New Bohemia Wurst and BierHaus slipped into Northeast Minneapolis on the sly, like the mysterious new kid in middle school. Just last week, Jeff Bornmann and Noel Bowman opened the European-style beer hall in the former Panera Bread on East Hennepin, featuring a mammoth craft beer list that includes at least 30 local and imported brews on tap, at least as many bottles and cans, and several themed flights. With an almost equally long roster of eye-popping sausages (can you dig alligator?), New Bohemia looks ready to throw its meaty dukes up against Kramarczuk’s just down the way. A new-kid show down hasn’t happened yet, but New Bohemia’s speedy, focused menu and late-night atmosphere is sure to separate it from the deli counter culture at Kramarczuk’s.
You order at the counter when you enter, right next to an almost Japanese-style showcase of sausages snuggled up next to whole, polished green and red peppers. Each sausage comes with one topping ($1 gets you another), but combinations are endless so it’s a good idea to ask the counter staff for suggestions. The adjacent dining room is sleek, minimal, and rather like a sports bar … except for the long communal tables, which remind you over the blare of music and pulsing TV screens that New Bohemia is trying to be a beer hall. Neighborly dining is fun, and the staff circulates diligently, clearing tables and answering questions with a smile.
And the wurst? There are scads. Eighteen different links, including chicken, pork, and pheasant, are separated into Classic, Premium, and Adventurous categories. Our favorites came from the Classics section. One Wisconsinite diner thought the Bratwurst ($5.75, above) was simple and spot on, and the Old Time link ($5.75) was slightly peppery, snappy, and like the best skin-on hot dogs we’ve tried.
From the Premium section, the Filipino Maharlika ($6.50, above) is packed with so much garlic you’ll either hate it or want to marry it, and the Ultimate Beef and Pork is big on flavor. And then there’s the Cajun Andouille ($6.50), with a slow heat that doesn’t get out of hand, and a thick casing that’s exhausting to chomp through. A little crisping might have helped, but unfortunately none of the sausages we tasted have that straight-from-the-grill char.
Don’t dismiss the Adventurous side of the menu — nightmarish contents like rattlesnake and alligator end up being just as palatable as the more ordinary sausages. The Rattlesnake Rabbit Jalapeno ($7.50) wasn’t spicy at all, but was much softer and richer than the andouille, with a gentle gamey attitude near the end. Topped with honey caramelized onions on a toasted bun, it was really really nice, if not exactly equal the price tag.
The menu is rounded out with just a few relevant sides that could use some revision. New Bohemia’s version of warm, German potato salad ($3.50) is gooey and boring. The “tangy, sweet bacon dressing” could have been chunky applesauce for all we knew. There’s nothing meaty or rich about it. Belgian fries ($3 regular / $5.50 large) are beautiful slivers that lack salt but speak big booming potato flavor. If you spring for a couple extra dipping sauces ($1), life is good.
Curiously, this new wurst center doesn’t make its sausage on site. According to bar manager Gabby Rudisill, New Bohemia’s recipes are unique, but every sausage is produced elsewhere, exclusively for them. Even the sweet rolls are made special at Saint Agnes in St. Paul. Now if they would just start crisping up their meats a bit and take the music down a few notches, New Bohemia could turn into a cheery University hub for all the beer your could ever want, ever, and quick, craveable snacks to keep it all down.
James Norton contributed to this story.
New Bohemia Wurst and BierHaus
Craft beer and sausage in Northeast Minneapolis
233 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
OWNERS: Jeff Bornmann and Noel Bowman
BAR: Beer / Wine
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN?: Yes / Limited
ENTREE RANGE: $6-8
Not a single mention of the beer?
“Just last week, Jeff Bornmann and Noel Bowman opened the European-style beer hall in the former Panera Bread on East Hennepin, featuring a mammoth craft beer list that includes at least 30 local and imported brews on tap, at least as many bottles and cans, and several themed flights.”
Eric, the sausage was really the new thing in this case. You can read allll about MN craft beer (many of which are on tap at New Bo) in our archived stories and reviews. Or check out New Bo’s website for a complete beer listing.
Woohoo a Wurstküche clone in Minneapolis albeit less trendy and less german/belgian beers but its still great.
This will probably sound like the dumbest question ever, but usually Heavy Table write-ups include it. Are there vegetarian/vegan dining options on the menu?
Actually, if memory serves (and it doesn’t always) I believe the “Veggie Italian – Perfectly seasoned link with peppers and onions” sausage is a vegetarian option.
Nice! I hope you are right James. I have no problem with living in a mostly meat-eating world but it is always nice when we veggies can dine in the same restaurant. I like sauerkraut but I don’t think I can make a meal of it.
Meg- they definitely have a vegan sausage option! Fantastic place, beer list is amazing. Sausage and hand cut fries?! Awesome!
I had the Filipino Maharlika last week. The sausage was alright, but the honey caramelized onions were just plain softened onions. No sweetness whatsoever. My friend was disappointed that his chicken habanero wasn’t spicy. The whole experience was decidedly meh.
+ 1 to lindseykai
Found the menu very limiting. Only one veggie option and just threes sides – fries, potato salad and cabbage salad.
Also found the ordering process a little confusing. Your food must be ordered and paid for at the front register – but you can order and pay for beer from the bar. So if you go there for the evening, expect to run your card several times.
Beer 30 taps were nice but only 1 German beer on tap – 3 European total.
Thanks for copying and pasting something I read several times. I wanted just a few specific mentions of a few different beers, that is all. LOVED the review, however I can’t get behind a sausage place that doesn’t make their own sausage.
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