German Sausages a bit away from Old Town Pasadena.
You look up at walls that echo the past. Banners hanging high in the rafters, all bearing the mark of the wolf. You can imagine the calls of Men, chanting, singing together…fellow comrades in arms, slamming their tall steins of Brau together, all under the watchful eye of…
…a Chinese…Kung-Fun epic…from the…seventies.
I guess that’s the best way to describe the energy here at Der Wolfskopf, a German Sausage and Beer place just outside of the main drag in Old Town Pasadena.
The old world feel is no joke. You walk inside, and…it’s a pretty tall ceiling, and a pretty big space for a place that basically mainly focuses on the beer and sausages thing. Of course, the day I was there (for lunch) the place was practically deserted…which is never a good sign.
Also, another…possible hurdle is the fact that the restaurant is so removed from the main part of Old Town. You can’t just wander in off of Colorado, you’ve got to walk a block, and then another to get here. It’s close to Tortas Mexico in Pasadena, a place that’s been here a while. Der Wolfskopf is new. It’s taking a chance. I hope it works out for them.
So, I saunter up to the bar, deciding to do my work there. I mean, I don’t mind watching a Kung Fu Epic with whatever dawg I get. But it’s…well…not quite the feel I want. I guess the Soccer Match that’s playing is a better feel, but it just reminds me that this place is many, many things, but the Sausages are not it’s primary focus. It’s a place that happens to serve them.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Okay. I’m going to be honest.
Even Food Bloggers can @#$% their order up.
I don’t know what it is. Maybe it was the Beer. Maybe it was the movie, but somehow…I really jacked this up.
Allow me to explain.
The Sausages at Der Wolfskopf are all classic German ones you know and love: Brats of various kinds, Kielbasas, Frankfurters. Not as much variety as other restaurants, but still…
The Sausages are also customizable, you can get a variety of toppings on them like: Sauerkraut, Peppers, Grilled Onions, Coleslaw, Beer Cheese or Jalapeños. See? Simple enough.
Now, what you choose to get on your Sausage is going to affect how much you enjoy that Sausage. Makes sense right? So what did I get? How did I screw things up?
With my Oak Smoked Beer Bratwurst, I got Grilled Onions (good idea), and the Beer Cheese (bad idea).
It’s Summer in California, hot as the dickens outside. As I take my first bite, and this thing hit me like a brick. Seriously, it was as heavy a meal as I could ask for, and it’s totally not Der Wolfskopf’s fault. I was the idiot who ordered this. If I had just gotten the sucker with Grilled Onions, I would have been golden. But the Beer Cheese, in this heat? What…was I thinking??
And add onto the fact that this thing is sitting on a bed of french fried Tater Tots, another accompaniment with a known “slimming” effect.
And you have a Beer on top of this?
Oh, I felt awful.
Everything was well done, well prepared. Decently tasty, but it was just not the time for a Sausage in this kind of weather.
The Food is decent. It still lags way behind Wurstküche, but it’s decent. No reason to be embarrassed. Maybe during the Winter, during Football season, this place will deserve a second look.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just keep in mind that Der Wolfskopf is off the main drag of Old Town, so both parking and finding it may be a bit of a chore. It’s not too far away, but it you’re wandering around, up and down Colorado, it won’t be in your eye line. Also, since it’s not on the most populated part of Pasadena, I’d be a little cautious at night. Not that it’s a dangerous part of town or anything, far from it. It’s just a little isolated.
PARKING: It’s a bit tough. There’s street parking, which is going to be tricky. But realistically, coming into Old Town Pasadena, you’re going to want to park a garage. Consult the Old Town Pasadena Valet and Parking Map, and the closest one is the One Colorado lot on E. Union across from the Container Store, formerly the original Pasadena City Hall. You may have to pay a dollar or two, but it’ll save you a walk. Container Store, as I recall, does not provide validation for that lot, just so you know.
72 N. Fair Oaks Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Tel: (626) 219-6054
Monday-Friday: 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 2:00 am