This week, Gambit’s Helen Freund sampled Bratz Y’all!, a bistro, bakery and beer garden helmed by a real-life native Berliner Sven Vorkauf.
The fare is like beer garden plus, explains Freund, as Bratz Y’all! goes in for old al fresco beer hall goods and classic, hearty German dishes. That said, the expected classics are decidedly elevated.
Freshly baked pretzels, or laugenbretzel, come studded with fat salty crystals. Though perfectly fine on their own, the Bavarian obatzda is an addictively creamy brie and cream cheese spread sweetened with onions, paprika and caraway seeds — perfect for dunking hunks of the salty, squishy pretzel, which along with a veggie sandwich is among scant options for vegetarians on the pork-heavy menu.
But most folks likely don’t head to a German-helmed beer garden for the veggie options — they come for the pork. And pork is plentiful at Bratz Y’all: “Sausages come in all sizes here, from the massive King Brat, a fat grilled pork sausage filled with cheddar and wrapped in strips of bacon, to the classic Berliner currywurst, where lightly fried smoked pork sausage comes topped with a sweet apple and curry-tinged ketchup and fried onions,” writes Freund.
She calls the Drunken Pig sandwich “the German answer to cochon de lait:” “Tender, milky bits of slow-roasted pork marinated in dark beer and herbs are ladled into a roll and topped with mustard, caramelized onions and sauerkraut.” And about that sauerkraut:
This isn't your run-of-the-mill, bracingly sour ballpark hot dog stand stuff. Instead, the medley is soft, almost caramelized; cooked with a smoked ham hock, the finished product carries strong caraway notes that impart a lingering sweetness and warming feel.
Meanwhile, New Orleans City Business’s Tom Fitzmorris reviewed Altamura. Fitzmorris notes that Altamura is self-proclaimed authentic Italian, but mostly in the New York tradition — think clams casino and veal saltimbocca.
But Altamura is out of place in NOLA, argues Fitzmorris, but ... not because it’s bad or anything. “Italian restaurants in our area are lacking,” he writes. “It’s almost a certainty that you will think that Altamura’s version of your favorite dishes are off at least a bit.”
The reviewer’s only gripe? That the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.