Hotfoot It!


The Best Wurst

Texans come by bratwurst honestly, as much as Midwesterners may believe this wurst to be theirs alone in the US.

There was, for many years, in Richmond, Virginia,TexasWisconsin Border Cafe, now closed I am sad to report. Austin, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin share an aesthetic and emotional border, methinks, cafe or no cafe. If you are gonna hotfoot it between the two, you best do it in your kitchen or your imagination. The mileage is impressive.

Recently I had the privilege of speaking with Jon Notarthomas, proprietor deluxe of The Best Wurst in Austin, Texas. A charming follow-up email warmed my wurst-lovin’ heart,  signed by Jon thusly, till then, me’new friend. 

Jon’s words are as follows.

Best Wurst is the oldest food vendor in Austin and definitely the forerunner of the Food Cart Craze that has taken off here. I like to say we are the most efficient kitchen in Austin working from a 4 x 5 foot cart that kicks out over 80,000 sandwiches a year. I believe we’ll be hitting the magic  “one million served” mark this year!

I know Chicago Food Critic Heather Shouse recently featured Best Wurst in her book Food Trucks.

She did. Good book. Stash it in your glovebox, take off your kid gloves and get yourself to eating.

My heart is warm for the Texas form, so near is it, and so simultaneously remote from, Wisconsin. The two are bound by a heritage accessorized by a string of sausages.

The Border Cafe was conveniently located between The Great Peanut Tour and home. If you drove as the crow flies you hit the cafe at half past lunch. Those were the days.

4 responses to “Hotfoot It!

  1. One of the former owners of the Wisconsin Texas Border Cafe, Joe Siepel, is a good friend. He is now Dean, School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. At the time the bar was open he was Chair of the sculpture department.
    He is a native of Wisconsin.

  2. What a wonderful coinkidink! Of course he is a Wisconsinite. Who else would own such a cool cafe?

  3. I worked there. It was the Texas-Wisconsin Border Cafe, not Wisconsin-Texas. It was the best bar in Richmond. Oh how I miss it! Best chili I’ve ever had. Chimichangas to die for. Salsa ditto. Oh them was the days.

  4. Hi J. D.! I will fix my mistake. Thanks so much for letting me know. That was a great place and I miss it, too.

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