View Full Version : Dogs, Brats, sausages, links!


www.records
04-03-2011, 10:15 AM
Heading into heavy grilling season, we enjoy having family over for some get togethers and cookouts. Burgers and dogs seem to be the usual fare, due to cost of feeding the troops.

My wife is a very picky eater and much prefers Ball Park (all meat) hot dogs. I have tried to slip BP Beef dogs and she somehow notices the difference.:scratch2: Maybe I should try tasting instead of inhaling?

Me, I love trying all types of hot dog bun stuff. JC Potters hot links are a favorite of mine and the rest of my family. Anyone else a fan of Potters Hot Links?

What are your favorites that can usually be found in grocery stores and which chains sell them?

And what are some of the specialty dogs that you like that can only be found locally?

There used to be a meat shop that processes lots of animals for local farmers and hunters that used to make red skinned links that were amazing, but last year I went down there to buy some and at that time they no longer made them. Hence my search and found JC Potters.

whoaru99
04-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Ambassador brand wieners/hot dogs. :thmbsp:

https://www.wimmersmeats.com/regions

Rome
04-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Gotta agree with the wifee there, www!

BP franks for store brand (dogs) are truly tasty. I have tried others, but one day my gf bought some for me & I am hooked a like hangnail in a piece of fabric.

I miss my Weber grill. It was stolen when I was away & a fire destroyed my kitchen. The fireman put a lot of my stuff outside while fighting the fire, but it was many hours before I returned home. Even my brand new Goodman 18.000 btu unit was gone too.

The best dogs I could buy were from a local grocer that had 100% beef dogs shipped in. That place is now torn down & the owner deceased.

Rome

whoaru99
04-03-2011, 12:30 PM
At the Dairy Queen up the road about 30 miles is one of the best dogs I've ever had. Skin-on, coarse ground goodness, not your typical DQ "mushydog" that's been soaking in the cooker all week. I"m guessing it's from a local meat market but I haven't bottomed that out quite yet. :)

luvvinvinyl
04-03-2011, 12:33 PM
Local meatpacker supplies restaurants, and makes their own dogs, sausages and smoked meats. Dogs come in the old-style white waxed flip=top carton, 6 lbs per. Regular size, 60/box, jumbos, 36/box and foot-long (Yes, they still make foot-longs!) also 36/box. Baker around the corner makes buns to fit.

Yumm!

Sam Cogley
04-03-2011, 12:37 PM
Damn, you're making me hungry...and I'm on a diet... :sigh:

Rome
04-03-2011, 12:42 PM
Smoked doggies in a steamed foot long bun with spicy brown mustard, sautéed onions or toasted minced onions, shredded fiesta style cheese, & some chili.

Well, you get the picture.
Any takers?

Rome

Bogframe
04-03-2011, 12:48 PM
I like Sabrett Natural Casing foot longs (http://www.sabrett.com/hotdogs.cfm#natural), but for some reason it's a bear to find them, most places only stock the skinless ones. Of course you have to have the onion sauce (http://www.sabrett.com/menucondiments.cfm) to go with them

whoaru99
04-03-2011, 12:55 PM
Had some fairly decent Usinger's Knackwurst a while back. Might grab more next time I pass through the Milwaukee area.

trhee
04-03-2011, 01:39 PM
Now there's a man who knows his dogs. Out of the national brands, the only dogs I buy in order of preference are:

1. Sabrett Natural Casing
2. Nathan's Natural Casing

The natural casing is key because the casing as well as the cooking is what gives it that crucial "snap".

Personally, I pass on the onions. Usually I eat my hot dogs with a good mustard or sometimes add sauerkraut unless I'm in Chicago or LA where I'll have the "local" style dogs from places like Superdawg or Pink's.

But around here in the NYC Tri-State area, my favorite places are Gray's Papaya on Broadway & 72nd, Hiram's in Fort Lee, NJ, and Callahan's in Little Ferry, NJ.

