War of the Wursts hits Berlin as Grillwalkers, with 4 pounds of propane on their back, portable grills, and wursts galore, traverse the city selling one of my favorite street foods.
As reported by the NY Times, the Grillwalker was invented by Bertram Rohloff in 1997 after being laid off from his job in hotel management. Mr. Rohloff now has 15 employees selling sausages around the city in teams of two; they take turns wearing the grill and reloading the sausages, rolls and condiments. Their mobility allows them to follow the crowds, showing up outside nightclubs, at major parades and even at union demonstrations, which Mr. Rohloff said were among the best places for business. Mr. Rohloff patented the design, but that has not discouraged imitators such as Grillrunners. At the beginning, there were some pretty serious arguments, but these days they keep their distance from each other. [NY Times]
On a related note, my favorite street wurst was in Vienna, where they used heated spikes to make a warm, tubular hole in the long roll, squirted ketchup or mustard on top, stuck in the wurst, then put a little more ketchup or mustard on top. It was the perfect mobile munchie.