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Grilling Time - Fresh Brats?

I'm looking for a place to get good and not overly expensive fresh brats. Preferably around St. Paul or Eagan area, but if they are good i'm willing to go anywhere in the metro. Any suggestions?

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  1. I am partial to Mackenthun's Deli in St. Bonafacius. They have an amazing selection. That is not close to the east metro but you said anywhere.

    1. We really like Kramurczuk's. Not in St. Paul or Eagan though. In Northeast on East Hennepin by Surdycks.

      Here are their sausage varieties:

      They have fresh brats, smoked brats, polish sausages and lots of special ones.

      We like the smoked brats and polish sausage. And you can get a couple very fresh buns from their bakery to go with those.

      5 Replies
      1. re: karykat

        Hagberg's Meats in Lake Elmo. Old school German recipe been in their family for generations. Really, really good. Only one's we'll buy.

        1. re: HuaGung

          I actually did have some brats from Hagberg's the other day. They were some good brats. Sadly they aren't in my area, but my friend does work near there if I did want to get some. Was hoping for somewhere closer to St. Paul, but that is always an option.

        2. re: karykat

          I was sad I didn't get to make it to the Kramarczuk stand the other day at the Twins game. I have heard good things about their brats... if I don't find anything much closer, I think this will be my next place to try some brats from.

          1. re: Matronix

            Some day I'm going to get a brat from the Kramarczuk stand at a Twins game. Just have to brave the line!!! It's very exciting, though, to have such a great local option at a local baseball game. Kudos to the Twins and Kramarczuk's for making this work.

          2. re: karykat

            If you go to Kramurczuk's get their Jerk Brat/Sausage if you like spicy you'll love it.

          3. Mississippi Market often has brats from Pastures Aplenty, a local sustainable hog farm. I'm no brat expert, but they taste great to me....

            1. just grilled a few from Kramurczuk's last week, pretty good.

              Clancey's is my go-to spot, though.

              I'm interested in trying a few of the places mentioned in the 'jerky thread' but those are all a ways.

              1 Reply
              1. re: getgot211

                We grilled Clancey's the other night. Made with Surly, they were as fantastic as you'd expect, but were also like $2.50/brat. For sure will have them again - and would recommend - but when my softball team rolls in I'd maybe dial it back to my go-to "economy brat" - the fresh housemade brats from Jerry's on 50th and Vernon. Classic simple style brat.

                OP asked for Egan/STP, so that's probably worthless tip, however. Sorry don't know anything down those parts.

              2. I may get flamed for what I am about to say, but here goes. I always judge a brat's flavor by comparing it to Johnsonville. I like the way they taste and have eaten enough others that have been not so good that every time I do get one that isn't up to par I ask myself why I didn't just get Johnsonville in the first place.

                3 Replies
                1. re: John E.

                  Prairie Pride farms has spectacular cheddarwurst, and their other brats are good, too. Not fresh, though. They are at the St. Paul Farmer's Market, and I think they are also at some of the local co-ops.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Actually, I know what you mean. The Johnsonvilles are mild, nicely spiced and sweet. Like em myself.

                    1. re: karykat

                      Everett's has some good Brats as well. During the colder months they are usually frozen (uncooked), but I think you could get some unfrozen ones pretty soon if not already.

                  2. For my money the meat counter at Seward Co-op is the best. At any given point they have at least 5 or 6 different varieties of brats and sausages that are all house made by their meat department. Our personal favorites are the Wild-Rice Brat (great texture and consistency), Vietnamese Sausage (with cilantro/garlic/fish sauce), and the Cheddar Brat (stuffed with Eichten's cheese curds). We even tried the individual Haggis and they were excellent as well...

                    Seward Co-op - 2823 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mplsean

                      I second the Seward meat counter, and the vietnamese sausages. The regular brats are great as well, and I really do like the umbrian lamb sausages from there. My days off lately have consisted of mixed grills for friends and fam, and the sausages are always the biggest hit...now if they would only make a blood sausage...

                    2. My wife, a Milwaukee native, insists on one brat...Usingers (otherwise we do Kramurczuk's) . We bring back a case when we visit her family, but good news...they ship!


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Foureyes137

                        It may have been a fevered dream, but I recall seeing Usinger's brats at Costco or Sam's Club. It was a while ago and I can't remember which chain store, but I was surprised.