Edit: Ohh... I forgot to add Best Provisions Natural Casing dogs.

I like Sabrett Natural Casing foot longs (http://www.sabrett.com/hotdogs.cfm#natural), but for some reason it's a bear to find them, most places only stock the skinless ones. Of course you have to have the onion sauce (http://www.sabrett.com/menucondiments.cfm) to go with them

Bogframe
04-03-2011, 01:48 PM
Now there's a man who knows his dogs. Out of the national brands, the only dogs I buy in order of preference are:

1. Sabrett Natural Casing
2. Nathan's Natural Casing

The natural casing is key because the casing as well as the cooking is what gives it that crucial "snap".

Personally, I pass on the onions. Usually I eat my hot dogs with a good mustard or sometimes add sauerkraut unless I'm in Chicago or LA where I'll have the "local" style dogs from places like Superdawg or Pink's.

But around here in the NYC Tri-State area, my favorite places are Gray's Papaya on Broadway & 72nd, Hiram's in Fort Lee, NJ, and Callahan's in Little Ferry, NJ.

Get thee to Rutt's Hut (http://www.yelp.com/biz/rutts-hut-clifton-2)!

jocko_nc
04-03-2011, 02:18 PM
Second on the Usingers' call. They ship quite reasonably.

trhee
04-03-2011, 02:46 PM
A "ripper" at Rutt's Hut is pretty damn good too. Their chili isn't too bad either.

Get thee to Rutt's Hut (http://www.yelp.com/biz/rutts-hut-clifton-2)!

www.records
04-03-2011, 04:15 PM
I love the crunch on natural casing dogs. The JC Potters Hot Links I mentioned also have that crunch.

I wish I could experience some of the dogs you guys in large cities talk about. Living where I do we just don't have the variety to sample.

markd51
04-03-2011, 04:16 PM
Now there's a man who knows his dogs. Out of the national brands, the only dogs I buy in order of preference are:

1. Sabrett Natural Casing
2. Nathan's Natural Casing

The natural casing is key because the casing as well as the cooking is what gives it that crucial "snap".

Personally, I pass on the onions. Usually I eat my hot dogs with a good mustard or sometimes add sauerkraut unless I'm in Chicago or LA where I'll have the "local" style dogs from places like Superdawg or Pink's.

But around here in the NYC Tri-State area, my favorite places are Gray's Papaya on Broadway & 72nd, Hiram's in Fort Lee, NJ, and Callahan's in Little Ferry, NJ.

Yep, you might be able to get those in your neck, but not here.
Never seen Sabrett, and the Nathans we get here, the pre-packed stuff evidently isn't natural casing weiners, I gather are no way the same stuff you easterners are getting, and they totally suck IMO. There's not one good quality, or aspect of them. They're tough, chewy, and the flavor just ain't making it. Same with Hebrew National, don't think much of those either, both highly over-rated.

In both cases, I's rather buy Ball Park Franks hands down.

Usingers of course makes a variety of goodies, I remember seeing a lot of their products at the various supermarkets when I lived in Wisconsin. Probably could be found in many of the big cities like Chicago as well, but out here in the wild west, fugettabouttit!

Here, about the best I can get from the stupidmarkets here, are links like the Johnsonville Smoked Brats, Brats with Cheddar, Chile with Cheese, Stadium Brats, Hiishire Farm seems to make some similar products, but IMO not as good as the Johnsonville products. Johsnsonville used to make-sell natural casing fresh smoked Franks to die for, but I understand they no longer make this product, and about the only place I was able to get those in the far past, was in Sheboygan, Wisc.

At least with the Johnsonville products, these seem to be real meat inside, not pureed Bologna mush like an Oscar Meyer. And they have a nice balanced smoky flavor. Try em if you haven't. Mark

finnbow
04-03-2011, 05:40 PM
My in-laws live in suburban Baltimore and they pick up brats for me at Mueller's German Deli in Parkville (near Towson). They are the best brats I've eaten in the US - very close to the real deal over in der Vaterland.

