We have popped over to Vancouver for some visiting and socializing (which should actually read, targeting restaurants and dragging friends and family to them, but who's splitting hairs?).
First stop is Bestie, a new sausage restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown, that's bringing the taste of Berlin to the west coast of Canada: currywurst, my friends. Currywurst is a Bavarian sausage cooked, sliced into small rounds, set atop fries and covered with a curry-ketchup sauce.
Nestled into a storefront in Chinatown, complete with the existing signage from a few of the previous tenants, is Bestie. Neon sausage outline to beckon you, stylin' oranage seats to get comfy if there's a wait.
Currywurst: it's a big thing in Germany's capital city - they even have a museum dedicated to currywurst....
We missed the museum while vacation there, but did partake a few times in the sausage part (including from a guy who was WEARING the grill - complete with propane tank on his back) as well as an odd drink - grapefruit beer.
Cut back to Vancouver.
The inside of Bestie is bright and light, with seating at booths, counter or tables (or opt for take-out!). We tucked ourselves into a booth and ordered up....some grapefruit beer.
OK - sooooo much better than the previous experience. And to be correct - it was a grapefruit radler (half beer, half grapefruit juice). I loved this drink so much, I found it at the liquor store and stocked my fridge with it. Great. Summer. Bevy. And the other beverage was a 'real' beer - from Schneider-Weisse. Doesn't get more authentic German than wheat beer imported from Munich.
The drink selection is a good size - they offer both bottles and beer on tap (four types while we were there) in three sizes - an 8oz glass, a 12oz mug or a 24oz stein. Not into the beer? There's also cider, wine, some chic pops, iced tea and organic chocolate milk.
Bestie's menu is simple - currywurst or sausage & sauerkraut. The former comes traditionally as described above (sliced over fries with curry sauce), the latter with fries as well. You get to choose the sausage you want for either - including a classic bratwurst, turkey BBQ, smoked bison or a veggie wurst. They also have fresh, baked pretzels (with just mustard or stinky cheese sauce & gherkins) and other assorted sides.
We asked for suggestions (which were helpful & honest - and came directly from one of the owners) and eventually ordered the currywurst with the brat and the sauerkraut with the bison. We also tacked on a side of gherkins.
The sausages are made locally and they are fabulous - as is the curry sauce and the fries (served with mayo or ketchup). I loved the fact it was served with small forks - as the German original is served this way.
Bestie has brought traditional currywurst to Vancouver - and improved on it with fresh, local ingredients and some of the nicest staff around (from the two owners - one served our drinks, the other our mains - to the kitchen staff - putting out tasty sausages and still smiling/joking with each-other and the customers).
Oh - and if you get a late-night craving for a little Berlin and you're in a rush - there's a window open, just for you:
I wish it was here in Victoria, but it's worth the trip....and you don't need Lufthansa to get there.
105 East Pender St