It's War of the Wursts in Berlin as Grillwalkers Battle Imitators
Back in 1997, an unemployed former hotel manager named Bertram Rohloff had a brilliant idea. Unable to obtain the necessary permits to open an outdoor sandwich stand, he found a way to circumvent the entire bureaucracy and wound up making portable food vending history. He invented a wearable propane sausage grill that requires no special permit, as neither the grill nor the food ever touches the ground. Thus, Grillwalker was born, a sausage oven with legs that can bring hot sausages to the hungry masses at some of Berlin's most heavily-trafficked urban spaces. As The New York Times points out, Rohloff's 15 sausage walkers are now fixtures at such sites as the Alexanderplatz, bustling Friedrichstrasse train station, and even outside popular nightclubs.
But not all is peaceful in sausage-land. Existing sausage vendors - who went through the trouble of obtaining permits for food stands that actually touch the ground - don't like the odd-looking interlopers who undercut them in both price and quality. And imitators have arisen as well. Grillrunner appeared last year, with a similar wearable sausage contraption. The dueling vendors often appear within feet of one another, shooting steely glances back and forth as they dole out weiners.
As for me, I'd be happy to shell out $1.75 for a porta-sausage, as long as the grill appeared hygienic. I might even offer the vendor a gratuity. After all, who knows what kind of long-term fertility damage might occur with a hot grill so close to one's nether regions. Perhaps it's best not to think about that.
[Photo: The New York Times]
· Ovens On Feet Beckon Germans to Bratwurst [The New York Times]
· Grillwalker [Official Site]
· Sausages [Jaunted]