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Yanni's Sausage Grill - Penngrove/Petaluma

Recently opened Yanni's Sausage Grill. They make their own sausages and recently opened in Penngrove which is a small neighboring town between Petaluma and Cotati. They are quite good but a little on the smallish side. None of them are particularly spicy even the ones that claim to be "hot" or "extra hot". Not a sit down place, so if you go plan on eating elsewhere.

Worth checking out if you are in the area

Here are the particulars:

You get your choice of sausage, and choice of 1 topping:

Sausage Choices, prices range from $4.90 to 5.85:
Loukaniko
Garlic
Sweet Italian
Hot Italian
Chicken Limoncello
Olympic Flame
Greek
Lamb

Topping Choices
Sweet Peppers
Greek Peppers
Grilled Onions
Yanni's Greek Chili
Extra Toppings are 50 cents each

They also have Greek Salad, Greek Potato Salad, a couple of sides are offered, as well as a breakfast sandwich.

Friday and Saturday there is a deep dish pizza special, and Sunday there is a breakfast bruschetta special.

10007 Main St. in Penngrove (707) 795-7088

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  1. Last month I finally had a chance to give Yanni’s Sausage Grill a try.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

    Yanni’s offers a Thursday special. With purchase of a sausage sandwich and chips, you get a free drink. I sprang for the Loukaniko sausage, $4.90, with Greek chili topping and Yanni's chips, $1.10. I asked for the Greek chili to be served on the side so that I could control taste the sausage by itself and control the amount of topping. There was a lot more than shown in this photo.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

    As mentioned, the sausage isn’t spicy but the Loukaniko is flavorful with anise and lemon adding exotic notes. The Greek chili tastes mostly of sweet red peppers and canned tomatoes dotted with bits of sausage. I didn’t care for the quality of tomatoes and would probably go with sautéed peppers as a topping next time.

    The Yanni’s chips were very rich and buttery. Made with baguettes from Penngrove neighbor, Full Circle Bakery, they’re brushed with butter, spices and baked. I could only eat a couple with lunch, but by the end of the day, they were gone.

    I also tried a Koulourakia, a type of Greek butter cookie. At 50¢ just the right price and amount of dessert to end my lunch on Yanni’s sidewalk.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

    I hope somebody can tell us about the weekend deep dish pizza special.

    Menu
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

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    Yanni’s Sausage Grill
    10007 Main St, Penngrove, CA 94951

    1. en route to a slow food benefit for northern Sonoma county, we grabbed lunch on a cool wet afternoon at Yanni's. the cheer and hospitality from the couple who own and run it were worth the stop -- house made sausage on fresh baked rolls for < $6 is pretty close to a can't miss, food wise. we were given a sample of the 'Greek chili' as we contemplated our choices ; it's more like a mild, sweet meat sauce than a chili, suited for a sausage topper if one favors their links adorned that way. we ended up with an Olympic Flame w. grilled sweet peppers and a Loukaniko w. onions. the O.F wasn't spicy, more similar to a bratwurst than a hot Italian sausage, with a very nice snap to the casing. the loukaniko was more intriguing and unique, with a noticeable fruity element. we tried the 'Greek fries' which were made from frozen crinkle cut fries, but perfectly crisped and topped with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and a mild feta, for an excellent conversion of frozen fries.

      good, straightforward grub from friendly people -- an enjoyable diversion from the 101 transport conveyor.

      4 Replies
      1. re: moto

        I think Yanni's could easily go from 'good' to 'great' if they switched to fresh vegetables (peppers and onions) and fresh-cut fries, which are both pretty easy and worthwhile to do.

        1. re: pizzagal

          the owner's priorities might be slightly different, since he's doing almost all the food prep. (sometimes one has to keep things simple--do you mean the onions and peppers should be grilled to order ? what if many of his customers really want the food fast ?). his immediate goal is to put together a sausage-mobile to bring his food to winery events and such. the direction you suggest he take with the peripherals would be suited to the gourmand crowd at those. he seems to be doing pretty well considering it's a career re-start after thirty years in bakery sales for Colombo and Parisian, and making sausage as a hobby.

        2. re: moto

          Thanks for the update, moto.

          I'll ask again, has anyone tried the pizza?

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            They have Italian Christmas sausage thru the end of the week. It has sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese topped with grilled red peppers and onions. It was tasty and meaty.

            The menu has changed a bit since you posted it. Fresh pizza dough is made daily and there are eight thin crust pizzas on the back. There is also the option of choosing your own toppings. Their facebook page has the menu

            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yannis-...

            There aren't any specials. They have a sausage of the month now.

            I was offered a taste of the Greek chili which seemed spicy to me. Lots of chuncky tomato and sausage. Seriously these are the nicest people.

            As i got out of the car, they were running some sandwiches over to the Pengrove Pub next door, so they might have an agreement with the pub.

            I asked about farmers markets and when they get their cart they are hoping to sell grilled sausages as well as packages of sausage to take home.

            But sorry, didn't try the pizza. Didn't know they had it until I read the menu at home. I have a raging cold so was kind of out of it and not paying attention. I saw Christmas sausage and that was all I focused on.

            They have new shorter winter hours. I updated the restaurant record with them.

