Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sausages and Beer on the Waterfront: Brotzeit Lokal Opens Next Week

By Luke Tsai
Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Another day, another sausage slinger rises in Oakland. This time it’s Brotzeit Lokal (1000 Embarcadero), a new sausage-centered restaurant and beer garden from Chop Bar’s Lev Delany, which will softly open on Thursday, June 13.

Delany, Brotzeit’s chef and sausage-maker-in-chief, spent two years working at a bar in Berlin, and he said the thing he loved about Germany was how everywhere you went outside of the city, you could always find a beer garden — a friendly, casual place to eat and enjoy a beer. When the space that formerly housed a seafood restaurant called Oyster Reef became available, Delany finally had his chance to bring that kind of place to the Oakland waterfront.

As the Express’s Ellen Cushing has noted, Brotzeit will scarcely be the first German-inflected sausage-and-beer joint to open in Oakland — it joins Rosamunde, The Trappist, and others. But the restaurant’s location on the water and its chefly pedigree might help set it apart. Here’s what you need to know:

The dining room.
  • The dining room.
1) Although the German biergarten served as Delany’s inspiration, the menu will have more of a “Sausages of the World” feel to it. In addition to traditional German sausages, Delany will also serve an American breakfast sausage and a Spanish chorizo bilbao, just to name a couple of examples. For now, Delany is making seven different sausages in house (from whole Marin Sun Farms pigs), and he’s buying another four to six from local vendors. He’s also making sauerkraut — that most traditional of sausage accompaniments — and a variety of pickles.

2) Beyond sausages, Delany said he’s excited about the family-style platters that he’ll be serving: for instance, a whole chicken roasted in a romertopf (a traditional clay pot), served with fries, spatzle, and seasonal vegetables — enough food to serve a family of four for about $40. The menu also features a burger, made with freshly ground Marin Sun chuck, for $9. And eventually Delany will add other German specialties such as Eisbein (pickled pork trotter).

3) Delany said he envisions the place as a beer bar first and foremost — the food menu, as thoughtfully put together as it might be, will play a supporting role. To start out, there will be sixteen beers available on tap, plus an additional twenty bottled. The list will include several German and Belgian beers, but also a number of local options, including a German-style Altbier (“old beer”) that’s custom-brewed for the restaurant by Oakland’s Linden Street Brewery.

The patio.
  • The patio.
4) The restaurant’s outdoor patio (which will seat about seventy) should offer some fantastic views of the water. Perhaps Brotzeit’s most unique feature is the fact that you can actually access the restaurant by sea. Delany’s partners, Krista and Tony Granieri are boating enthusiasts who have rented a few berths in the marina that will be available to customers arriving in sea vessels of various shapes and sizes — ”paddle boards, battleships, you name it,” Delany quipped. The Granieris’ 45-foot Delta cruiser will also be available for rent. Call the restaurant (510-645-1905) to inquire about rates and availability. According to Delany, it’s about an hour each way to sail to Treasure Island and back. Coupled with a casual sausage-and-beer lunch, that sounds like a pleasant summer afternoon to me.

5) The restaurant might actually be tougher to find by land than it is by sea, tucked away, as it is, behind the Homewood Suites hotel complex. Be forewarned: As of this posting, Google Maps will lead you astray if you enter the street address; search instead by the restaurant’s name. Brotzeit Lokal is located about a mile southeast of Jack London Square, so it’s a bit of a challenge to get there if you don’t have a car or bike (or boat).

If the food, view, and brews are as good as Delany promises, it’ll be worth the effort. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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