Landbrot Bakery & Bar opened its doors a little less than a year ago. Eight months into the business, the bakery bar has branched out of its West Village flagship with a new location in New York City's LES. Landbrot is gaining recognition among local foodies for its menu and its stellar micro-brews. The eatery's bill of fare pays tribute to Germany's culinary traditions and hearty spirit. The bakery offers a selection of breads, pastries and pretzels but the star of its menu is the mighty bratwurst. The bar features beers and micro-brews that are immensely hard to find. As a big food nerd, I couldn't resist stopping by Landbrot Bakery & Bar's Lower East Side location to see what the buzz is all about.
Unlike its flagship at the West Village, Landbrot's Lower East Side location is smaller in space- which gives it a comfy vibe. The outside appearance features clean lines which complement the neighborhood's aesthetic. While the eatery's menu honors long-established German culinary style, the decor embraces the luxe style of modern architecture. The floor to ceiling glass exterior entertains curiosity of onlookers. During my stay for lunch, there were at least seven groups of people who stopped to look (most of them decided to come in).
Landbrot offers the expected, like soups and sandwiches but I trekked to the recently opened bakery bar for its boasted bratwurst, pretzels and beers. I was pleased with the Nuremburger brat and Andouille Sausage, both served with bread roll, sauerkraut, horseradish, German mustard & plum ketchup. The two dishes were cooked well and I especially appreciate that both were presented simply- I was able to taste the natural flavors of both meats (I also like that there were options of 3 condiments). I'm typically not a fan of sauerkraut but surprisingly, I was able to tolerate sauerkraut served with my meals.
Andrew (the awesome manager) recommended that I try their Salted Brezeln- it's the must for first time pretzel visitors. Not willing to miss out on a potentially amazing pretzel, I tried what he suggested in addition to the Poppy Seed Brezln. The salted pretzel was up to par but I had quite the fondness for the poppy seed pretzel. It was soft and hearty. The taste of poppy is there without going overboard. Traditionally, Germans eat pretzels with butter but to accommodate New Yorkers, German mustard is served on the side.
I would definitely become a regular for their kick-ass micro-brews and beers. I appreciate the exclusivity of the beers that they offer. I was extremely happy with my micro-brew picks- the Höss Neuschwansteiner is a pale lager beer that I fell in love with (who said fairy tales are dead?). It's light, crisp and not heavy. The Höss Doppel-Hirsch is a dark beer, brewed with at least 75 % dark malt. It is one of the best dark beers I've ever had- it has layers of flavors, it's smooth and crisp. Though I enjoyed each of the beers I had, the absolute star of this beer adventure was the Schlenkerala Rauchbier.
Schlenkerala Rauchbier is smoked with beechwood logs, giving it a robust smoky aroma and flavor. I don't even know how to properly describe this beer. Simply put, it tastes like smoked ham and it's freaking amazing. This is the kind of beer to be enjoyed slowly with all your senses and taste buds completely absorbed in every second of it. Schlenkerala Rauchbier pairs well with their Black Forest Ham sandwich with smoked Gouda, thin sliced pear, & German mustard on multi-grain bread.
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