Georges Street Arcade, South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2
Chef: Oliver Mueller
We do not have a very developed street food culture in Ireland unlike the likes of India. Their rich street food culture makes our finest meals look like dry toast. Closer to home you’ll find traditions like crispy churros with chocolate in Spain and gelato in Italy. Any quality street food ideas in Ireland have been imported, not necessarily a bad thing. Many, like German sausage makers, take enormous pride in delivering high quality food and the gang at Worscht World say they are doing it though a “world of gourmet sausages.”
I made a visit with Cuz who was so delighted to find himself treated to lunch, however modest, he screeched at about 120 decibels “Great! A Review!” I guess he hasn’t had a sausage in a while. Anyhoo, the volume was so high I suspect it was indistinct to staff but I am making the disclosure nonetheless, in part to embarrass Cuz.
You can get a takeaway or there’s a seated area at the back where staff filled us in on their favourite dish, the spiced lamb sausage. This came with sun dried tomato mayonnaise spiced olives and halloumi cheese (€7.50). Cuz promptly ordered it and I decided on the classic Chicago style beef hot dog with mustard, tomato relish, caramelised onions, celery salt, and Monterey Jack cheese (€6).
I did feel that two choices would not be the best way to judge Worscht World so we decided to taste the vegan option too. This was a sausage made of falafel and garbanzo beans with tabboulleh and creamed sesame dressing (€7.50).
There’s no drink list here so we settled on water and I had a V-Hit (€2.50). The drink is designed to appeal to that tiny, healthy voice in me and I always think I’ll like them. Then, one taste of the over-sweet liquid confirms I’d probably be happier with an artisan beer. Hint.
Our hot dogs arrived and there’s no denying the generosity of the portions. I also liked the delivery of cutlery, an alien concept to most street food and especially hot dogs. First taste of the meat confirmed some quality, though it would have been nice to know where it was sourced.
The lamb sausage was particularly good and Cuz soon demolished most of it, though I agreed with his point that the cold toppings make for an unpleasant contrast to the hot meat. A flash under a hot grill would have worked well and I feel halloumi cheese takes on a more interesting texture with a bit of toasting.
My classic version, though still much grander than an American version, had a strong salty-sour flavour, which I liked but it suffered the same cold-hot contrast issue as the lamb version. A flash under the grill would have melted the Monterey Jack to sinful perfection.
All sausages came with “curly-fries” which were really just game chips, some of which were what I call Cajun style i.e. burnt.
I wasn’t over enamoured with the bread either, which tasted closer to being a mini-baguette than the soft roll I was expecting. The strong flavours and the meat need something much lighter as balance. Even if you disagree perhaps other bread options should be on offer.
The falafel and garbanzo beans sausage with tabboulleh and creamed sesame dressing was flawless. A magic combination of flavours and a clever mix in the sausage ‘meat’. I’d return for another nibble of that alone.
There are no desserts to speak of except perhaps the rather healthy fresh yoghurt smoothie (€3.95). A strawberry and a mixed berry version are on offer and while I like the idea of the low-cal healthy option both were very acidic and in need of a streak of quality honey.
Similar places are offering one option desserts of whipped ice cream and I can’t help feeling they are missing a trick here. Most people want some sort of a sweet treat after a main course. Little tubs of Murphy’s Ice cream or even a single chocolate from Cocoa Atelier, both around the corner, would work well and add to the local community spirit.
Worscht World is very far from being what it sounds like. In fact it is one of the better street food inspired eateries in the capital and the core product is a quality one. Even with the few teething problems this place has plenty of street cred.
Breaking the Bank
Main course: porcini mushroom risotto and wild rice with smoked garlic-parmesan mayonnaise, rocket and toasted pine nuts €7
Dessert: strawberry fresh yoghurt smoothie €3.95
Drink: V-Hit €2.50
Total for Two: €26.90
Watching the Pennies
Main course: Chicago style beef hot dog with mustard, tomato relish, caramelised onions, celery salt, and Monterery Jack cheese €6
Dessert: mixed berry fresh yoghurt smoothie €3.95
Drink: soft drink €1.50
Total for Two: €22.90