“….there are more different sausages in Germany than there are breakfast foods in America, and if there is a bad one among them then I have never heard of it…”
EDIT – A second location is now open in Schenectady.
The Fall season not only makes me personally crave apples and pumpkins but German food thanks to various Oktoberfests in the area. Luckily Wolff’s Biergarten in Albany (895 Broadway) is Oktoberfest style German food all the time. There are two “bar-looking” table tops to go to, if you’re going to the Biergarten for beer then stop at the first one and no need to go any further but I recommend trying out their great food selection which you order and pay for at the bar in back.
If potato pancakes are your thing (as they are mine), definitely try these with some applesauce ($5.95). They’re packed tight with a mashed potato like substance in the middle but the best part of them is the spices they include in their recipe. I can’t tell by taste but though the consistency wasn’t my favorite, the flavor made up for it (& they last as leftovers too! since once order is 5 pancakes).
For dinner I ordered the “currywurst mit pommes” which is 2 pork & veal sausages braised and covered in curry sauce served with seasonal French fries ($9.95). Though the portion size seems small, after a potato pancake and one of the sausages I was pretty full so I saved the rest of my half serving of potato pancakes (I shared them with a friend) and other sausage for the next day. The currywurst didn’t taste like the curry taste you’re thinking of so stray your thoughts away from Indian restaurant flavors. The flavor was spicy but not so much that I needed to run for my water. The French fries were also really good. When the rest of our group showed up, they devoured them. I always like seasoned French fries but what I liked about these is that they weren’t that strong but still nicely flavored.
My friend let me taste her vegetarian currywurst with spaetzle which was also very good, I enjoy veggie products but nothing beats a meat-based sausage (Sorry Maria!). The spaetzle is cooked noodles, which I wasn’t a fan of but my friend didn’t mind them much.
On top of the great food is a great selection of Belgian and German beers that I’ve never heard of, mostly reasonably priced. What I also enjoyed was the atmosphere. It was relaxing enough to get the bar feel but classy enough where I didn’t feel like I was at a bar…if that makes any sense. There are darts to play, (just give your ID to the bar to get the darts), ping pong, peanut shells all over the ground with baskets of peanuts on each table and a free boot of beer on your birthday (that’s 6 beers) as long as you give your ID and a $40 deposit to the bar to save them money in case you break the boot glass or try and steal it, they’ll return your money when you return the glass. The bar is a little far away from the rest of the usual downtown Albany bars but it’s definitely worth a stop in for a good meal and a beer before you go out for the rest of the night. The parking is rough so if you intend on bar hopping, I recommend parking closer to a bar you think you may end up at and carpooling to the Biergarten for dinner first just in case. Even if you’re not hungry, the beers are reasonably priced and the restaurant alone is worth a visit!
** NOTE: Wolff’s Biergarten is CASH-ONLY with an ATM in the restaurant so if you’re worried about getting charged for using the ATM, make sure you’re prepared with cash.