June 4, 2010

Best Wurst

- Location & Hours:
   E. 6th St. & San Jacinto:  Wednesday – Friday: 7 PM – 3 AM

   E. 6th St. & Red River:  Friday & Saturday: 8 PM - 3 AM
- Telephone: 512-912-9545
- Website: www.thebestwurst.com / Facebook: The Best Wurst / Twitter: The Best Wurst
- Cuisine: Sausages - Late Night

Plausibly one of Austin's oldest street food vendors is John Notarthomas' "Best Wurst".  The company had it's roots back in the early 90's when it was 'Flamin Hot' hot dog and hill country sausages stand which was renamed to Best Wurst in 1995.  Jon came down to investigate the Austin music scene by way of Syracuse, New York, a city also known for their mouth-watering Italian sausages.  As a musician, he loves Austin both as a fan and a player.  He says one of the occupational hazards of being a musician is you end up cooking/bartending/waiting tables/washing dishes for weekend cash and somehow this weekend job turned into a full time landmark business that is known as the mothership of bratwurst in Austin.

One thing that makes Best Wurst special is that part of Jon's mission is to hire other musicians.  He pays a decent wage and is really doing his part to support other young artists.  It was wages from Best Wurst that put him through St. Ed's to get a college education that he didn't get when he was younger.  Being an Austin institution, the Best Wurst has served some popular patrons including but not limited to: Willie Nelson, Mike Judge, Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray, Jenna and Barbara Bush, members from the Rolling Stones, Spoon, Asleep at the Wheel, and the Flaming Lips as well as many actors.

Being from a traditional Irisih Italian community in upstate New York, his concept is loosely based on Heid's hot dogs of Liverpool New York.  He hated the cons of modern day businesses and modeled his unique 4 x 5 trailer to suit quirky American neighborhood regional foods.  "Good eats doesn't have to be complicated," Jon shares, as he creeps up on his millionth sandwich sold.