Bratskellar Restaurant (“the Brat”) is a German pizza place that shares the same building as Dinnerhorn Restaurant, at 980 Lafayette Road, or Route 1, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This dark, cozy pub is one large space with low ceilings, wood paneling, and comfortable red booths. A long bar with several stools occupies one end of the room, and is separated from the dining room by a railing. The kitchen is behind the bar, and partially visible. Windows let some light in at either side of the restaurant.
The Brat is close to my workplace, so I visit occasionally for a quick lunch with a coworker or to get takeout. I’ve tried several of their sandwiches and pizzas, and they are all excellent. I usually order the smoked turkey sandwich with cheese, served on a toasted bun with chips.
My parents visited me recently, and since we met in Portsmouth, I brought them to the Brat for dinner. This was their first visit to the restaurant, and they were puzzled while walking through the Dinnerhorn to get to the Brat. (You can also access by entering the back door of the building.) They did comment they were pleased to discover a unique little pub in Portsmouth, and happy we had not instead gone to a chain restaurant. Service was fast, efficient, and professional, as always. My father ordered the buffalo chicken pizza, and my mother had a salad with grilled chicken. I had my favorite pizza, the barbeque chicken, which is full of large chunks of flavorful meat. My son chose pepperoni pizza. The buffalo chicken pizza was a little too hot. My dad tried my barbeque chicken pizza and liked it better.
Pizzas at the Brat are the best I have eaten in the Seacoast area, or anywhere. About the size of a dinner plate, one pizza is more than enough for one person. The crust is just the right firmness to eat by hand, and loaded with tasty toppings. There is a long list of one-topping, 10″ pizzas to choose from, for approximately $7.75 each. Additional toppings and extra cheese may be added. The menu also has a special section, “Pizzas with Pizzazz,” which offers a variety of multi-topping, specialty pizzas, all around $10 each. Unique toppings include chicken livers, bratwurst, Greek sausage, clams, shrimp, kalamata olives, and feta.
We left the restaurant satisfied and happy, and I am sure this will be a restaurant my parents will want to return to when they visit again.
Just last week, I got a takeout lunch from the Brat, to find out whether the pasta is as good as their pizza. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs ($8.50) and a side of Buffalo wings ($7.95). The spaghetti was a generous heap traditional, fat, round strands, much like what you would get in a school cafeteria. Three large-sized meatballs came with the order. They were quite delicious. The marinara sauce was simple, fresh, and not overly sweet. The buffalo wings order was a generous mound of chicken set on a large bed of crisp Romaine lettuce leaves. The wings were large, plump, not covered in gooey sauce, and just the right flavor – not too hot or too mild. Included was container of fresh celery and carrot sticks with bleu cheese dressing. They were simply the best wings I have ever had.
Bratskellar is open seven days for lunch and dinner. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to midnight. All major credit cards are accepted. For groups of seven people or more, 18% gratuity will be added to the check. Bratskellar’s full menu is listed on their website: http://www.dinnerhorn.com/bratskellar.htm.