[San Mateo, CA] Wursthall

My friends and I went to Wursthall tonight for their last soft-opening night and it was quite good.
Wursthall Menu

We ordered the a couple beers (47 hills helles lager and Almanac Sour), al pastor sausage, chicken schnitzel sandwich, grilled broccolini salad, and crispy potatoes with bacon and onions.

The schnitzel sandwich was good, maybe a teeny tiny bit dry, but a solid offering which was elevated with the european style potato salad side.
The al pastor sausage was good too, but I taste the pineapple in the sausage.

However, our two favorite dishes were the following.

The very crispy, and delightful potatoes with bacon (basically pork belly) - the pork belly had a flavor similar to Japanese ramen tonkotsu broth - maybe taste buds were affected because of tippling heavily the night before. Any ideas @kenjilopezalt?

The grilled broccolini salad was smoky and had incredible flavors which meshed well.

I can’t wait to try this place again - but I’m sure it will be swamped for a while after they open on Monday. Great job @kenjilopezalt!



I’m curious how the fried potatoes compare to Kenji’s roasted potatoes.

Great to hear! Who’s the chef? Was Kenji in the kitchen?

Not sure about his visit, but I’ve seen Kenji a few times I walked past the place on Saturday night.

Not sure who the chef was. We were there on saturday early evening (545-645) - Kenji wasn’t in the kitchen unfortunately.

I don’t think he would be or should be in the kitchen running the show, since he has books to write and Serious Eats gig to do. I am just wondering what kind of role he’d have at Wursthall besides being the owner.

If you follow his tweets he was in the kitchen a lot.


It turns out my friend spotted him at the door the whole time we were dining. I had my back to the door.

Just a quick update I had from Wursthall (and see, I do eat something other than Cantonese food…).

Went with a friend and we tried out their pretzel and bratwurst.

The pretzel was actually quite nice. It was pleasantly warm and soft in the interior with a nice chewy exterior. The honey was an added bonus to the black pepper butter and I thought made it a great snack.


I got the traditional bratwurst with some sauerkraut on top. I found the bread to be pretty good though reminded me more of toasted white bread with butter. Sauerkraut was not overwhelmingly sour though I was kinda hoping more towards that direction. The potato salad was quite good and on the lighter end (doesn’t feel like it was submerged in mayo). However, I’m not a huge potato salad fan to begin with so… the nuances are a little lost on me.

Had two of their European beer selection, the Helles and the Kolsch. Found them both to be rather refreshing and on the lighter end (not huge fan of IPAs).

Overall, I’m definitely willing to go back to Wursthall and try out the other food items.


This place has great reviews with its food and ambiance. My issue is why I should pay $20 after tip and tax for a dish, when I know their sausages are store-bought for a dollar or two.

Kenji has repeatedly said their sausages are custom made to his specifications by Dittmer’s:

so I don’t know where your claims of “store bought” are coming from…it seems to me that you’ve already made up your own mind about Wursthall and are now just trying to be snarky


I was fully aware that Kenji got his sausages from Dittmer’s, which is a store. Regardless of whether Dittmer’s specifically makes the sausages for him or not, it’s my opinion that it’s not worth my money to spend $20 after tip & tax on a wurst, before beer(s), where the star of the fish is the sausage made elsewhere (unless perhaps it’s stuffed with special meats or spices). When we write a review, often we have made up our mind. Nothing wrong with that. Obviously many people disagree with me on Wursthall, and I know that. I don’t see how I’m being snarky, but you’re entitled to your opinion. If I don’t agree with someone on a dish or restaurant, I will ignore them; I certainly would not go out and make a rude comment about them. On a side note, I just heated up a Bockwurst to go with my packaged laksa (also added an egg and some milk fish in a jar from the Philippines), and so I’m not anti-wurst.

Cause I’m too lazy to make my own and purchase beer when hanging out with friends?

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There is nothing wrong with clarifying a post that has inaccurate information, like yours. The term store bought has the implication that regular people can just buy it from a store, which wasn’t true in this case. Now it seems you’re playing semantic gymnastics to try to defend your statement.

Also, “Why should I pay $X for Y” is not a review, it’s a condescending rhetorical question. By your admission, you already made up your mind that it wasn’t worth it, so you weren’t looking for an answer or discourse. You were just looking to put the place down, which is being snarky. You gave no commentary on the experience of eating at the place itself, so it’s definitely not a review.

I don’t see how I made any sort of rude comment. I just called a spade a spade.


Oh, if anyone listens to podcasts. Kenji Lopez-Alt was on the latest Freakonomics podcasts and he describes some of his uh… experiences when opening Wursthall.


That was a great episode, especially for someone like me who doesn’t know the ins and outs of restaurant cooking. Listening to the issues and solutions for getting food from kitchen to table was fascinating.

Episode link: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/how-to-open-a-restaurant/

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