This is not your everyday hot dog stand! Located in the booming 4th Street district of downtown Santa Ana, Wursthaus is a must try. Walking distance from the 4th Street Market, it is a definite stop for any foodie.
I entered the Wursthaus and was greeted by the lovely servers behind a modern bar looking area. The vibe really emphasizes the calculated feel in preparing these meals. I told them I was waiting for some friends, and wandered into the main dining area around the corner. The vibe here was warm, with wooden bench style seating, and a delicious beer and wine bar. With almost a dozen and half craft beers on tap and almost a dozen wines, it is a premier pre-meal spot.
When the group arrived, we walked back up to the front area to order. Ordering here is as easy as 1,2,3,4:
-First you choose your sausage. From classics like the smoked bratwurst and smoked polish, to the gourmet like the pizza or buffalo style chicken, to the exotic like smoked alligator (for those adventurous ones, try it out! It was great, hearty meat, but it is an amazing tangy kick, so it will bite back!) With almost 25 options (and more to come), I am definitely coming back to try them all!
-Second you choose your bread. With a choice between a pretzel roll and traditional grinder, the knowledgeable and friendly staff is more than happy to help you choose the right pairing to your meat.
-Third you choose your toppings. You can customize your dog using sauerkraut, sautéed bell peppers, sautéed fresh jalapenos, IPA caramelized onions, or the works! You can definitely have it your way here.
-Fourth, and finally, you can choose your side order options. With a choice of Belgian or drunken fries and an enormous selection of dipping sauces, you are sure to be pleased.
With this large selection, it is difficult to try them all, so I am glad we went as a group so we could at least try some of the menu. I was immediately pleased at how large the portions were, and with this style of food, after a hot dog, some fries, and a beer or two (or three) you will definitely be stuffed. I chose the Sicilian provolone on a traditional grinder with the works. It was amazing! The toppings were prepared to perfection; the meat cooked thoroughly, but still retained that rich, juicy flavor from the Sicilian provolone.
The fries were brought to us, and it was a huge portion! The drunken fries are essentially the Belgian fries with andalouse sauce and IPA caramelized onions. These fries are enough to share with a couple friends! They were delicious! While being crunchy on the outside, they were still are soft and flavorful on the inside, retaining their inherent essence.
Now to the dipping sauces! The jalapeno ranch was creamy and tolerably spicy, deliciously flavored. The sriracha cream was hot! Spicy and flavorful, sriracha is the new hip dipping sauce everywhere, this is a must try for those keeping up with food trends. The BBQ, although simply named, it was pleasantly complex in its depth of flavor. The bacon bleu added a creamy, hearty flavor that really matched the provolone in my hot dog, I was very pleased with it. The chipotle aioli was creamy and seasoned well. The honey mustard was extraordinary, obviously crafted from years of experience; it was not overwhelming tangy, but just enough to be considered unique. And of course, the buffalo ranch. Although this sauce can be found in many other places, they were able to craft it to an exquisite level.
Sometimes the little things are forgotten, but the Wursthaus is one of the best in business for every detail, from the sauces and fries, to the design, ambiance, and great music! With a great location, a friendly and helpful staff, I am very inclined to repeat my patronage here again and again. Thanks Wursthaus!