By RICHARD DAVID CHAMBERLAIN
We admit it. We’re an absolute sucker for pupu platters—the kind of nibbles that come sized for two or four, and we end up eating all by ourselves. In some places, these are called “tapas,” but at Wilton’s Bier Garden, that just-on-the-bend dive of merriment and sex appeal, these are called “bites.” The Deutsche Sausage Platter is square in size and filling in content, with two German Bratvurst, two Bavarian Weisswurst, and a giant soft pretzel that’s baked to perfection and is pull-apart delicious.
The entire temptation comes with sauerkraut (ask for it heated) and spicy brown mustard for dipping with any and all of the above. For the uninitiated, German Bratvurst is the four-inch long dark sausage that is made of pork, veal, or beef, depending on the city of origin. As for Weisswurst, it’s the sausage that’s lighter in color, a result of the spices more than the meal, and is still typically made of veal or pork. In Germany, there’s a saying that Weisswurst should never be allowed to hear the church bell’s noon chime.
Translation: they are made in the morning, and eaten in the morning. In the Bier Garden version, they are served all night, church bells not withstanding. And at $12 for the platter (that’s supposed to serve two), it’s worth every penny. The bar & grill suggests downing your platter with a bottle of König Ludwig Weissbier Dunkel, a Bavarian Dunkelweizen beer by Schloßbrauerei Kaltenberg brewery, which is always a safe bet where beer is concerned. Ordering it may take some rehearsal, but the results are superb.
The sandwich selection is quite large, and we can safely recommend any of the Garden’s specialty versions, made on an incredible rye bread. When toasted, it has a crunch and texture that delights the palette, regardless of what’s stuffed inside. In our case, we opted for the Bavarian Ruben ($8.00), which should actually be spelled “Reuben,” but who’s keeping track—in this case, with dark Bavarian bread. It involves a deliciously thin-sliced corned beef with aged Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing. Ask for extra dressing, double toasted, and hold your squeals of delight until out of shouting range, lest you embarrass yourself.
That, of course, is hard to do at Wilton’s Bier Garden, which opened a few months back, and has been an instant hit on the Drive. Special events pack the place on a regular basis—our favorites being Sunday night’s “Divas on the Drive,” starring Amanda Austin, and “Super Mug Thursdays,” on the Alfresco Patio. It is at times like those that you want to order the Jumbo Hot Dog with sauerkraut and brown mustard ($7.00). This masterpiece is a showstopper to eat, since it is a tasty foot-long all-beef frankfurter with a six-inch sour-dough roll—giving you six-inches of overhang, and endless material for puns and comments.
The Bier Garden also makes a wonderful tuna melt called the Fisherman ($8.00), which is layered with light tuna salad, sliced tomatoes, and Swiss and Provolone cheese, melted to a brown fresco over artisan bread. The real glory of Wilton’s Bier Garden is its selection of 100 bottled beers and 16 draft favorites, with a selection of unique wines from Europe, North and South America, and Africa, of all places. There are four rooms in the joint: The aforementioned Alfresco Garden Patio , the WBG Bar, the Sky Terrace Lounge, and the VIP Video Lounge. Check them all out, and remember to tell them Agenda sent you.
Wilton’s Bier Garden 2245 Wilton Drive Wilton Manors, FL 33305 954-530-8782