the underground gourmet

Sandwich of the Week: Sausage on ... a Pretzel Roll?

Two great tastes ...Photo: Melissa Hom

Like old, happily married couples, certain sandwich fillings and certain sandwich breads seem made for each other. Consider a Hellmann's-laced lobster salad and the top-loading Pepperidge Farm hot-dog bun, for instance. Where would one component be without the other? For that matter, where would corned beef be without its turtle dove, rye? And who can imagine a sloppy gray blob of greasy chopped beef and fried onions swimming in a sea of Cheez Whiz separated from its squishy but beloved Philly-style roll?

To this list of sandwich soul mates, the Underground Gourmet would like to add grilled bauernwurst and the pretzel roll. The winning combo can be found at European Union, the recently reopened East Village restaurant whose owners endured an epic battle with a Napoleonic community board over getting a beer-and-wine license and lived to tell the tale.

The soft pretzel roll is baked in house and served warm. The beef-and-pork sausage is made by Schaller & Weber. And the plate comes with a gob of horseradish mustard for slathering as well as a nice side of Brussels-sprout slaw. In short, it's a match made in sandwich heaven whose exhilarating two-treats-in-one effect elicits a why-didn't-someone-think-of-this-before response.

Consider the fact that you can wash this toothsome morsel down with a good German beer without a prudish, binoculars-equipped community-board member calling the cops a hard-earned bonus.

European Union, 235 E. 4th St., nr. Ave. B; 212-254-2900.

— Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

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