Portsmouth: Bratskellar Pizza Pub

The skinny: If you missed out on Oktoberfest again this year, you can at least get in the mood at the Bratskellar in Portsmouth.

Bratskellar Bavarian pizza Portsmouth NHWhile the menu looks like your typical pizza place, the decor at Bratskellar is anything but typical — much more Bavarian than Italian. There’s dark wood paneling and big, frosty beer mugs. And of course, there’s the requisite bratwurst, and even liverwurst — seriously, where else can you find liverwurst?

But Bratskellar is a pizza pub, and that’s what brought us there. All of their pizzas are 10 inches, a great size for everyone to get their own and share.

The basic cheese is $6.65, and if you add on toppings like Greek sausage or hickory bacon, it brings the price up to $7.90. There are plenty more options for toppings, including chicken livers, clams and shrimp (which each add $2.00).

Bratskellar also offers a slew of specialty pies, which they dub Pizzas with Pizzazz. To name a few, there’s the Neptune, which combines clams and shrimp for $9.95, and Kappy’s Special, which heaps on feta cheese, artichoke, bacon and tomatoes for $10.95.

Thanks to Twitter followers @CaseyStone, @acummings and @bullystickguy, among others, for the recommendation!

Review: We took advantage of the small pizza size and ordered two pizzas. We picked out the Bavarian ($8.75), which was topped with bratwurst and crunchy onions, and the meatball pizza ($7.90).

At first glance, Andrew thought the Bavarian looked a bit boring — a lot piled on, but not a whole lot of color. But at soon as he picked up a slice, he changed his mind.

The bratwurst had a pretty simple flavor, meaty with just the slightest hint of sweetness. And it paired very well with the flavorful, crunchy onions. Either topping could have been easily overdone, but Bratskellar has it just right (and they couldn’t have physically fit any more bratwurst on the pizza, but again, the flavor was subtle enough not to be overpowering).Bratskellar Portsmouth NH meatball pizza

Deidre thought the meatballs, as well as the bratwurst, did not appear to have any seasoning, but the tenderness helped make up for it. The bratwurst was especially light, leaving room for the onion to be the more flavorful topping.

Also just right were the sauce and cheese on the Bavarian. While Andrew thought the cheese looked a bit heavy at first, it was only an illusion. The cheese, which we’re fairly certain was pure mozzarella, was spread on in a nice, even, well-melted layer and had just a little bit of greasiness.

Underneath that was a thin layer of sauce. Deidre thought there was more flavor in the sauce but upon closer inspection, herbs seemed to have been added last. The sauce was also light with the tiniest hints of tomato skin able to be seen.

The crust was fairly thin and crispy from the center to the end, as well as a nice golden brown. With the small size of the slices, it held up well when you picked up each piece.

Andrew thought both pizzas held up fairly well in the cold pizza test, though the bratwurst had clearly lost a bit of its pizzazz. Or maybe it’s just that it’s a pizza best enjoyed with a pint of beer. Next time.

Rating: Deidre: 3.5 / Andrew: 4.5 = 8/10 slices

Bratskellar Pizza Pub
980 Lafayette Road/Route 1, Portsmouth
436-0717, www.dinnerhorn.com/bratskellar.htm

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