Review: Curry Kartell – Wiesbaden’s new Currywurst king?

Instagram collage of Curry Kartell Wiesbaden

Curry Manufaktur has long been the leading Currywurst outlet in Wiesbaden.  Located on Römertor and also appearing twice a week at the farmers’ market at the Marktplatz, they do a consistently roaring trade of excellent, regionally-produced sausages, Belgian-made sauces and freshly-packaged (as opposed to frozen) chips to a loyal brigade of happy customers.

Various other Currywurst joints have come and gone in the time I’ve been here, from Curry Papst on Goldgasse, whose late night DJs and wildly flashing lights couldn’t do enough to keep the customers coming, to The Best Worscht* in Town, who positioned itself laughably close to Curry Manufaktur, covered its sausages in curry powder rated on a scale of zero (“because you find yourself too hot already”) to “Fucking Burning Injection”, and promptly closed back down.  It seems that Wiesbaden likes its Currywurst done in style.

Taking all this into account, you’d think that anyone opening a new fast food restaurant in town might think twice about making it a Currywurst joint.  Unless of course, they think they’re really in with a chance of stealing Curry Manufaktur‘s crown.

Well, the six-week old Curry Kartell on An den Quellen could be in with a chance.  It opened at the beginning of August, a modern, clean-lined, glass-fronted affair at the top of the tiny escalators next to Vapianos.  Space is a little tight on the inside, yet it doesn’t feel cramped, and they’ve a couple of larger tables outside to make up for it.  It’s got a bit of a hipster vibe, from the huge black stickers of moustachioed, monocled chaps on the windows to the names they’ve given their sauces – you wouldn’t get Der Dude or Der Dandy at The Best Worscht in Town.

The drinks menu continues on the same theme, made up of Fritz-Kola & Limos, the socially responsible, sustainable must-have German thirst quencher for any self-respecting hipster (and I say that with affection – their drinks really are very good); plus beer, pale ale and a very carefully considered gin and tonic.

But we’re not here to talk about stickers on windows or hipster beverages, are we, we’re here to talk about the Currywurst.  So, is the Currywurst any good?  Yes, it’s good.  It’s very good.  And it should be: the meat is all produced within 150km of here, turned into sausages made to a Curry Kartell’s own recipe without flavour enhancers, colouring or preservatives.  The chips are real potatoes, twice cooked.  The sauces were developed by award-winning, three Michelin-starred German chef Juan Amador and are made using fresh ingredients.  Even the curry powder is a blend supplied by Germany’s king of spices, Ingo Holland; and even the dips are – as far as possible, they say – organically and regionally produced.

The very cute menu card (photo above) includes a small selection of Currywürste, salads, dips and meal deals, the brevity of which made me very happy, since there’s nothing I hate more than endless menu options, especially “crazy” variations on a Currywurst theme (minus point for Curry Manufaktur there: the decision-making process can be very confusing for a first-timer).  There are two very basic meal choices – Currywurst and chips with or without a drink – plus a vegan option that comes with salad, and a fancy sausage-free meal accompanied by a gin and tonic (!).

I picked the Schnelle Liebe (“fast love”) menu, a classic currywurst with chips and a Fritz Apfelschorle (6,90€) plus extra mayo (0,70€).  There are three tomato and three fruit based sauces to choose from, each available in three levels of heat and each with its own name to avoid confusion.  I went for Der Dandy, a tomato sauce dusted with a medium hot spice mix that had a wonderfully fresh, tomatoey flavour and a proper fiery kick.  The sausage was excellent, juicy and meaty without being fatty, the mayo was good and the chips, twice-cooked and made from actual potatoes, were the best I’ve had in a very long time.

Empty drink and Currywurst packaging from Curry Kartell Wiesbaden

I know it’s just a Currywurst.  It’s just a sausage and chips.  But good grief it’s a good one.  Three cheers to Curry Kartell: they’ve succeeded in making the Currywurst more than just a guilty pleasure and they’re giving Curry Manufaktur a run for their money.  I like to think Wiesbaden’s big enough for the both of them, but I can’t wait to go back to Curry Kartell for my next one.

Address: Wilhelmstraße 52, Wiesbaden
Website: Curry Kartell

*Worscht = Wurst (sausage) in regional dialect.

Have you been to Curry Kartell yet?  How do you think it compares with Curry Manufaktur?  And most importantly, how do you like your Currywurst?

17 Comments

  • Ginger says:

    O my God, you are so lucky! Two Currywurst places in close proximity, that’s my definition of Heaven 🙂
    Just one criticism about your otherwise wonderfully engaging review: what do you mean by “I know it’s just a Currywurst”?!

  • bavariansojourn says:

    Wow. That sounds so good! It’s available down here obviously, but I don’t think there’s anywhere that specialises in purely that! I love the sound of both of those places! 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    That is awesome! I hope it’s still there when we visit again next year (though from your review, I think it will be :)). Funny story about Curry Manufaktur, the first night that my husband and I were in Wiesbaden, we were out with his brother and their uncle and some cousins. Walking past the Römertor and a bit ahead of hubby and I, uncle and brother stopped so uncle could point something out to brother. My husband and I caught up to them and my husband showed me that what they were looking at was a Roman tower, very cool… and then uncle admits that he was showing brother that the best Currywurst place was down that street, but oh yeah there’s a cool ancient tower down there, too 🙂

  • Anne says:

    You have already tempted me to try this new place with what you wrote on Facebook, but now I’m definitely going to walk over this afternoon – rain permitting, as then I won’t feel too bad about the ingested calories!!! I’m VERY fussy about Currywurst so the idea of preservative and additive free sausages just lured me in even more!! It’s the questionable preservatives and other chemicals that put me off of eating just any sausage even though I enjoy them!! I tend to sway towards mainly organic groceries in any case, so sounds like a perfect fit for our family when we fancy a ‘guilty pleasure’!

  • Omg Fritz cola – NOW I miss Germany!

  • Best Worscht is supposed to be the best in Frankfurt. I’ve never tried to myself as I cant stand curry ketchup. I guess they won’t be giving me a German passport any time soon, huh?

    • Well not if you carry on like that young lady 😉 The good ones don’t use curry ketchup but a tomato sauce or whatever and then the curry powder on top. Tastes totally different to a bottle of curry ketchup. This tomato sauce was so fresh it even had seeds in.

      So, next time you make it to Wiesbaden we’ll go for one of these 😀

  • Rachel says:

    Currywurst AND a G&T – what a treat!

  • Anne says:

    Hello!
    Yes, I’m back and things are looking a tiny bit more positive 🙂 I just wanted to let you know that we had a Currywurst the other evening and absolutely enjoyed it!!! Yummm, it is definitely now my all time favourite, as you can really tell that the quality of the ingredients is superior to many others. I had the tomato based sauce and thought that it was indeed much less starchy and ‘gloopy’ and was clearly made with a lovely fresh base so felt less like processed food!!

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