NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - New Smyrna Beach Brat House

After a disappointing experience at a German restaurant north of Daytona Beach, I turned to social media and found The Brat House in the other direction, about two miles south of Rose Bay on N. Dixie Fwy., in New Smyrna Beach. I was very glad I did.

Stopping in early one afternoon on the way back to my hotel after a meeting, I was greeted by the daughter of the mother-daughter team who run the place and invited to sit wherever I wanted.

Huge portions of sausage and kraut

It wasn't a tough choice; the Brat House has about 20 seats inside if you count the two stools at the "bar" and the two kids' seats. There are two picnic tables outside for when weather permits (which is often in Florida).

They were out of my favorite - weisswurst - but the Polish sounded good, so I went with that, which came with house-made sauerkraut and a bag of chips. A beer would have made things just about perfect.

While they don't sell alcohol, the Bay 3 Bar, built in an old auto repair bay right next door, does - and guests are quite welcome to bring their favorite beverage back into the restaurant - so next door I went for a $1.75 (!) glass of lager. Not a pint, but easily 12 oz., if not more.

House-made German potato salad

When my sausage came, it protruded a couple of inches beyond the roll at both ends - a generous portion indeed. And the house-made kraut added a very nice, decidedly mild touch.

If you think you don't like kraut, you must sample theirs; it's nothing like the store-bought variety.

They also make other side dishes in-house, including a German potato salad, which is mayonnaise-free. All the recipes are from the mom's grandmother, who lived in Munich, so they're about as authentic as can be.

The sausages are a combination of locally made links augmented by a few varieties such as the weisswurst, which they import from Usinger's, a well-respected sausage maker in Wisconsin. If you're in the mood for an excellent German sausage while you're anywhere near Daytona Beach, you should check it out, too.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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