As for hot dogs, I'm not big on 'em. I burp the flavor of cured pork snout and ears for hours afterwards. If I have to eat them, the reduced fat version of Hebrew National are OK. Lots of hot mustard and onions essential.

ScramMan2
04-03-2011, 06:29 PM
Good thing about living in WI .. I have lots of local product to grille. Not only Usingers and Johnsonville, but stuff from the locals! You can get it in the grocery store, or the local butcher. They all know how to make a great product.

Bogframe
04-03-2011, 07:46 PM
The Sabrett link I have up allows for shipping. I agree about Nathan's. Since the Hadndwerker family sold out a few years ago, their dogs haven't been the same. They're smaller and blander now, and that even goes at the now-endangered flaship store on Surf Avenue in Coney Island!
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a315/Bogframe/Coney%20Island/Nathans.jpg

markd51
04-03-2011, 09:59 PM
My in-laws live in suburban Baltimore and they pick up brats for me at Mueller's German Deli in Parkville (near Towson). They are the best brats I've eaten in the US - very close to the real deal over in der Vaterland.

As for hot dogs, I'm not big on 'em. I burp the flavor of cured pork snout and ears for hours afterwards. If I have to eat them, the reduced fat version of Hebrew National are OK. Lots of hot mustard and onions essential.

Well, I gotta agree, sometimes a dog can be a bit of a gastronomic stress on the system. Especially the way I usually like to eat them, Chicago Style, with mustard, relish, onions, and hot pickled peppers. French Fries on the side, and always a nice cold one to wash them down with.

I can't find the pickled sport peppers here like they have in Chicago, so I buy these little pickled tabasco peppers made by Trappeys. Very similar.

Nor, can I find poppy seed buns here like Chicago.

As for Brats, as I lived in Shebygan in the late 60's, early 70's, those old time german sausage makers were pretty tough to beat as far as USA made goods. The Semmel Hard Rolls they make out there, and can basically not be found anywhere else always seemed to me to be the perfect compliment to a grilled Brat.

Sheboyganites never pre boiled their Brats, they go straight from the butcher Wrapper, to the Grill. Then slather a shitload of butter on the Semmel Roll, Onions, and Mustard. It is of course the dairy state, those folks out there used to put butter on their butter! Mark

John James
04-04-2011, 07:34 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about kids and their pets! Never mind.:)

finnbow
04-04-2011, 09:29 AM
The Semmel Hard Rolls they make out there, and can basically not be found anywhere else always seemed to me to be the perfect compliment to a grilled Brat.

An aside - Semmel is Bavarian dialect for Brötchen (a generic term for small hard rolls of all types in the rest of Germany). It's interesting to see the use of Bavarian dialect over here (as opposed to high German). I completely agree that these are better suited to the Bratwurst that conventional hotdog rolls.

jocko_nc
04-04-2011, 12:18 PM
A college buddy's family hails from Cedarburg WI. He used to bring back brats. I think they must have come from here:

http://www.schwaisbrats.com/

If that is what they were, they were the finest sausage products I have ever encountered. I see they will ship, too. Hmmmm.

On second thought, that cannot be the right meat market. Look pretty good, though.

eteller
04-04-2011, 12:33 PM
MMM, a chili cheese dog now that's my 'going to the chair' meal!!!:drool:. I used to be in a car club with a guy who sold meat packing equipment, he had been in every major hot dog plant in the U.S. . He said the only dogs he would ever eat were Oscar Meyer and Boar's Head.

markd51
04-04-2011, 06:05 PM
A college buddy's family hails from Cedarburg WI. He used to bring back brats. I think they must have come from here:

http://www.schwaisbrats.com/

If that is what they were, they were the finest sausage products I have ever encountered. I see they will ship, too. Hmmmm.

On second thought, that cannot be the right meat market. Look pretty good, though.

When I went to Howards Grove High School out there in Wisc, we used to wrestle, and play other sports against High schools such as Cedarburg, Oostburg, Random Lake, Kohler.

