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Old German Bar and Bierkeller

 

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Like the Den, the new Old German partly serves as overflow for the perennially popular Peak. While the name is a tribute to the longtime eatery that once anchored this corner, the "Bar and Bierkeller" is also a trendy drinkers' mashup, with rotating taps of solid brews, decent continental and Michigan wines by the glass, novelty cocktails, and crazy shots. Open less than a year, the new Old German may still be evolving; for now, it's best not to arrive with rigid expectations.

Downstairs, the Peak's crisp and creative beers are supplemented with German-inspired special drafts. They make perfect accompaniments for an array of bratwurst and artisanal sausage sandwiches mainly sourced from Detroit's Eastern Market. Two amazingly affordable "Early Week Specials" are served Sunday through Wednesday: For $4.95, choose a burger or bratwurst patty, both with a side of German potato salad that's more herbed than bacon-vinegary. Baked soft pretzels and dipping cheese give a German flair to munchies-oriented bar fare.

Adventuresome types can try more unusual sandwiches like the Hasenpfeffer (peppered rabbit), a massive helping in a Buffalo-wings kind of sauce--sopping it up is the toasty and tasty little pretzel roll, the best bun in the house. The "Bavarian Banh Mi" of pickles and various meats--liverwurst is in the mix--comes with a sunny-side-up egg on top for a messy but reliably appealing meal in a basket. Sandwiches this ambitious and interesting probably deserve better than a black plastic "wicker" basket lined with a skimpy sheet of paper.

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