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Wurst-Case Scenario

Alfredo's serves up excellent German sausage and a lot of conversation

"I had a meal in a restaurant the other night that cost $45. All the food came out of the microwave -- I could tell," Taurisano says. "Here you spend $45 and feed four people, and the food is all fresh."

I can't help laughing at the guy as I choke down a mouthful of his awful industrial potato salad. What does he mean, fresh?

"Did you make this potato salad?" I ask him pointedly.

Alfredo's offers tasty, casual German fare at fast-food 
prices -- and you can bring your own beer.
Troy Fields
Alfredo's offers tasty, casual German fare at fast-food prices -- and you can bring your own beer.

Details

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Bratwurst sandwich combo: $5.49
German sample platter: $18.49
Curry wurst: $7.49
Jaeger wurst: $8.49
Bratwurst plate: $7.99
Kid's bratwurst plate: $3.99

2710 Montrose, 281-701-9947

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"No, I bought it from a German wholesale food company," he says. "It's imported from Germany."

"So are German cockroaches," I want to tell him, but I doubt he'd get the joke.

Alfredo's only dessert, a black forest cake, comes premade from the same German specialty wholesaler that provides most of the rest of the menu. It's very moist and chocolatey, although it's obviously a mass-produced commercial product. There's nothing wrong with stocking a German snack bar with high-quality prepared foods from a German wholesaler. But there's something weird about bragging about how fresh these packaged foods are.

Alfredo Taurisano goes on at great length about his plans to add real homemade German dishes like dumplings and rouladen and sauerbraten to his menu someday. But while actually cooking from scratch may be a distant goal, Taurisano already has expansion plans. Once his bratwurst-and-fries concept electrifies the city, he plans to teach us about Italian food. Because, as he puts it in his Ahnuld-like accent, "Dere are no real Italian restaurants in Houston."

"What about Da Marco?" one of my dining companions asks him. Of course, Taurisano has never heard of the place.

"Is this guy perpetuating the obnoxious German stereotype, or what?" my German-American dining companion mutters on her way to the car.


German cuisine holds little appeal for most Americans. Like English food, it has the reputation of being heavy, bland and monotonous, which, for the most part, it is. But thanks to our German heritage, Texans have a soft spot for the stuff. We are especially weak for sausage. And gravy. And we recognize that schnitzel is vaguely related to chicken-fried steak. So we love it too. Especially smothered in gravy.

The German sample platter at Alfredo's European Grill provides a bounteous helping of these lovable German comfort foods at a ridiculously low price. And then there's the Thursday-night special, during which the humongous platter that usually sells for $18.49 goes for under $11. Which means you can stuff two people to the gills for five bucks and change apiece.

Bring your own beer, and the whole thing gets even cheaper. But let me give you a few tips on how to handle Alfredo: Pick a table that's out of his line of sight so he can't talk to you from behind the counter. And don't buy him a beer or ask any questions.

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