Speaking of chile cheese dogs, that's what I'm having tonight, a couple Johnsonville Chile Cheese Brats on buns with the works, some Bush's Baked Beans on the side, and a couple of Paulaner Weissbiers to wash it all down. Yum! Mark

ScramMan2
04-04-2011, 06:42 PM
I see Sheboygan WI mentioned. How about the food at Road America? The brat stands, and of course the corn!

Haven't been there in quite a while. I think it's the best road racing course in the country.

Never heard of the semmel rolls. Will have to get some.

markd51
04-04-2011, 06:58 PM
I see Sheboygan WI mentioned. How about the food at Road America? The brat stands, and of course the corn!

Haven't been there in quite a while. I think it's the best road racing course in the country.

Never heard of the semmel rolls. Will have to get some.

Yep, used to go out to Road America all the time, even years after I moved back to Chicago. Used to bring my '67 Vette out there, park in Corvette Corral, and guzzle down the brews! lol

I never heard the locals refer to the Hard Rolls for Brats as Semmel Rolls, but in the Stores up there, they'd be labeled Semmel Rolls.

There used to be a recipe on Johnsonville's website for Semmel Rolls, not sure if it's still there, but after reading through the recipe, I think one would virtually have to have their own bakery to make them, the recipe sounded fairly complex, with a slew of various ingredients.

All the stores in the area up there sold Johnsonville Brats, and other products like their Smoked natural casing Frankfurters fresh, never frozen. I understand they no longer make the smoked franks. They were the best I've ever eaten.

Other noteworthy products that used to be made in the area, was of course Sheboygan Summer Sausage. Last time I was up there, there was still a little meat market in Howards Grove that made home smoked Summer Sausage that was outstanding. And some of the best Beef as well, remembering I bought some huge Porterhouse Steaks there once that literally melted in your mouth, tender as butter. The meat they get out there, locally raised has great flavor.

The Log Cabin Restaurant in Howards Grove as well were the best Burgers I've ever eaten. Actually, they're ground Steak Burgers. And Klemme's Wagon Wheel in the same town were superb, and dirt cheap.

Ahh, the olden days, german lake perch fish frys on friday, fish dinner, and a couple beers, and used to get change back from a $5 bill. Places there always seemed to be more than reasonable with their prices.

Here in New Mexico, everybody seems to be looking to rip you off, $8,50 for 3 miserable ground beef tacos, a little rice, and beans, and got the gall to make the tacos with those dwarf midget tortillas to boot. NM in most places is a culinary shithole. mark

dokblues
04-06-2011, 12:50 AM
Wow! J.C. Potters man I love all that stuff! Last time I was in Okla. I brought back 8 pounds of sausage and linkson the plane ina cooler. :D I was weened on that stuff the Only other links my Dad would eat were from this little meat market in Downtown Oklahoma City. Potters is my Favorite! :thmbsp:

www.records
04-07-2011, 08:22 AM
Wow! J.C. Potters man I love all that stuff! Last time I was in Okla. I brought back 8 pounds of sausage and linkson the plane ina cooler. :D I was weened on that stuff the Only other links my Dad would eat were from this little meat market in Downtown Oklahoma City. Potters is my Favorite! :thmbsp:

dok, I am glad to see someone else who is familiar with J.C. Potters Hot Links. In my 57 years I have tried LOTS of different brands, Johnsonville, Nathans, Ball Park, Earl Campbell, etc. and NOTHING commercially compares. Truly worth seeking out IMO.:thmbsp: Maybe they are a midwest only type brand?

chillwolf
04-07-2011, 05:11 PM
I like Hebrew National hot dogs which can be found in most any grocery store. These are Kosher hot dogs, Kosher means fit to eat.
And here's why..........

http://www.hebrewnational.com/kosher-difference.jsp

chillwolf
04-07-2011, 05:16 PM
My in-laws live in suburban Baltimore and they pick up brats for me at Mueller's German Deli in Parkville (near Towson). They are the best brats I've eaten in the US - very close to the real deal over in der Vaterland.

