Not exactly authentically German, but meat and potatoes are ampleTrolling around Seoul in search of that culinary whistle stop of the day will not bring you much in the way of sausage, not to mention the dearth of mashed potatoes and gravy. So until there is a solution to this meat and potato shortage, take subway line No. 2 to Han’s Sausage.
Han’s is located near the main gate of Hongik University. Facing the gate, take a left and head about half a block down the street. The restaurant is across the street on your left.
Though a little rough around the edges (and we would not have it any other way), the interior is warm and the lighting muted. Plus, there is a painting of a giant sausage, reddish-brown and quite cartoonish-looking, gracing the sand-colored stucco walls, in case you forgot what you came to this restaurant to eat.
Brat Wurst, Weiss Wurst and Emmentaler Wurst, just to name a few of the options, await. There are several dishes for the budget-minded. Han’s platters (5,000 won to 7,000 won, $4.35 to $6) feature a large helping of one kind of sausage along with mixed vegetables, a shredded cabbage salad and a dollop of mashed potatoes. For 1,000 won more, you can add soup and your choice of nonalcoholic beverage.
For me, the way to go was the modeum, or assorted sausage platter. The English translation on the menu ― Ass. Wurst ― is unfortunate. But the small platter (13,000 won) is more than enough to feed two. More voracious diners can order a larger plate, which costs 18,000 won.
The sausage, plump and savory, tastes fresh. And while there are a number of places in the Hongdae area to enjoy sausage, this is the only place that I know of serving creamy mashed potatoes and gravy on the side ― or rather, on top of the meaty delicacies.
While it will never be a truly authentic German sausage-eating experience, you can at least bring the authenticity level up a notch by washing it all down with a cold German brew. Bitburger (7,000 won), as well as Hefeweiss, Erdinger Wheat and Dunket (all 8,000 won) are on hand, though only Cass, a Korean beer, is on tap. A half-liter mug of that frothy Korean brew will set you back 2,000 won.
If you prefer something else, the menu also includes spaghetti, but I cannot vouch for the quality. The spaghetti does not come with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Hours: 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily
Price: 5,000 won - 9,000 won per person, before beer
Telephone: (02) 325-8100
Credit cards: accepted
by Jason Zahorchak