Changes are only skin deep at beloved sausage joint
Don Schulze went from selling custom shirts to making custom sausages back in 1988, when he and his wife, Susan, opened the hole-in-the-wall...
Special to The Seattle Times
American $ Shultzy's Bar & Grill4114 University Way N.E., Seattle; 206-548-9461, www.shultzys.com
Hours: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. daily; bar open until midnight Sundays-Thursdays and 2 a.m. Fridays- Saturdays; breakfast begins later this month.
Drinks: Full bar with nine rotating beers on tap.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard.
Access: No obstacles.
Don Schulze went from selling custom shirts to making custom sausages back in 1988, when he and his wife, Susan, opened the hole-in-the-wall sausage kitchen known fondly by locals as "Seattle's wurst restaurant."
This month finds the couple in a back-to-school frenzy, putting the final touches on a major expansion and remodel of their U District eatery, Shultzy's Bar & Grill, in time for the students' return.
Even regulars might not recognize the place, which has doubled in size and sports dark Brazilian cherry wood floors, a brick fireplace and a zinc-topped bar. From the new slate entryway, turn right into a dining room rimmed with mahogany booths stained to match a pint of amber ale; turn left to catch a game on TV from high-topped bistro tables.
On the menu, you'll find the same excellent house-made sausages as always, served on toasted French rolls slicked with butter and oil; plus kosher dogs; burgers made with sausage, veggie or beef patties; sandwiches stuffed with grilled chicken breast or wild Alaskan salmon; as well as "Seattle" cheesesteaks packing sliced rib-eye and provolone on those chewy Amoroso rolls that Philly made famous.
Or choose a salad, homemade chili, baked beans or gumbo, the latter thick with rice and coins of spicy andouille. Only a couple of items top the $10 mark. House merlot or chardonnay by-the-glass is a mere $3.50, as are sake bombs (if you have to ask, you're too old for one). Nine taps offer a rotating selection of beers.
Schulze says a bar menu is in the works and promises breakfast will be ready by the time classes start: a plate of home fries, eggs any way and (of course) breakfast sausages will go for a student-friendly $5.
"If we don't find a breakfast cook and server soon, it'll be me in the kitchen and my wife on the floor," he says. But that's just the way it's been for nearly two decades.
German Sausage Plate: A subtle spice blend distinguishes the firmly packed bratwurst, giving it star power in a crowded firmament. The plate includes warm, tangy German potato salad flecked with bits of ham and mustard seed; potent sauerkraut; and — plopped on top of it all — a warm, salt-crusted, soft pretzel as big as the whole plate. A little more elbow room for these big flavors would be nice.
Chatalas Sausage Burger: Some like it hot and this one's for you! The thin patty is blushing with Cajun spices and reveals a Tabasco-like heat. Melted cheddar and grilled onions mellow the burn, while the buttered, oiled and garlicked French roll does its part admirably, holding it all together. The skinny fries are crisp and coated with seasoned salt. The spectacular coleslaw, crunchy and fresh and dotted with celery seed, nails that salad's crucial sweet-tart symmetry.
Drinks: Good, strong brewed tea and freshly squeezed lemonade are among the nonalcoholic beverages.
Itemized bill, meal for two
Iced Tea $1.85
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