As for hot dogs, I'm not big on 'em. I burp the flavor of cured pork snout and ears for hours afterwards. If I have to eat them, the reduced fat version of Hebrew National are OK. Lots of hot mustard and onions essential.

Ain't it a small world! My wife and I had our 1st apt. in Parkville and lived about 2 miles from Mueller's Deli. It was our favorite place for getting lunch meat, homemade bread and those giant pickles in the big wooden barrel! :yes:
We were talking the other day about how we miss that place.

trhee
04-07-2011, 05:45 PM
That's a very simplified and almost glorified way of explaining Kosher.

Although I am not Jewish, I have worked with Kosher catering companies and know Kashrut laws pretty well.

It doesn't necessarily make Hebrew National dogs taste any better nor does it means they're better for you. Don't think for a second that Hebrew National is using prime cuts of beef to make their hot dogs. They are still using scraps just like everyone else, except that their dogs are made of 100% beef and not from the hind quarter of the cow. Organs are most likely left out as well due to practical reasons.

Kosher meat items can range from great to inedible. Kosher chicken, say from a company like Empire is so much better than any chicken from Perdue or Tyson. Whereas, hangar "tenderloin" is so salty it's downright inedible.

With all that said, Hebrew National dogs are pretty good in flavor but since they don't come with a natural casing, it doesn't belong at the top.

I like Hebrew National hot dogs which can be found in most any grocery store. These are Kosher hot dogs, Kosher means fit to eat.
And here's why..........

http://www.hebrewnational.com/kosher-difference.jsp

elcoholic
04-07-2011, 05:55 PM
Dogs - Nathans
Brats - Johnsonville, Fresh - simmered in Newcastle Brown and onions, then finished over Mesquite lump charcoal
Portuguese Linguicia - any I can find, grilled over oak, preferrably next to a whole Tri-tip

finnbow
04-07-2011, 05:57 PM
Ain't it a small world! My wife and I had our 1st apt. in Parkville and lived about 2 miles from Mueller's Deli. It was our favorite place for getting lunch meat, homemade bread and those giant pickles in the big wooden barrel! :yes:
We were talking the other day about how we miss that place.

Very cool. Their brats are a world apart from Johnsonville and other such mass market offerings.

gearhound
04-07-2011, 07:02 PM
My wife and I like Boars Head dogs, but we'll buy Hebrew National if available also.

Steve

markd51
04-07-2011, 08:56 PM
As I mentioned previously, I never seen a Sheboyganite par boil Brats in anything.
Although I've sampled Brats done like this at some other people's parties (In Illinois), I felt it totally changed the flavor. Sort of reminded me of par boiling Baby Back Ribs.

But to each their own, and we all of course have different tastes.

But here's one thing that I have seen many Sheboyganites do with Brats.

Well, first I should mention that I don't think I ever seen a Sheboyganite fry up just a 1/2 dozen Brats. More like 2, or 3 or 4 dozen at a small gathering-party.

And what most used to do, after the Brat Fry, and there were some left over, was they would throw the Brats in a Big Pot, dump in a can of Beer, or two (of course the Beer was always there! lol) and dump in a whole Stick of Butter.

Then place the entire pot in the Fridge as leftovers after.

Next day, (most likely) or whenever, simply place the Pot on the Stove, simmer to warm them up, and it was virtually like you just pulled them off the Grill.

And as for Whole Corn, they'd soak up a mess of ears, with the husk on, cook on the Grill, and then for Butter, they'd take a few Sticks of Butter, dump them in a large Pickle Jar 2/3rds full of Hot Water.

The Butter would melt, and of course stay floating at the top of the Jar. Simply peel back the Husk, wipe away the Silk, dunk into the Pickle Jar, and shake on a little Salt.