                        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                          Holy cow! I'd drive to the burbs and get a membership for some Usingers.

                          Do you recall if they were fresh (v frozen)?

                          1. re: Foureyes137

                            They have them at Sam's Club and they are not frozen.

                        2. re: Foureyes137

                          Pretty sure Roundys on E. Lake carries Usinger sausages....I think I saw Andouille and maybe a few others.

                        3. I make the trip over to RJ's Meats in Hudson, WI. About 25 min from St. Paul. All of their meats are outstanding but their brats and jerky reign king (validated by all their state and national championships).

                          Note that their address is actually 1101 Coulee Rd.

                          RJ's Fresh Meats
                          1101 Coulee Rd, Hudson, WI 54016

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: NugarifiK

                            I am also a huge fan of RJ's!! Definitely worth a trip!

                          2. Hackenmueller's in Robbinsdale has a wide range of fresh, housemade sausages. The Brats are inexpensive, and fantastic. If you want a real treat, get the Yard Sausage. There's also a Wuollet 2 doors down, so you can really create your own awesome BBQ with one stop.

                            Not that close to Eagan, but some of, if not the best sausages in the Twin Cities.

                            1. Von Hanson's meat markets have some decent fresh brats. I like to boil them in beer and onions before finishing off on the grill for that nice 'char' taste. They have 2 Eagan locations:

                              Von Hanson's Meats
                              1320 Duckwood Dr Ste 2, Saint Paul, MN 55123

                              Von Hanson's Meats
                              2141 Cliff Rd, Saint Paul, MN 55122

                              1. I'm really not impressed with Kramarczuk. Their ukranian is good, but their brats are not all that great. That's a polish (assuming they're polish) deli that could be improved. Maybe I'm just comparing it to Bobak's in Chicago---un....be...liev....able!

                                I have to check out this Mackenthun's. I already want to try their jerky from the jerky thread, but the meat seems good anyways.

                                Oh, before I forget. At the Mpls farmers market. I'm sure many of you are aware of Tolefson's pork farm. They have a stand there and I always make sure I get a fresh spicy brat to go and a frozen pack. Those are REALLY good too. They're Canadian bacon too.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: alpa chino


                                  I had some Kabanos from Boback's....Incredible, Chicago know their stuff. I second the Surly Brats from Clancey's. Highly rated Minnesota beer in a brat...are you kidding me.

                                2. I have not tried them, but I did see Von Hansens on Ford parkway advertising fresh brats. I did however try some different variety's of fresh brats and sausages from Whole Foods on Grand and Fairveiw and was very satisfied. A bit spendy though.Everetts meats and foods has always been my favorite/ go to place for brats and especially their old fashion wieners.

                                  Everett's Foods
                                  1833 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN

                                  1. Speedy Mart on Como, near 280 makes some very good fresh brats and sells them for a reasonable price. Their whole meat counter is a surprise. The story I heard from friends in the neighbhorhood is that the store is owned by a pair of semi-retired butchers.

                                    1. Stasny's on Western in St. Paul makes great brats, and in season, they usually have at least two flavors. I love the regular and the wild rice; their breakfast links and Italian sausage are good too. Stasny's is located on Western, north of Front Ave a couple blocks, but they are open only Monday-Saturday, and I think 8:30 to 6 pm. They also make their own jerky, and have a good selection of fresh pork and beef, as well as Gerber chickens.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: hotpinkgorilla

                                        I picked up some brats at Stasny's over the weekend based on this rec, and they were outstanding! The had regular and beer brats; we got the beer brats. They cooked up perfectly and were probably some of the best I've had in a long time. We also enjoyed the house-made jerky and meat sticks. Stasny's would be a great stop before a weekend cabin or camping trip.

                                      2. Gregs Meat on Highway 52 S between Hampton and Cannon Falls has awesome fresh brats of various varieties

                                        1. The best brats around are from Ptacek's IGA in Prescott, WI. They make a variety of brats and brat patties. They are worth the drive. They also make the best beef sticks around.... especially the bloody mary sticks.

                                          1. If you are in Saint Paul, Morelli's makes their own fresh brats. I also recommend anything from Prairie Pride at the Saint Paul Farmer's Market.

                                            1. I see Stasny's recommended for italian sausage. Any other recommendations (in the N/NE metro, if possible)?