It’s no wonder the first time I scheduled an interview with Bob Liptak, he had to bail because he didn’t feel well—the man has eaten more than 500 sausages in the past two months.
There’s been lamb franks, mac and cheese dogs, bavarian bangers, and a pheasant-chicken mash-up. He’s skittish to try the wildebeest he’s heard about, but will vouch for a rattlesnake-and-rabbit variety. In fact, Liptak will likely vend it at The Wurst Place when he opens it in mid-June/early July.
At once a restaurant and deli, Liptak likens the Wurst, located at 510 Westlake Avenue North, to a microbrewery: on hand will be 20 or so staple sausages plus a large selection of rotating specials. Patrons can grab something out of the case or belly up in the dining area that seats 60 and pours 15 tap beers—gems you’re pressed to find elsewhere, says Liptak. An LA transplant with years in the gourmet meats biz, he is opening the Place with his sister and brother-in-law.
Liptak talks of serving simple toppings for the sausages, six or seven artisanal mustards, and belgian frites (with up to 10 dipping sauces!). Also on the menu is a Czech specialty, haluski kapusta. Liptak grew up eating the veggie noodle dish and says people rave about his rendition.
If purists are freaked at the mention of the exotic offerings above (and there are others—smoked elk and jalapeno, chipotle buffalo), take heart knowing plenty of traditional wursts are in the works, as are house-made ones. Wise on the city he’s living in, Liptak will accommodate vegetarians and source gluten-free rolls.
If gnome-aphobes are freaked by the illo above, take heart in this fact: Liptak scaled back on his original idea of planting 90 of them throughout the Wurst. Now the bearded dudes are enshrined in just one wall.