As many of you know, that good midwest corn, right from the fields is oh so tender, and sweet. Very hard to stop at just 1, or 2 ears! :-) Mark

finnbow
04-07-2011, 09:16 PM
As I mentioned previously, I never seen a Sheboyganite par boil Brats in anything.

+1. As someone who lived in Germany for over a decade, I never once saw parboiled brats. They were always either grilled over charcoal or cooked on a griddle.

Customary accompaniment was hot mustard (no onions) on a sliced open hard roll. Another popular way was to cut the grilled brat into chunks, cover in ketchup and sprinkle very liberally with curry powder to make a Currywurst (served with a roll on the side). Currywursts were particularly popular with women and kids.

http://www.staev.de/upload/berlin/currywurstmuseum/currywurst-1.jpg

I still occasionally eat brats with ketchup and curry powder, though mostly with hot mustard. If you haven't tried a currywurst, give it a try. Much better than you might imagine.

jocko_nc
04-07-2011, 10:45 PM
I see Johnsonville mentioned a lot. To me that is like "Kraft" for cheese. That is a mediocre mass-market brat that is only loosely related to the good stuff. IMO.

trhee
04-07-2011, 11:11 PM
If anyone's interested in buying quality German sausages, this is the place to go in NYC.

Fortunately, for the rest of you that live elsewhere, they do online ordering and shipping.

http://schallerweber.com/

trhee
04-07-2011, 11:21 PM
+1. Boiling brats is sacrilege.

As for me, I like them grilled and eaten with a good mustard.

Of course I'll need some sides...

- Spaetzle
- Red cabbage
- Sauerkraut
- Potato salad

+1. As someone who lived in Germany for over a decade, I never once saw parboiled brats. They were always either grilled over charcoal or cooked on a griddle.

elcoholic
04-08-2011, 01:19 AM
I see Johnsonville mentioned a lot. To me that is like "Kraft" for cheese. That is a mediocre mass-market brat that is only loosely related to the good stuff. IMO.

You're probably right, but that's all we seem to have around here. No German Delis to speak of either. I guess it all works out. It's sad for what passes for Mexican and Chinese food in a lot of places I've been in the middle states.

finnbow
04-08-2011, 09:55 AM
Of course I'll need some sides...

- Spaetzle
- Red cabbage
- Sauerkraut
- Potato salad

Ach ja!

Anyone here on AK familiar with a famous Bavarian delicacy, the Weisswurst? Unlike a Bratwurst, it is made of veal with coriander, stuffed in a rubbery, synthetic casing and steeped in hot water. It is served with a special Bavarian sweet mustard, freshly baked pretzels, and Hefeweissbier for a Sunday breakfast. You don't eat the casing, but slice it open and eat the filling out of it. It's sort of an acquired taste, but once you're hooked, it's the ultimate brunch. Prosit!
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/209/502572361_2966a1c34c.jpg

Tom Brennan
04-08-2011, 10:15 AM
All beef, natural casing Vienna and fresh cut fries from 35th St. Red Hots at 35th and Normal, a couple blocks west of Sox Park.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh92/Irishtom29/chicago/hotdog002.jpg

Tom Brennan
04-08-2011, 10:18 AM
My wife and I like Boars Head dogs, but we'll buy Hebrew National if available also.



I also think Boars Head natural casing dogs are very good.

jocko_nc
04-08-2011, 10:22 AM
You're probably right, but that's all we seem to have around here. No German Delis to speak of either. I guess it all works out. It's sad for what passes for Mexican and Chinese food in a lot of places I've been in the middle states.

Amen to that, brother.

The good thing about sausage is that it can be shipped or frozen. That is what we do. I bring back a cooler of Italian sausage and cheese every time I am back in Ohio. I grab specialties in Atlanta, since they have such things. For wieners, it is UPS.

You can get a boat load of Usingers delivered for not a lot of money. Less than the "premium" brands in the store.

markd51
04-08-2011, 10:33 AM
I see Johnsonville mentioned a lot. To me that is like "Kraft" for cheese. That is a mediocre mass-market brat that is only loosely related to the good stuff. IMO.

