Heads Up: Bavarian Meats Welcomes Andrew Zimmern

American family business you say? Well, for some folks that conjures up iconic imagery. For others, it conjures up that imagery and a whole lot more. Family dynamics. Long hours. Short vacations. Good years. And, not so good years.

You see, here at Bavarian Meats, we’ve been a family business ever since Grandpa Max opened shop in the Pike Place Market in 1961. And, yep, you better believe this family business has seen it all in our fifty-six years. We are still at the same location in the Market and are now a third-generation gig, being run by my identical sister and me. We have 28 employees, an authentic German deli, and we make more than fifty wholesale products in our small warehouse weekly.

To put it simply, we are jacks of all trades and never quite know what’s gonna be tossed our way. It’s like a reality show 24/7. Just when we think we can tackle something in one sitting or finally launch that new product, a pipe springs a leak in the warehouse or someone is stuck in traffic and late for work. And, when it comes to managing the fourth-generation leaders at Bavarian Meats…now teenagers…well, we won’t even go there.

That being said there are good days and deliciously great days. In early September, we had a great day.

Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” was in Seattle. He was scouting around for his new show, “The Zimmern List,” which will launch this fall. We had heard he might stop in but nothing was definite. Then around 1:30, he walked into our little deli with his crew and a sincere curiosity.
Like any other day, we had all arrived for work prepared to crank out the wieners, the brats, the bacon and the hot lunches. Only this day was different because our brand new spicy head cheese took center stage while we stood on the sidelines. The limelight was on the legacy and not the drudgery.

Sitting on a stool overlooking the parade of people outside, Zimmern sampled our classic blood and tongue and our recently introduced spicy head cheese, which is a twist on our Old World classic. Photos were shot. Energy flowed.

We are pretty sure we’ve made the cut, but for us that isn’t the meat of the story. The real story here is that Andrew and his crew are exploring small unique places like ours. They are investing time and energy into celebrating those foods made with heart, hand, head and a hell of a lot of grit.

Before Andrew left, he looked at me and simply said, “Thanks for keeping a place like this going for so long. “

At that moment, Grandpa Max roared.


Andrew Zimmern with the crew at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, Seattle, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern and crew scouting for his new show, “The Zimmern List”, September 6, 2017

Andrew Zimmern and crew at Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market, Seattle 6, 2017

Wieners: A Snappy Solution for the Holidays

Bavarian Meats Wieners

Snap to it! The holidays are nearly here. Are you ready? We are!

Here at Bavarian Meats we are geared up with our flagship product, the wiener, which American’s have affectionately dubbed the hot dog.

This is the wiener that our German-born grandfather,  Max Hofstatter, first started making in 1961 and it’s the one we continue to make daily at our small family-owned and operated processing facility located on Western Avenue in the heart of Seattle.

Containing finely ground pork and beef with no added fillers, MSG or gluten, our wieners are hand crafted and boast that delicious toothsome snap when bitten into.  Every year for the last fifty years, the demand for our Bavarian hot dogs soars during November and December. And, with good reason. Lightly smoked, fully cooked and delicately seasoned, our wieners are a welcome addition to the table during the hectic days at hand.

For best results and to accentuate that snappy bite, the simplest way to cook these dogs is to warm them in water at a gentle rolling boil until they are heated through to your liking. To serve, they can, of course, be tucked into a bun or enhanced with traditional mustards, smoked Tillamook cheddar or even just sauerkraut and apples.  They also make super cocktail fare when heated and sliced into bite-size tidbits.

Regardless of how they are served, rest assured they are a welcome solution for those nights when a crowd converges on your kitchen and you are charged, yet again, with rustling up some chow.

They can be purchased at our traditional German delicatessen, Bavarian Meats, located in the Pike Place Market. They can also be found at Metropolitan Markets, QFCs, Leavenworth, military commissaries, Hess Bakery & Deli in Lakewood, Liebchen Delicatessen in Bellevue, Fischer Meats in Issaquah, and many more mom-and-pop delis in the Puget Sound area.

Gabriele Kessler: The Accidental Butcher

Bavarian Meats Store Manager Gabrielle aka Gabby

Gabriele “Gabby” Kessler, a longtime fixture behind the counter at Bavarian Meats, never set out to be a butcher. A bit ironic, given that she recently stepped up to replace Anna, the store’s previous manager, who moved back to Austria. “It was an accident,” she proclaims. But judging from the pleasant banter she trades with her staff and the upbeat attitude permeating the store, it was a happy one. So how did this accident occur? Continue reading “Gabriele Kessler: The Accidental Butcher”