Opening the door of Jake’s Handcrafted, you’ll think you’ve been magically transported inside of nearby Fletcher’s. The unmistakable aroma of fire-kissed brisket permeates the room, except instead of being sold by the pound or piled into sandwiches, here, it’s transformed into nubby links of smoke-dark forcemeat and nudged into buns, along with purple kraut and pickles.
A redo of the German beer hall, Der Kommissar, the South Slope spot expanded well beyond wurst this past summer,shifting focus to a revolving selection of internationally inspired and exclusively house-made sausages and condiments; the ham and swiss-stuffed pernil Cubano just begs for a swirl of roasted banana mustard. So to compliment that twice-smoked, burnt ends option—as convincing an ode to Texas barbecue as you’ll find anywhere in Brooklyn—Jake’s compellingly captures a world’s worth of flavor into a series of sausage casings, from a Tokyo Chicken Brat, studded with citrusy sansho peppercorns and lacquered with sweet soy; to Lamb Satay, glommed with peanut sauce and a fresh hash of cucumber and shallots; and even a veg-friendly Falafel Chickpea, topped with tomato, tahini, and pickled turnips.
Those seven some-odd menu mainstays are augmented by three or more daily specials from “The Lab,” such as a whimsical play on cheap Chinese takeout, comprising char siu bound with fried rice, and heaped with saucy mushu vegetables and fried noodles; a pork- and duck-swollen French Cassoulet, pebbled with stewed white beans and fatty lardons; and a garlicky Oysters Rockefeller; a paste of Washington State crustaceans cushioned with strands of spinach and nutty, dry gruyère. Add in an assortment of similarly globetrotting sides, like shaved sprouts with locatelli, doughy knodel (boiled Bavarian dumplings), and funky Korean kimchi, and you’re off on an international adventure, all without leaving the South Slope—although once you get a whiff of that beef-inflected smoke, you might be loathe to travel too far past Texas.