Texas sausage makers - wieners
Every now and then I get a craving for a hot dog. Probably would happen more often if there were better dogs available but this doesn’t seem to be hot dog country. The sausage makers of SE Texas - Czech, German, Cajun - have mostly eschewed the fine-ground frankfurter type of sausage for the coarse ground variety and we have some very fine examples of those.
There is the old reliable James Coney Island here in Houston but that’s more of a comfort food than a chowish experience for me and their wieners are very uninteresting - it’s the chili/cheese/onion/mustard thing that I go for. Once you’ve had a really good wiener it’s impossible to be satisfied with theirs, the average supermarket dog, or even most of the more upscale frankfurters available locally. The best dogs I’ve found in Houston are the Boar’s Head natural casing all-beef franks and the buffalo wieners at Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack under the Westpark Toll Road, served on a crusty baguette-type roll or available to buy and take home to prepare. I’ve tried numerous examples of the Chicago style dog around town and don’t care for that style.
Some time ago I tried the wieners from City Market in Schulenburg and liked them almost as much as the Boar’s Head. It’s been so long now I can’t remember if they were skinless or all-beef or not.
Recently I picked up 2 varieties in Shiner. Patek’s Grocery Store and Meat Market on the east end of town on US 90-A, next to the big Catholic Church, makes a variety of sausages including their Shiner Dogs which are bright red pork and beef creations that are very good – much better than the average supermarket dog and better than I remember the Boar’s Head pork and beef skinless variety that I tried some time ago.
On the opposite end of town, 90-A at 16th Street I think, Maeker’s is a combination package store, mini-meat market and bar (parking can require careful maneuvering) that makes a small variety of sausages including a very unique bright red pork and beef wiener that I’m very impressed with. They must use very good cuts of meat for these dogs and the spices are very good – they are very savory, more interesting than any frankfurter I’ve ever had. They’re ready-to-eat but benefit from warming up (Patek’s dogs require cooking). They’re so good I’m reluctant to use them on the average supermarket hot dog bun or with regular yellow mustard but I haven’t figured out yet just what to serve them with. Maeker's jalapeno cheese summer sausage is also very good as are the other sausages from them I've sampled, but that's another thread.
I know Kreutz in Lockhart sells wieners and I think Novosad’s in Hallettsville does too, but I’ve never tried them.
Any Hounds know of any of these or any others worth trying?
I'm no weiner afficianado but you might check out Kuby's in Dallas. German market that makes their own weiners, brats, sausages in house (and have a restaurant where they serve them too). Whole Foods of all places actually has a jumbo all natural all beef hot dog that is the best "non exotic" dog I've had.
Not sure how far you're willing to travel, but in the Czech town of West there are 2 great meat markets. The first is Nemecek Bros. I love their weiners and ring bologna. My dad prefers the Hot Chubbies and the West Specials (pork coarse ground hot dogs...kinda garlicy). Also, there is a bakery with a Smokehouse there, I think Ole Czech Smokehouse. They also have good sausages and kolaches.
Here's the site for Nemecek's:
no body wants to read this, but central market makes good to very good sausage. wieners is what you will seldom find, but the chicken/feta/spinach and other varieties have never disappointed. if you're having a tube steak party, get hebrew national for the kids and a couple dozen mixed plates of CM in-house sausage for the adults and teens. CM is a bit spendy (4.99/lb on deep discount sale), but they n-e-v-e-r disappoint. jmho.