A weekend trip to St. Louis a few weeks ago found Jen & Bill taking us on another mini-adventure off the beaten path: The G&W Bavarian Style Sausage Company. Founded in 1965 by Henry and Helmut Wanninger and Otto Gummerscheimer, the store is still being run by their descendants, today.
Gah! Just look at it! A cow! I mean, a bull! I mean, a beef! I could already tell we were going to love it!
Even though it's hidden on a small side street, it's still a popular, busy Saturday-morning stop for a lot of people, so you're going to have to:
Then cozy in and wait—it will be worth it.
If you get tired of standing around, just raise your hand, and they'll toss you a Busch beer to tide you over.
There are wursts galore! Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Knackwurst, Bockwurst, Bloodwurst, and Liverwurst, in all different flavers. There is also andouille, chorizo, franks and weiners.
The sausages are made onsite, and lopped off in the number of links you're ordering:
LLlllllllllick. Tempted as we were, we passed on the beef tongue. My mom used to fix tongue for us, and I remember thinking it was good, but I'm still kind of put off at the thought of preparing and eating it myself. Maybe if it didn't look so much like a...tongue.
If I've talked you into stopping in here yet, you must try the Landjager Bavarian style beef sticks, made in-house. Jennifer and Bill shared theirs, and I'll definitely be going back for more of these, along with some flank-steak jerky.
Not pictured is a cold-cut case. I picked up some Bier salami and, at Jen & Bill's recommendation, black forest ham, shaved paper-thin.
After you've picked out all that you want, your order is tallied up by the owner with an item called a pencil.
All in all, Clint and I bought bier salami, cajun brats, deli liverwurst, smoked liverwurst, and black forest ham, for a grand total of $20.
We were at G&W for about 40 minutes, and loved every minute of it. It's busy and crowded, but everyone waiting in line seemed happy to be there, and the banter between the staff and the customers was easy and real. Cooking tips and recipes were discussed, and the owners teased, if you asked for 4 sausages, that they only sold them in multiples of 5. Cans of Busch were consistently passed over the counter and down the line, and meat slicers buzzed in the background, while the staff hustled to fill everyone's orders.
This shop is a treasure to those of us that don't care for your typical tourist trap with pricey souvenirs. I have no doubt we'll meander back there on future trips. If you find yourself wandering St. Louis and looking for the real deal—great food and service by a family-run business, pick up a cooler or an insulated bag and get yourself over to this little meat market.
And don't forget to get a little bit extra of that black forest ham—you'll likely start nibbling on it within a minute of driving away.