        3. Just wanted to give a more recent report on Yanni’s. Short story: it's still GREAT.

          This was my first time here. My DH and I ordered the garlic sausage, gyro sausage, a cup of chili, and garlic fries. The proprietors were super sweet and friendly. You can tell that they love what they do from their warm smiles when you walk in to how genuinely happy they look when you tell them you like their food.

          While we were trying to decide what to order, they gave us samples of the chili and there was a steady stream of customers coming in and out. There are three tiny barstools with a small shelf table inside, in addition to the two small tables outside. This is definitely not a place to bring a group although it seems like you can hang out in the nearby Pub and order sandwiches delivered (or walk over and pick them up).

          I think that business is going well, I overheard Francesca saying that the day before (a Thursday) they’d run out of bread, and yet people still came by just to have sausages and chili.

          It didn't take long for our food to be ready. My gyro sandwich was divine- tasted just like gyro but was moist and juicy, with the snappy resistance of a sausage instead of the more leathery chew of most gyro meat. I got it “straight up” with just tzatziki so I could taste the pure flavor. My DH enjoyed his garlic sausage, and the peppers piled on top of it were nicely cooked and very tasty. Since he loves hot food, next time he's going for the spicier Olympic Flame.

          The perfectly toasted bread that both sausages were served on was fabulous. It looked like a french roll but the crust was thin and soft. The bread had enough structure to stand up to to the juicy sausages but kept a pillowy heft that was lovely to sink your teeth into.

          The garlic fries were also very good. Perfectly fried to an almost potato-chip like crisp (but not burnt or greasy), they were covered with huge clumps of minced garlic. At first the dash of lemon juice was a little alarming because sourness is often a sign of old pre-chopped garlic, but the acid brightened up the fries and kept the garlic from being so overwheming. There was a serious pool of garlic infused olive oil (~ ¼” deep) at the bottom of the paper plate which made the last few fries too oily to eat, but I must admit I dipped a few of the fries into that flavorful puddle just like you’d dip bread into olive oil at an Italian restaurant. Mmmmm.

          Everything so far was a hit, but oh, the chili! So good. Spicy and flavorful, it was the perfect thing to eat on a chilly December afternoon. I hear it gets even spicier the longer it sits around.

          I didn't see anything about a pizza but they do seem to have a daily special where they get creative with the sausage sandwich. The day we were there, the special was a riff on Christmas ham with pineapple. Sounded weird to me but my DH who loves that combo on pizzas though it sounded delicious.

          If you're in the area, please drop by and have a great lunch!

          1. Yanni's is a regular stop for us. We put in an order when we first arrive in Sonoma Cty, pick it up a day or so later when we're ready to return to Oakland, putting everything in an ice chest for the ride home.

            Let me please modify something moto says. John & Francesca make the chili fresh every morning - BUT if you keep it around in the frig, it will keep getting hotter and hotter...seriously hot! We are lovers of super-hot Thai, Korean, Indian and SE Asian, and after four days, Yanni's chili was right up there at the edge even for my chilehead DH!

            Also, they are becoming a victim of their own success. You can no longer buy fresh or frozen sausages to cook at home, unless you order them ahead of time. They keep enough to grill for sandwiches, but what's in the deli case is already spoken for.

            They cannot take credit card orders over the phone: you can reserve a sausage order, but they can't run the card until you actually show up (unless something has changed in the month since we were there last).

            They are a delightful couple and it's great that their new second career has been a success for them.

            Tip: try the Greek salad, too. Very refreshing, good feta.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jaiko

              I was in the area Tuesday so went there to find that it was closed on Monday and Tuesday. So i went across and down the street to Superburgers and had a very uninspiring but very large chicken sandwich (with ham) and an order of 1/2-1/2 onion rings and sweet potato fries, enough food for an army. I'm not posting this in a separate thread because it's not worth that and I don't really want to slam the place. Lots of locals seem to love the food there.

              1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                Yeah, I tried SuperBurger once myself. Didn't post then sort of for the same reason but I'll just slip in here next to you.

                Here's the basic cheeseburger at the Penngrove branch of SuperBurger, served on a toasted sesame bun from Franco-American. Fries looked good, but were tough. Arnold Palmer made with fresh lemonade and brewed ice tea was the best thing.
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                http://penngrovesuperburger.com/

                1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                  Oops, bad of us Yanni fans not to post the hours/days open, but their Yelp profile is accurate so I always think people are checking there first. My bad!

                  Hours:
                  Wed-Sat 11 am - 5 pm
                  Sun 11 am - 3 pm

                  ALWAYS best to call first. As they get more fans, they are getting wiped out of their popular items by lunchtime. Sometimes they're down to a skeleton menu after lunch.

                  John uses Full Circle Bakery's rolls for his pressed grilled sandwiches. FCB sells at North Cty farmers markets and only a couple of stores - their bakery is just down the street from Yanni's, but only open until 1p or 2p, depending on who's working that day. Very good breads, I wouldn't rate it the best - bread was the only thing we really loved at our last Cyrus dinner, LOL - but FCB's breads are good, fresh, hearty loaves. No sweet pastries, btw, just bread.

              2. How's the breakfast sandwich?

                Breakfast Sandwich - SF Dish of the Month June 2013
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903924