Origins of the beloved German cuisine “currywurst” go back more than 60 years, and since then, the food has become the No. 1 street food in Germany. This culinary creation is beloved by locals and visitors alike because it’s tasty and easy to make – but it can be tough to find a true representation of the delicacy outside of Europe.
Having grown up in the home country of this dynamic food’s origin, the co-founders of Berlin Currywurst, Hardeep Manak and Lena Cameron, decided they wanted to share this cultural treasure with all their Los Angeles friends. In 2014, they made their dreams a reality, and opened a stall at Grand Central Market.
This downtown LA-based eatery creates authentic currywurst with a recipe steeped in German tradition. The menu is purposefully minimalistic, with an added touch of modern flair. Diners can taste a seemingly unlimited variety of combinations of sausages, spiciness and flavors. The stall prides itself on serving only all-natural meat, with100 percent organic sauce. The fries are hand cut from organic potatoes and the German farmer’s bread is always fresh and crispy.
Metrolink connected with manager and cook Adan Jiminez, who oversees the stall at the Grand Central Market Berlin Currywurst four days a week, to get his insight into the secrets of the sausage-making business. Jiminez describes the art form behind crafting the perfect brat.
“I started in the culinary business many years ago and I immediately noticed that Berlin Currywurst was a niche for quick simple food and craft beer,” says Jiminez on his interest in joining the stall’s culinary team at Grand Central Market. “I wanted to work with the owners to keep the menu simple while also adding fresh choices like salads and a variety of craft beers.”
Jiminez says his favorite dish both to cook and enjoy himself is the classic Leberkäse sandwich, which is made with pepper-crusted pork meatloaf cut to order. The meat is seared and placed between two slices of fresh bread. Then, it’s generously topped with sauerkraut, onion and an egg.
Some Like it Hot
“Something that’s special about us is that our menu items are customizable,” says Jiminez. “You can decide whether you want it mild, or whether you want to make it spicy. We do have a focus on spicy food, and we try to encourage our customers to experience the more ‘adventurous’ flavors, using ghost peppers or scorpion peppers.”
Jiminez says Berlin Currywurst’s regular customers have been keeping them busy this past year during the pandemic.
“We’re truly thankful for them and even though business has gone down dramatically, our regulars have been staying loyal,” shares Jiminez. “We usually already know what their order is going to be when they walk up.”
Germany by Way of Metrolink
Berlin Currywurst’s regulars hail from all over the city – traveling from downtown Los Angeles, to West Los Angeles, Culver City, and beyond. Jimenez says many of them take the train to see them and say hello.
As for newbies? He offers valuable insight on how to create the best brat combination on a first visit. “Start by picking out a sausage – we have a bunch of different sausages to choose from,” he expresses eagerly. “Get it in a bun, and just make it simple. Pair it up with any beer – and you’re bound to have a great time.”
When SoCal Explorers take the train to Berlin Currywurst and show their loyalty card, they will receive 10% off their food and beverage purchase.