By Julia Tanghetti
Living in the East Village of New York City after college one of my favorite neighborhood haunts was a German beer hall called Zum Schneider. The liter steins of beer were plentiful, the pretzels and bratwurst were delicious, and the warm friendly atmosphere was so comforting.
Moving back to Sacramento, I was disappointed at the lack of establishments in the area with that same Bavarian congenial feel. The opening of LowBrau (1050 20th Street), however, has finally made me feel like I have my Zum Schneider replacement.
Last Friday night I got my first LowBrau fix with my fellow GOTGers Jamie Romas and Chantel Elder. The place was absolutely packed when we walked in, but owner Clay Nutting encouraged us to find a spot at one of the communal picnic tables and make some new best friends.
We were all starving, so once we found a seat and looked at the menu our mouths started watering.
The menu is simple, but there are lots of options to customize your sausage. We opted to upgrade to the pretzel rolls and each tried different toppings, of which you can pick two included in the price. Chantel decided on the Bockwurst, Jamie got the Bratwurst and I went for the Polish sausage with hot peppers and BIER CHEESE SAUCE! We also couldn’t pass up the Dirty Duck Fries, which are duck fat fries smothered in garlic, onion, hot peppers and bier cheese sauce.
The food came out surprisingly fast given how busy it was that evening. We all had bites of everything, and I must say my favorite was my Polish sausage, and the Dirty Duck Fries were amazing.
Let’s not forget the beer selection. LowBrau has a great mix of beers both on draught and bottled, and if drinking a beer the size of your head is your thing, you can get the draught beers in the liter size. There is also a wine and cocktail selection, but all the specialty cocktails looked a little sweet for my taste. However, there is a full bar available, so if you prefer hard liquor to beer, you’ll be just fine.
The décor is not in the style of a traditional German beer hall. It is more “modern rustic” with touches such as antlers and succulents gracing the table. LowBrau has done an excellent job of reimagining the old Lounge on 20 space, and it has a completely different feel. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and whether you’re there for food or for drink, it certainly is a place where you can sit down and catch up with your friends or make new ones.
At one of the tables next to us, there was a couple that had evidently become VERY good friends and was engaged in a full make-out session. The communal table they were sitting at was slowly being emptied as the face sucking progressed, and Chantel and I decided that this might be the best way to make room at your table if it’s over crowded. (Just make sure you don’t indulge in the sauerkraut or fresh-herbed onions before trying this) Jamie and I have already decided that we will be making LowBrau our new clubhouse, and yes, please feel free to joke about seeing us at the “sausage party.”