Wursthaus Schmitz – Philadelphia, PA
Being unique is a difficult thing to do in the Reading Terminal Market with so many worldly options to choose from, but Wursthaus Schmitz (WS) seems to have been able to do just that. WS sits in a space that they have created a mini-market of European delicacies and food counter all in one. They truly maximized their space allotted and the decor seems just like the right fit. They are slightly off the beaten path, so if you do not know right where they are, you could easily walk right pass their aisle though.
WS’s is a spin-off of Philadelphia’s much larger German beer and food mecca Brauhaus Schmitz, and Brauhaus should be proud of what their sister location has accomplished. The selection of fresh foods available in the deli case are large, with prices being reasonable. Set over to the side is a few shelves of specialty imported goods, including one of my favorite condiments available Curry Ketchup, which scores brownie points immediately in my book and was purchased asap along with a jar of imported sauerkraut.
Granted some of the food provided here is an acquired taste and not everyone is going to enjoy their experience immediately. I just encourage you to try at least two completely different options, before you say this in not your style. I decided to go with a creation of my own, which was not only encouraged by the staff, but they could not have been more friendly to deal with and patient with me. My only word of advice is if you want something made to order, be aware you will be waiting 15-20 minutes extra as it has to be prepared, but it is well worth the wait. My creation was Bacon-Knackwurst, with crispy fried onions, and sauerkraut boiled then grilled.
My creation was good, but not great. This was not in any reflection WS’s fault as what I ate is not even an option on their menu, but the flavor profile I selected was too overpowering. Everything in WS’s hands could not have been better. The roll was firm, the knackwurst texture and spicing were strong and dead-on, the crispy fried onions were out of this world, and the sauerkraut would be to die for on a nice pork roast. I was happy with my meal, but I mix and matched incorrectly and next time I may just go with one the options on WS’s set menu.
Will I go back to WS? YES, YES, and YES, not only to eat, but also to pick up more goods from their market. The curry ketchup and imported sauerkraut were amazing, and I am going to try some new things as well without a doubt.
Which spot is better Wursthaus or Brauhaus? Brauhaus by far, especially since WS mostly only sandwich options to eat fresh there, as opposed to Brauhaus having a full selection of German Fare as well as its fantastic beer assortment with WS having none, but if you are in or around the Reading Terminal and having an itch for German, WS is the best place to stop by, especially for a quick affordable lunch option.