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Posted on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

Wurst Bar a fun and interesting addition to downtown Ypsilanti dining

By Will Stewart

There's so much to like about the Wurst Bar, the watering hole and artisan sausage eatery that recently opened in the space long occupied by Theo-Door's on Cross Street in Ypsilanti.

Clean and stylish with an offbeat decor that brings to mind something one might find in Seattle or even Brooklyn, the Wurst Bar deserves points right off the bat for ambiance and friendliness.

And the menu, which ranges from the traditional to the exotic — often finding ways to mix the two — never forces the issue by trying too hard to be different.

So the Wurst Bar is a great addition to the otherwise moribund stretch of Cross Street that sits across from Eastern Michigan University, right?

Well, yes. But, at least so far, that's a qualified yes.

Despite having been open for a few months, the Wurst Bar appears to be going through some growing pains that rendered our visits there both hit and miss.

Sausage is the main attraction at the Wurst Bar. Made on site, the choices range from the familiar — bratwurst poached in Pabst Blue Ribbon and spicy Italian sausage — to the unusual, like rattlesnake chorizo, turducken, bison and lamb, and beyond.

Upon our first visit, we were excited to find the Wurst Bar is a delightful space, full of oddball furnishings, comfortable booths, large tables for bigger groups, and a long and inviting bar.


The Wurst Bar
705 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti
  • Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
  • Plastic: All major cards.
  • Liquor: Full bar.
  • Prices: Inexpensive; burgers and sausages from $5.75 to $7.
  • Noise level: Moderate.
  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

We tried the signature Wurst burger, which marries the bar’s ground brisket, short rib and chuck burger with a split bratwurst and topped with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on a choice of brioche or pretzel bun.

Because the burgers are handcrafted, our server convinced us to go against our better judgment and order our burger medium-well, promising that the burger would remain juicy and flavorful, while holding together better.

What we got was a flavorful burger that was difficult to enjoy because it was cooked about 30 degrees past our preference. Lesson learned, or so we thought. More on that later.

Tater tots instead of fries are an inspired choice, and the Wurst Bar offers both traditional and sweet-potato versions. We opted for traditional, which were crisp, delicious and oh-so-nostalgic.

An iceberg wedge salad was crisp and fresh, with bacon crumbles and onion, and we liked it quite a a bit, even though either the lettuce wasn’t drained well or the bleu cheese dressing was runny. Miso chicken soup, meanwhile, was light on miso and heavy on overcooked, rubbery hunks of chicken in a too-heavy broth.

Not a perfect initial visit. Still, we found enough to like about the Wurst Bar that we looked forward to our return a few days later.

After our experience with the burger the first time around, we made a point to have our next burger cooked to order. That's when we discovered that the well-done "recommendation" on our first visit wasn't really a recommendation at all: Our pleasant and helpful server informed us that the kitchen wouldn’t cook burgers to order. Anxious not to repeat our initial experience, we opted to finish our beers, regroup and come back another time.

For our third visit we brought a diner who prefers his burgers more cooked than we do. To that end, he raved about the nut burger, topped with crunchy peanut butter, aged cheddar cheese and bacon on a pretzel roll. The unusual-yet-inspired combination is a clear winner, perhaps so much so as to make us question our stance on well-done burgers.

Not to be outdone, we tried the alligator and crawfish boudin, which, despite its rather lumpy appearance, was delicious and rich on a brioche roll. Moist and savory, thanks to brown rice, pepper and parsley, it recalled a heartier version of a crabcake and was a clear winner.

The Wurst Bar has created a rare thing: a fun, comfortable, engaging, efficient tavern. The music is good, the servers are gracious and well informed and the beers range from the pinnacle of craft brews to $2 cans of the budget labels, like Carling and Blatz.

And we’d be surprised if some of the hiccups we encountered don't get taken care of before our next visit. In the meantime, the Wurst is a really fun place for a hang and a nice addition to Ypsilanti's food-and-drink landscape.

Will Stewart is a freelance writer who covers entertainment topics for



Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

ok - i bought the hype - (thanks to - you guys must have ownership in the Wurst Bar. We arrived last friday at 11:45 - no seating - not an issue - BUT - were waited on last - aster 4 tabls came - ordered the southerner burger and sweet tots - asked for fries - sorry we did not know BUT were immediately reprimanded - WE DON'T SERVE FRIES - waited 15 - 20 - 25 minutes - the poor waitress kept coming saying i am sorry - out to add money to the meter - finally got the so called JUICY WELL DONE BURGER - 1st bite - the green fried tomato was good - but the beef - come on - it was dry - dead way past dead - the tater tots - puffs of nothing - didnt even taste like sweet potatoes - obviously bought from GFS - diet soda - a bottle - and charges for extras - $25 for 2 over done burgers - 30 minutes after order - what was that sauce - marshmallow?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME - ok its a college bar - nothing else - the reviews on the web are ridiculous - you can get a much better burger within 10 miles - Dans' Caseys, Side Track - less than 1/2 mile away - WURST - you live up your name. avoid this place - unless you are drunk


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

If I was 20 years younger I might be interested, but the food and the ambiance does not agree with me. Good luck to the new place, it takes about 2 years to get the foot in the door and a regular clientele. Especially since the students leave in April for home.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

We went there recently and had a delicious dinner and a very fun time. I had the alligator crawfish wurst and my husband picked from the traditional list. The pretzel bread is awesome. No one talked about the Skeetball machine. You can play for 1.00 and depending on your score, you get a percentage of your bill taken off. We happily spent $15.00 trying to get $5.00 off our bill! Excellent waitstaff and fun clientele.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

The skee ball machine is a huge sell for me, I want one installed in my home.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

This place is still under the radar. The brats are great (rabbit viognier) believe it or not they have a nice little wine list (Santa Julia Malbec). It you haven't yet you need to give this place a try.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

Had a great meal, great beer on tap and on special on Friday night! Veggie Italian Sausage with sour kraut and kim chi...yum yum yum


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

Sauerkraut and Kimchi, yummo, just throw a little coleslaw in there too and get your cabbage full on


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

This place looks awesome! Must visit...soon!

Ben Connor Barrie

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Just went to Wurst Bar on Sunday. The PBR brat was great. It should be noted that Wurst Bar has good vegy sausage and burger options which they change up weekly. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Ben - we know you just went to the WURST - how else do you think the .com knew what to write about?


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 3:35 p.m. I allowed in there if I don't own an Apple product? Sounds too cool for me and my Android/Windows ways. I am not &quot;hip&quot; or &quot;with it&quot;.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

Nah, smoke, not allowed. I had the nerve to order a bud and the bartender acted as if I called his mom a whore. Not a toleratant place.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

I reread the article and don't see where they say Apple products. This place does not sound like me. Sounds more for the EMU students looking for a place to hang out.

Some Guy in 734

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Yes. Yes you are allowed.

Kyrie Micelli

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

When I went there and had the Nut Burger there was so much peanut butter that was all I could taste. It was hard to taste the meat they so careful handled to make the burger due to the PB over powering it all. But I want to go and try other burgers and brats.