Is It Any Good?

German-style sausages in Sherman Oaks that…well…(read on).

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This hurts.

No, seriously, this hurts. I don’t like ragging on a place.

Strangely enough, as a Food Blogger, I want all restaurants to do well. I want them all to succeed, but sadly, that’s not always going to be the case.

We applaud noble effort. We like with someone gives it the “Ol’ College Try”, but…you know.

If you’ve read any part of this blog, you know that I like German Sausages, Beers and Brats, and whatnot. Even when it’s pretty mediocre, it’s still pretty good.

So what of Brats Brothers? A Sausage joint in Sherman Oaks?

The inside of Brats Brothers in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Well, you walk inside and it…well…has the stylings of an olde-timey German Brew Hall. There’s a small bar toward the back (It’s a small place after all). There are some seats outside, and a big ol’ communal table toward the center. So far nice.

I grabbed a chair at the Communal Table, and made a plan via the Menu and kicked back. It surprised me that it was a very busy joint, slowly ramping up as I sat there and ate.

But I was really surprised because the food bordered on awful.

Yes, awful. And I’m not talking flavorless, or uninteresting. Something happened here that I don’t expect to happen from even the worst restaurants in town.

The food actually tasted bad.

More on that in a minute.

I don’t know what else to say, I don’t like typing this. I don’t take any joy from a take down of any restaurant. When I walk in, I’m always expecting at least good, am always pleasantly surprised when it;s better than that, and mildly disappoint when it’s not that good.

Bites of this were really, really bad. And I fortunately figured out the culprits. (Here’s a hint, the sausages themselves were fine. Tasty even.)

I hope that the proprietors read this and, well…fix it. I’d be more than happy to come in and make another anonymous review, and reevaluate, but for right now…no. Don’t do this to yourself.

 

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I got a Black Forest Brat, which is smoked Pork with Black Forest Ham & Bacon, with grilled onions. It arrived on a really good bun, and I dressed it up with a decent helping of Whole Grain Mustard.

The Black Forest Brat at Brats Brothers.

As a side, I got the Cheese ‘Spaetzle’, which is homemade pasta, swiss cheese, and onions.

So

Ummm

When first bit into the Cheese ‘Spaetzle’, I knew I was in trouble. It tasted like…barely anything. I couldn’t taste the onions. (In fact, I didn’t know there were onions in it until just now as I reviewed the Menu). I couldn’t taste the Cheese, but then again Swiss Cheese (particularly when its store bought variety) isn’t exactly bursting with flavor. So couple house made pasta, which…felt…good, with that cheese and…

You get the picture. This was a failure of recipe, and can be fixed.

That, however, wasn’t my problem.

As I turn to toward the Black Forest Bratwurst, I’m nervous. I bite in, and…

…again nothing. No taste and flavor. A second bite…a second bite is terrible. It actually tastes foul. What the heck is going on here?

Breaking down the Brat, the problem isn’t where you’d expect it. I tasted the onions, which were great. The Brat itself was actually pretty tasty (I took a bite out of it solo). And the bun was good, really good. Good crust, tasty bread.

The problem was the Mustard, the Whole Grain Mustard that was waiting for me at my table.

The culprit.

The culprit.

Frankly, it tasted awful. It tasted and smelled like something I’d get from the pharmacists. It’d smelled like it had gone bad.  How mustard goes bad…I don’t know.  I didn’t know it was possible.  And no, I didn’t tell them.  This is on the restaurant. You can’t be putting this stuff on the table, and expecting a pass. It was so bad that I actually had to scrape it off and put on Brat Brothers Horseradish Mustard instead. Things tasted normal after that, but…yeah, bad bad mojo.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: There’s nothing really strange or unusual about the restaurant. They have TVs going on inside, usually playing sports from Europe. The day I was there it was the French Open and some Soccer Tournament.

The restaurant is hidden behind some trees, so might be a little hard to see from the street.

 

PARKING: It may be decently easy, but I didn’t know it going in.

There’s a big honking sign out front that says “Parking in Rear”, but of course I didn’t see that until I had parked my sled across the street at the meter on Dixie Canyon Dr.

Looking at the Google Maps image of the restaurant, there doesn’t seem to be a whole heck of a lot of spaces in back, but at least they’re free, so try them first. Failing that, then you can try the meters along Dixie Canyon. (I’m assuming that that the spaces along Ventura Blvd. are just gone.) If you want to know where Dixie Canyon is, it is to the right of the Great Greek just across the street.

Brats Brothers in Sherman Oaks, CA.

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Brats Brothers
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Tel: (818) 986-4020

Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm