The Van Dog at Vandaag
Fork in the Road is a big fan of Vandaag–the EV’s only Dutch-Scandinavian restaurant–so when it was announced that sausages would be dispensed from a window on East 6th Street in the side of the restaurant, we were there in an instant.
The sausage window, dubbed Wurstelstand
Actually, that’s not all that’s being dispensed there. Also for sale are artisanal loaves of bread with a Teutonic bent (hay-smoked country white, English muffin, red ale pumpernickel) and pastries (Frisian sugar bread, almond-pecan financier, stroopwafel) and some wacky spreads, presumably to go with the breads.
But firm in our resolve, we bought all three sausages for sale. Note that this is early on in the window’s existence, so the quality and selection of these sausages could change according to what proves popular.
At $3, the Van Dog is a solid choice, an artisanal wiener with a forcemeat that’s pickled instead of the usual smoked (or smoke-flavored). Served on a dark bun, it’s pink and it pops and sports some rather strange toppings: in addition to creamy coarse mustard, it has shredded mustard greens and pickled red cabbage. A very nice alternative to Sabrett’s.
At $4, the Broodje Frikandel is also worth ordering, a beef pork combo that has been deep fried. The same bun as used in the frankfurter actually contains two short sausages with a dark and grainy color and texture, a substantial tuck-in. Raw onions, mayo, and curried ketchup are its toppings, but the flavor of the sausages dominates all.
The Broodje Frikandel is really two small sausages.
Double Dutch: The potatoes are great.
At $9, though, the Double Dutch is kind of a drag. For one thing, there’s no bun, and the paper boats docks with only a couple of small half-sausages, split down the middle and coated with grainy mustard. One of the sausages is described as boudin blanc, but really it’s more like a bratwurst.
The other is supposed to be a hunter’s sausage, whatever that is. What you get is a blood sausage, which is fine by us, except that it can’t stand up to the grilling and disintegrates. The potatoes that come alongside are great, though, and you’ll find yourself leaving part of the sausages behind and gobbling the potatoes. Oh, well. Go with the other two sausages, and you’ll have a fine meal.
The financier makes a fine dessert.
102 Second Avenue
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 8, 2012