Germantown, near the ballpark: it’s about as ideal a spot for a German-style beer garden and sausage house as you could imagine.
In creating Von Elrod’s, partners Austin Ray and Jason Brumm used that as a jumping-off place. Indeed, Von Elrod’s takes its cues from Old World beer halls.
But under the guidance of Chef Brumm (a.k.a. Chief Sausage Officer) the menu of hand-cranked sausages and dogs bespeaks American melting pot ingenuity.
And the beer, a mammoth on-tap line-up handpicked by Ray, runs the gamut of local and regional craft brews with a few compelling imports. The place, an old bus depot converted into a sprawling beer hall boasts fun murals of Music City icons (Athena, Minnie Pearl, Godzilla on the L&C Tower, all brandishing beer or sausage), community tables indoors and out and a meld of geselligkeit and Southern hospitality.
Check in at the reception to get your table; the staff is ready to guide you through the menu and take your order.
Our first visit coincided with Big Stein Thursday, meaning half price on every liter stein – 3 p.m. ’til close. So, you gotta, right? Thirty-six selections, and our choices were polar opposites: Wendy loved the creamy bitter dark notes of the Highland Black Mocha Stout (Highland Brewing, Asheville NC) and I, the light citrus tastes of Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefewiezen.
Your arm will get a workout hoisting stein to mouth, and you won’t mind in the least.
With 10 different sausages, five styles of all-beef hot dogs, and all manner of Belgian fries, poutines, pretzels, schnitzels sliders, and creative sides—decisions are hard. We settled on a starter of Montreal poutine, a classic with crisp fries in a pool of beef gravy, cheese curds melting over the top. Whoa. A little salty, but really delicious.
The Angry Bird, assertively spiced chicken sausage gets a cool balance from avocado, buttermilk ranch and sweet corn relish. Sausages come with your choice of a side, and we chose squash casserole, homey and comforting made with parmesan and Ritz crackers, and Stoemp—a tasty mash of potatoes, leeks and cauliflower. Both are very good.
It’s a fun place, offering plenty of reasons to return, beyond the delicious sausages, especially if something hearty is more than you want: Beer and pretzels with mustard, rotisserie chicken, creative brunch selections, even a big salad, for balance.
VON ELROD’S BEER GARDEN AND SAUSAGE HOUSE
1004 4TH Avenue North, Nashville TN 37208 615-866-1620 http://VonElrods.com
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-11pm Fri-Sat 11am-1am Sun 10am-9pm
Alcohol: Full bar with craft beer emphasis
Food: Upscale sausages, hot dogs, bar food
Cost: Snacks: $4.95-$18.95 Belgian Fries: $4.15-$5.95 Poutines: $5.95-$6.45 Sausages and Hot Dogs: $6.95-$13.45 Salads: $10.95-$11.95 Rotisserie Chicken: $11.95-$13.95 Sides: $4.95 Desserts: $4.95/+$2 a la mode
Parking: on street