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Introducing Prost Wurstgrill & Bierhouse, Brickell's Latest German Hangout

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All photos: Cortney Cates

If you've been in Brickell lately, you may have noticed that there's a restaurant emerging from the space where Rosa Vito bakery used to be (on South Miami Avenue between 10th and 11th streets). And a very quiet opening just a few weeks ago has likely led you to ask the question that's on everyone's mind: "What is Prost?"

Prost literally means "Cheers!" in German, a fitting name given that it's the first German-inspired restaurant and bar in the Brickell area. But don't think of Prost as your stereotypical German eatery, where men are dressed to the nines in lederhosen and ladies in dirndl. "We have German DNA, but we're not technically a German restaurant," says Prost cofounder Michael Sponaugle. "We're doing something that's more relevant to Germany today. If you go to Berlin, this is more like what you will see."

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Sponaugle and his partners came up with the initial concept for Prost over four years ago. "We spent time in Berlin and New York developing a cohesive concept for a restaurant that was about the food and the communal aspect, but that also had purpose and meaning behind it," he says.

They wanted to convey a more modern interpretation of a traditional German beer house, one that had much more to it than large wooden tables, beer steins, and sausages (though there's plenty of that). For example, they commissioned local chalkboard artist Cynthia Santos to paint the black-and-white background for the main wall, one of the first things that you notice when you walk in. "We envision this to be a dynamic installation," Sponaugle says. "A few months from now, we'll wipe the canvas clean and do something else."

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The menu, too, puts a spin on what German restaurants typically offer. No doubt, the highlight is the list of sumptuous sausages, which are made in-house with a state-of-the-art sausage-maker that was imported from Germany. (According to the manufacturer, Prost might be the only restaurant that has ever purchased one.) "It allows our chef to be creative when conceiving these almost-poetic sausages. We can literally change our sausage offerings daily."

"I really want each sausage to be a different experience, not only texturally, but flavor-wise," says consulting chef Phillip Bryant, who was formerly executive chef at Swine Southern Table & Bar in Coral Gables and the former chef de cuisine at Yardbird in Miami Beach.

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The same goes for the beers on tap, which will include just five selections at a time and will be constantly changing. Keeping with the overall concept, there will be authentic German beers, but also those from Funky Buddha and Wynwood Brewing Company, which is made right here in Miami.

Being true to Miami is very important at Prost, where all ingredients are sourced from local farms. The only thing not made directly in-house is the pretzels…but for a good reason. "Authentic Bavarian pretzels go through what is called a lye bath," Sponaugle explains. "Most places in the states can't use because they don't have the proper licenses. But it creates this amazing glazed texture and taste that really can't be found outside of Germany." Coincidentally, there is a bakery based in Miami that they've partnered with that has the license to import the lye and use it in their pretzels.

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"So far, the feedback been pretty phenomenal," says Sponaugle. And, just think, this is only the beginning. And for a menu that doesn't have a single item over $20, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. And so although you might hear them say, " We're the wurst!," we think it's fair to say they're on track to being the best. So stop by, try some sausage, have a beer, and say, prost! to one of Miami's best new restaurants.
—Sherri Balefsky
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