Of course opinions vary Jocko, but I would say that Johnsonville Brats are the best mass marketed, and no doubt also have the highest sales.

I would say the signature taste, and seasonings are basically there, that Johnsonville closely tastes the way the old time german Butchers used to make them in Sheboygan.

I remember when I was young, living there, my family would commonly shop at Luedkes in Sheboygan. A really great butcher dept, and of course, the Brats, and all Sausages-Weiners were made in store, and always fresh.

Last I seen, Sheboygan seems to be but a shell of what it once was back in the 60's, and 70's. Many farms now gone, the older generation basically all gone, and their children finding other vocations, rather than running a farm.

I lived in the country, there was farmland everywhere. Fresh milk (non-homogenized), eggs, butcher shops, and bakeries abounded there.

The Frederick's Bakery Bread made in town back then was to die for as well. Plastic bags were never used, always waxed paper. Plastic to me always seems to ruin a good bakery bread.

I would say the biggest gripes I have with Johnsonville Fresh Brats over the past few years, is that one thing I notice, they seem to be over-loaded with salt. And I'm unsure of this, but they might also contain some products that wouldn't-shouldn't be thrown into fresh made butcher Brats.

I've had supposed fresh made Butcher Brats from delis in other parts of the country, and most seem to miss the mark, that the true Brat Flavor just isn't there, seeming to only slightly resemble what a Brat IMO is.

I think one important key to good sausages like Brats, and even Italian Sausage, is fat, and a coarse grind. Taking out too much fat renders a dry, non-juicy sausage. Healthier, maybe yes, tastier, it depends I reckon? Mark

markd51
04-08-2011, 10:40 AM
I see Johnsonville mentioned a lot. To me that is like "Kraft" for cheese. That is a mediocre mass-market brat that is only loosely related to the good stuff. IMO.

Of course opinions vary Jocko, but I would say that Johnsonville Brats are the best mass marketed, and no doubt also have the highest sales.

I would say the signature taste, and seasonings are basically there, that Johnsonville closely tastes the way the old time german Butchers used to make them in Sheboygan.

I remember when I was young, living there, my family would commonly shop at Luedkes in Sheboygan. A really great butcher dept, and of course, the Brats, and all Sausages-Weiners were made in store, and always fresh.

Last I seen, Sheboygan seems to be but a shell of what it once was back in the 60's, and 70's. Many farms now gone, the older generation basically all gone, and their children finding other vocations, rather than running a farm.

I lived in the country, there was farmland everywhere. Fresh milk (non-homogenized), eggs, butcher shops, and bakeries abounded there.

The Frederick's Bakery Bread made in town back then was to die for as well. Plastic bags were never used, always waxed paper. Plastic to me always seems to ruin a good bakery bread.

I would say the biggest gripes I have with Johnsonville Fresh Brats over the past few years, is that one thing I notice, they seem to be over-loaded with salt. And I'm unsure of this, but they might also contain some products that wouldn't-shouldn't be thrown into fresh made butcher Brats.

I've had supposed fresh made Butcher Brats from delis in other parts of the country, and most seem to miss the mark, that the true Brat Flavor just isn't there, seeming to only slightly resemble what a Brat IMO is.

I think one important key to good sausages like Brats, and even Italian Sausage, is fat, and a coarse grind. Taking out too much fat renders a dry, non-juicy sausage. Healthier, maybe yes, tastier, it depends I reckon. Mark

jocko_nc
04-08-2011, 03:42 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dioguardis-Italain-Foods/104441199594079

Good Italian sausage in Canton, OH. Owned now by Greeks, but lots of good stuff there.

