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Photograph by Stacy Newgent
It certainly feels German, and that’s before you even see the word badezimmer painted just above the restrooms. With the faux-Tudor walls, massive wooden picnic tables, and squat windows, Wunderbar exudes the ambiance of a Rhineland pub. The beer collection is a worthy imitator as well, with bottles and drafts of both German and local brews, including Franziskaner, Warsteiner, Hudepohl, and Blank Slate. But it’s the authentic fare of das Vaterland that makes this laid-back tavern worth the trip. Behind the bar is a chalkboard boasting pretzels, sauerkraut, and sausages, all waiting to lay you down in a carb-induced coma. Start with a soft pretzel the size of a hubcap and a bowl of beer cheese for dipping, or thick, pillowy pierogies stuffed with mashed potatoes and topped with bacon, caramelized onions, and melted smoked Gouda. Sample the assorted house-made wursts, with rotating options ranging from mett and brat to curry and feuer (alert: this translates to “fire”), as well as the über-tasty schinken, a ham sandwich that stacks pickled red onions, thin-sliced green apple, and smoked Gouda on a pretzel bun. There’s also some street cart fare popular in Berlin—a take on the Turkish doner kebab with turkey sluiced in a spicy sriracha-infused yogurt and wrapped in flatbread. And if the side of bowling-ball-dense pretzel dumplings with white wine gravy sounds a tad too repetitive, order the pan-seared Brussels sprouts, a crunchy, peppery way to add some green to your plate. But don’t expect the color variation to save you. After all that beer, pretzels, and delicious smoked Gouda, the end result is inevitable. You are getting sleepy. Verrry sleepy.
Wunderbar, 1132 Lee St., Covington,