered a sampler of five sausages and five side dishes.
In my expert opinion all the sausages were excellent and flavorful - even the chicken. My personal favorite was the Käsekrainer - bratwurst-like sausage that also has cheese inside. I missed this Austrian classic and this saved me from running to Vienna on the next plane. We also had a regular brat, an andouille, and another Austrian specialty - the Leberkase - which is basically like a fine-grained pork meatloaf.
The sides were very good as well, especially the potato salad, the spicy pickles and peppers mix and the sliced, Austrian bread dumpling (think round, mildly seasoned stuffing).
The whole is served on a paper-lined tray and one of the servers pointed out the identities of individual sausages to us.
Quality of drinks
We had beer. Mr. T and Jess had serious, liter-sized Hofbräu steins of Hofbräu Maibock. The restaurant listed Austrian beers on the menu but the Göser was not available and they were running out of bottled Stiegl shandy. The Gaffel Kölsch, which is not Austrian of course, was just the thing for me!
Friendly and cheerful. We began our outing siting outside (before the weather chased us in) and though it is self-service there, the waitress came out to us.
Outdoors is a small beer garden. Indoors is dark, cozy, and yet grungy-industrial. A Mitteleuropean paradox, if you will. The tables and chairs are pretty small because the bare-brick walled space is so narrow.
They also have a few flat-screened TVs and we were able to watch the Champion's League final as an appetizer for the upcoming World Cup.
The bathrooms have maps of Austria, Austrian stamps and snarky wall commentary from visitors to entertain you. They are also very clean if small.
Pretty darn reasonable. But not socialist. Then again, the quality of the beer and sausage were also much higher than back in the USSR.
Go! Embrace the Red Viennese revolution and get Freudian with all that sausage. Wash down with German, if not Austrian beer. Expect fairly tight quarters.