When it comes to modernizing a cuisine, German has got to be one of the most challenging. There’s likely very little on the menu at any German restaurant in the country in 2013 that wouldn’t also have appeared on the menu of the local wursthaus in, say, 1587. And yet modernizing this almost elementally historic cuisine is exactly what chef Jeremy Nolen set out to do, both at Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street and now at Wursthaus Schmitz at Reading Terminal. Yes, you can still get potato salad here. And headcheese by the pound. And delicious sausages with ridiculous names. But you can also order sandwiches, and for some reason, even though they’re based on traditional combinations, every one of them—from the Bavarian, with its coleslaw and horseradish sauce, to the goulash-dripping Hungarian and the Lyoner (which is basically just a fried baloney sandwich with a passport)—feels like something wholly and completely new.
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch Streets