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Good sausage makers (beyond Saad's and Aidell's)?

  • c

So I have tried Schaub's in Palo Alto (Mild Italian and Bratwurst). Disappointed on both counts, the italian was way too salty with a little weird herb flavor, not fennel. I realize fennel is sometimes recommended against for some cooking, but generally makes the sausage tastier in my opinion. The bratwurst was also too salty and the spice mixture didn't taste complex, something came through very strongly, and was unpleasant (and pricey!). I also tried Andronico's Italian and all I could taste was salt. Very disappointed. I had some ground "New York Sausage Co." stuff from Safeway (they seem local) and it was Ok, but I have been having to stick with Johnsonville (not bad, but looking for something better). Any good/or crazy recommends would be appreciated. I love Chowhound!

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  1. f

    I love the sausages (and other items) at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley. They have a wonderful meat counter there.

    Link: http://www.caferouge.net/meatmarket.html

    2 Replies
    1. re: farmersdaughter

      I admittedly keep one eye on the ingredients, expecially the fat content, so I'm sure I'm denying myself some very tasty products. I do like Dibrova's Spicy Italian a lot, and some of their other low (or lower) fat sausages are good. Niman Ranch's sausages tend to be hit and miss, but their beef hot links are not bad, and not very high in fat.

      1. re: Gary Soup
        Robert Lauriston

        Niman's meat is tops, but with the exception of the hot dogs I don't think their sausages are very good.

    2. Taylor's Sausage in the Housewives Market/Swan's - Old Oakland is a small local sausage maker that does a nice job. I love their boudin blanc - they make a pretty broad range of sausages. Andouille, hot links, etc..... here's a link that includes the particulars...

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. Try Dittmer's, at 400 San Antonio Road in Mountain View. They're an old-style German deli with a great variety of excellent sausages.

        Link: http://www.dittmers.com/

        Image: http://www.dittmers.com/images/sausag...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Liz

          Yes, I can add my kudos to Dittmers. I trek
          down there a few times a year for their
          excellent chunky liverwurst and always
          bring back some sausages.

        2. Gerhardt's (located in Napa) makes good sausages -- including an excellent Syrian lamb sausage. Unfortunately, it is not found in Bay Area stores, as far as I can tell. If your supermarket carries Gerhardt's other offerings, you can get them to special-order the lamb sausages. I used to make trips up to Napa to buy them directly from the factory (5 lb. minimum) but they stopped doing that. Probably too much of a bother, so I began to make my own. I think Gerhardt ought to stop making all those chicken-apple thingies that everyone else makes and just stick to the Syrian sausages. JMHO.

          1. m
            Melanie Wong

            For Italian-style sausage, I recommend Little City in SF's North Beach, especially the spicy ones if you like heat.

            The thread linked below has some excellent sources too.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            5 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Little City also makes very good breakfast sausages. (Italian style)

              1. re: originaljoe
                Melanie Wong

                Further afield, Sonoma County has a number of great sausage makers. Link below.

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                Rats, that reminds me that I've probably missed their Christmas variety. Little City does make some excellent Italian-style sausage.

                1. re: Peter Yee
                  Melanie Wong

                  Ooh, tell us about it! Now I'm sorry I got hung up so long at Molinari's a couple weeks ago . . . ran out of time to make a stop at Little City.

                  Um, what about the fresh Italian sausages that Molinari sells?

                  Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Haven't tried Molinari's fresh sausages. But those are available year round, so I guess I just haven't been in a hurry!

              3. j
                Joan Kureczka

                I quite like the Cumberland sausage with bacon that Golden Gate meats is making -- it has the right flavor but is all meat. I haven't tried many others yet, but they make quite a range. The brats are okay, but not so good as the Nurnberger brats at Rosamunde. I'm not sure who makes theirs.

                Rosamunde will, by the way, sell the sausages uncooked as well as cooked.

                I also second the recommendation for Gerhardts, which I used to be able to get easily. Somehow, their distribution isn't as good any more, though.

                1. p
                  Pius Avocado III

                  I second the rec of Taylor's in Swan's Market- good boudin blanc, indeed, and I am able to turn out barbecued links of very high quality with their beef links.

                  Fatted Calf (Berkeley Farmer's Market) has a range of top-notch sausages in addition to other charcuterie- andouille, merguez, Italian...I've never had a sausage from them that didn't impress me.

                  Link: http://www.fattedcalf.com/menu.html

                  1. We like:

                    Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus in Mountain View -- http://www.dittmers.com/

                    Sonoma Sausage in Sonoma -- http://www.sonomasausage.com/

                    Sorrento Deli at 4769 Mission in SF (587-2277) sells really good Italian sausages made by the folks who used to run the late, great Gloria Delicatessen in North Beach. They also sell fresh Molinari sausages -- not as good as Gloria (IMHO) but still very good.

                    Lucca Ravioli Company (really a delicatessen) on Valencia (at 23rd St.) in SF sells very good Italian sausages, both with and without fennel.

                    Tower Market in SF sells excellent house-made pork sausages and poultry sausages -- lots of excellent choices. The poultry sausages are made with Rocky chicken meat.

                    And, finally, if you are in the Santa Cruz area (yes, I know it's not really Bay Area,) then make your way to the Corralitos Market & Sausage Co. (569 Corralitos Rd., Corralitos; 831/722-2633)for some really great smoked meats and sausage. It's worth the trip down there from San Francisco. Here's a link to article about them in Sunset Magazine:

                    1. r
                      Robert Lauriston

                      Spanish Table in Berkeley has a good selection of La EspaƱola (domestic) and imported Spanish sausages.

                      I second the recommendations of Fatted Calf and the Cafe Rouge meat counter (where the owner of Fatted Calf used to work).

                      1. Netos in Santa Clara has awesome sausages. Try it and you'll know what I mean.

                        Link: http://www.mealdeals4u.com/mealdeals4...

                        1. The attached link is to a review of Vatran's Flying Sausages in San Leandro. Sounds tasty, but haven't been yet.

                          Link: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/issues/...

                          1. s
                            Sausage Lover

                            Try Corralitos Market & Sausage Co. in Corralitos (outside Santa Cruz, South). Outstanding. Google it to see what others say.
                            Try Whole Foods - great selection, changes regularly, always fresh.

                            1. s
                              Sausage Lover

                              Try Corralitos Market & Sausage Co. in Corralitos (outside Santa Cruz, South). Outstanding. Google it to see what others say.
                              Try Whole Foods - great selection, changes regularly, always fresh.