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I Got Taste

IT’S OKTOBERFEST ALL THE TIME at WVRST

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Wverst on King West Entertainment District Toronto

Wvrst

609 King Street West

Restaurant

When fall comes, most of us in Toronto head to Kitchener-Waterloo to get our Oktoberfest fix, but there’s a piece of the festivities to be found even closer. And the best part: you can leave your lederhosen at home. Inspired by the beerhalls of Germany, Wvrst (pronounced “Verst”) brings the fun and flavour of Oktoberfest to King West. Large communal-style tables mean that on a busy night, you’re likely to be sitting side-by-side with strangers as you dive into some of the best sausages and beer in the city. We’re not talking street meat dogs or ballpark franks served with big-name brew here. At Wvrst, it’s all about small names and real food, from the all-natural, gluten-free sausages to the 16 craft beers on tap that are about as far from Molson as you can get. Wvrst on King Street West in Toronto near King Blue Condos When I pop in on a Sunday afternoon with some friends, there are just a few folks gathered in the giant space. It’s Toronto Beer Week and Bram Zimmerman, Wvrst’s general manager, joins our table to chat about brews. “For us it’s always Beer Week,” he says. “Local craft beer is our bread and butter.” Zimmerman tells me that while plenty of the big names want to get onto Wvrst’s bar menu, the restaurant is committed to keeping its small-brew roots. There are 13 Ontario craft beers on tap, including Kensington’s Augusta Ale, Church-Key’s Beechwood, Flying Monkeys’ Smash Bomb and Black Oaks’ Ten Bitter Years. Stepping beyond Ontario, there’s also my own personal all-time favourite, Quebec-based Dieu du Ciel’s Rosée d’Hibiscus.

Oktoberfest at Wvrst

As for the food, the menu at Wvrst is simple: sausage, fries, beer and wine (although as to who would mix sausage with wine is a mystery to me). You start by picking your preferred sausage style—either currywurst, which is sliced and doused in a tomato curry paste, or on a toasted bun, with a choice of sautéed onions, sauerkraut, jalapenos or sweet peppers as toppings. From there, you pick your meat—but here the options are less than simple. Wvrst in King West There are the traditional staples, such as bratwvrst and chorizo, but there are also more surprising choices, such as kangaroo and guinea fowl, as well as truly decadent-sounding options like duck sausage made with maple and foie gras, or bison with blueberry. There’s even a tofu sausage for the vegetarians, available in either Italian or Kielbasa style. We order up three sausages on buns: chicken with artichoke and basil for me, bratwvrst for Julie, and wild boar, made with mushrooms and tea, for Andrew. We also opt to share an order of Wvrst’s famous duck fat fries (for those looking for something a little less rich, there are regular fries available, too). sausage and beer at Wvrst The sausages are flavourful and loaded with toppings, on soft, toasted buttery buns. The fries, which hold legendary status in the neighbourhood, are just as I heard: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and positively delicious when dipped in my choice of maple/rosemary mayonnaise sauce (there are more than a dozen dipping sauce options). 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