RT Fan
04-08-2011, 05:01 PM
In NYC there are still a few of the old world German butchers left, Schaller & Weber and Karl Ehmer's being the most prominent. They are still the gold standard for German style/non-kosher natural casing weiners & bratwursts, weisswursts etc. There are also some good Polish butchers in the east village & Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Bogframe
04-08-2011, 05:41 PM
In NYC there are still a few of the old world German butchers left, Schaller & Weber and Karl Ehmer's being the most prominent. They are still the gold standard for German style/non-kosher natural casing weiners & bratwursts, weisswursts etc. There are also some good Polish butchers in the east village & Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Don't forget the huge russian delis all over Brighton Beach with thousands of different salamis, wursts and smoked meats.

AlleyKat
04-08-2011, 06:12 PM
We're very lucky to have a local German butcher shop that has remained in the same family for 75 years, Liehs & Steigerwald. http://liehsandsteigerwald.com/ From home cured, hickory smoked bacon, hams and pork chops to 18 different bratwursts :yes: and 25 other sausages, all homemade, this is a very special place:banana:

Buzzer
04-08-2011, 06:40 PM
Have a European Deli on my block that gets fresh Polish meats, cheeses and deserts from NYC. They also make their own bigos (stew) and pierogi. Gotta add some pickled red cabbage, good mustard, bread, fresh horseradish, and a good Bavarian lager to the table. Think I know whats on the menu tomorrow!

Wasatch
04-09-2011, 04:55 PM
Try this place.

http://www.polana.com/

Drybasement
04-09-2011, 06:57 PM
Second on the Usingers' call. They ship quite reasonably.

Usinger's makes great beef summer sausage.

Locally, it's Koegel's. Koegel Viennas for the dogs. Koegel's pickled bologna is fantastic.

For bratwursts there's a local meat market that makes them up fresh. Great flavor and my favorite brat. Johnsonville doesn't hold a candle to these.

All-Trac
04-09-2011, 10:33 PM
Steve, you need to make the drive to the town of Frontenac and hit up Pallucca's store and pick up some of the best italian sausage around! Plus come over and visit me as I'm just around the corner.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4139/4798523901_f0e07f8269.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2570/3926549632_1f4ba18d88.jpg

www.records
04-09-2011, 11:00 PM
That sounds great Justin. I had forgotten about those little mom and pop stores in Frontenac. Will get me a couple of loaves of bread from the Frontenac Bakery while I am at it.

All-Trac
04-09-2011, 11:26 PM
It's downsized from a grocery store to a Italian specality store with a meat/butcher counter. They close at 6pm, and if you come over during lunch hit up Rick's Receration a block down for a killer double cheeseburger!

finnbow
04-10-2011, 12:31 PM
Steve, you need to make the drive to the town of Frontenac and hit up Pallucca's store and pick up some of the best italian sausage around!

I loves me some Italian sausage (usually of the hot variety). A nice accompaniment to grilled hot Italian sausage is white beans with garlic, olive oil and sage.

To make this, I just saute some minced fresh garlic and sage (plus a few shakes of red pepper flakes, if desired) in EV olive oil. Dump in a large can of white beans (either Great Northern or cannellini are fine) and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the beans get a bit creamy.

Serve grilled sausage and white beans with a green salad, crusty bread and red wine. Really good and much better than it sounds.

markd51
04-10-2011, 03:15 PM
Usinger's makes great beef summer sausage.

Locally, it's Koegel's. Koegel Viennas for the dogs. Koegel's pickled bologna is fantastic.

For bratwursts there's a local meat market that makes them up fresh. Great flavor and my favorite brat. Johnsonville doesn't hold a candle to these.

I'll agree without a doubt, that any sausage, made fresh, by a knowledgeable, experienced butcher, using very good select grades of meat, and not over-processed to death will have a much greater tendency to always being superior in flavor, and texture to the suoermarket brands.

Years ago, and old friend in Chicago, from the old country (Italy) used to make all his own cured dried Italian Sausage, Capocollo, Suppresada, and he would generally do about 140 lbs of Pork Shoulder a year.

It was all so horribly addictive, you couldn't stop eating it. The best I ever had in my life. Mark