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Karl's Sausage Kitchen

deweyweber54 Dec 4, 2010 03:11 PM

Greetings All!
We haven't made a trip to Karl's recently, but are wondering what the new owners have to offer Christmas wise. Thoughts on German, or other European/ Scandinavian specialties to consider?
Looking to make a trip to scenic Saugus shortly, and wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Favorites are the liverwurst, smoked bacon, pork chops (having a couple tonight), and wursts.
Any other ideas on what to get? Brats seem OK, haven't tried the Andouille or many other sausage choices.
Thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Looks like they have a facebook page now:

And are open 7 days a week.


Karl's Sausage Kitchen
142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

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  1. j
    jjbourgeois RE: deweyweber54 Dec 4, 2010 05:23 PM

    Wow, I didn't know they had new owners. When did that happen?

    3 Replies
    1. re: jjbourgeois
      Chris B. RE: jjbourgeois Dec 4, 2010 06:05 PM

      Same here. Details?

      1. re: jjbourgeois
        rknrll RE: jjbourgeois Dec 4, 2010 06:08 PM

        I didn't realize this either, but apparently 3 years ago.

        "Asked what inspired them to purchase Karl's in 2007, the Vermont natives who now live in Melrose said they each wanted to move on from their corporate careers.

        "Everyone wants to own a business," Robert Gokey said.

        "Bob's German, speaks German, he proposed to me in Germany and he knows the product line. And I'm a foodie, so it was a natural fit," Anita said."

        1. re: rknrll
          Chris VR RE: rknrll Dec 5, 2010 05:15 AM

          I've spoken to the owners in the past, and they were really appreciative of what made it a good store, and not looking to change the formula, but to add on to it. For example, they put together the CSA (which isn't really a traditional CSA, more like a meat of the month club, but is still a fun idea.)

      2. l
        lc02139 RE: deweyweber54 Dec 4, 2010 06:18 PM

        I didn't know either, but was there in Febuary and bought the Andouille for a chicken gumbo it added just the right kick. The people there are very friendly,


        1. Aromatherapy RE: deweyweber54 Dec 5, 2010 05:17 AM

          Had not known that either. The website has contradictory information on hours but a running thingammy at the bottom of the screen says hours now 7 days a week year-round (used to be added hours December only).

          1. t
            treb RE: deweyweber54 Dec 5, 2010 05:35 AM

            Goes to show, if you have a good product don't change it.

            1. StriperGuy RE: deweyweber54 Dec 5, 2010 06:04 AM

              OHMYGOSH, who knew.

              Hope they don't change a thing!

              2 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy
                yumyum RE: StriperGuy Dec 5, 2010 11:01 AM

                I talked to the new owners last year and they were pretty committed to keeping things the same. But the nice lady asked my German friend for any special requests or other products she'd like to see them carry. Seems like they want to mostly keep it the way it is, though. Nice folks.

                1. re: yumyum
                  StriperGuy RE: yumyum Dec 5, 2010 02:56 PM


              2. PinchOfSalt RE: deweyweber54 Dec 5, 2010 11:28 AM

                Thanks to this post, I visited Karl's Sausage Kitchen this afternoon on my way home this afternoon from a pick-your-own event for winter shareholders at First Light Farm. There was a Christmas fair in the parking area with vendors of North European crafts and foods suitable for gifting in the driveway. The store itself was busy, and physically smaller than one might expect from outside, but packed with seasonal and other food items sure to promote gemutlichkeit. I came home with some rye bread, some cold cuts (Black Forest Ham and some sour head cheese, which I sampled before buying) and some wursts (bratwurst and weissvurst) as well as a Swiss Chocolate Fondue kit that will be a holiday gift. So many other things called out to me - the smoked pork chops and triple-smoked bacon in particular looked mouthwatering. I will have to stop by again the next time I travel to the North Shore.

                Karl's Sausage Kitchen
                142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

                5 Replies
                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                  junior coyote RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 5, 2010 03:18 PM

                  The pork chops are very good. Try both the regular bacon and the triple smoked bacon. I just had a BLT with the regular bacon today. I like to take the triple smoked bacon camping.

                  1. re: junior coyote
                    Chris VR RE: junior coyote Dec 6, 2010 06:29 AM

                    I accidentally got someone else's triple smoked bacon rung up with my order once and I agree, it's very very good. I enjoyed it but felt bad for when they got home and realized they were baconless.

                    1. re: Chris VR
                      jgg13 RE: Chris VR Dec 6, 2010 09:37 AM

                      That'd have annoyed me considering running out of the triple smoked is usually the main reason I initiate a trip out there :)

                  2. re: PinchOfSalt
                    pastrytroll RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 7, 2010 06:44 AM

                    Uuuuuuummm - Karl's is not really on your way home? If your shopping list didn't shout foodie, that detour alone would be a tip-off.
                    Did you enjoy the pick-your-own? We couldn't believe we were eating salad and fennel and broccoli and pak choy we had picked in December.

                    1. re: pastrytroll
                      PinchOfSalt RE: pastrytroll Dec 7, 2010 07:06 AM

                      Karl's is a short detour for me on the way home from Hamilton. Instead of staying on 128 until it joins 95 and continuing on to route 2, I went down route 1, visited Karl's, and popped back up to 128. (After that I hit the Reading Market Basket for some other things, but nothing one would Chow...)

                      The pick-your-own was fantastic. I LOVE tatsoi. Mike warned that it probably was frozen solid and would wilt as soon as it was in a warmer environment, but it turned out to be in perfect condition. Yum yum yum stir-fried with oyster sauce. I passed over the fennel on the grounds that it looked a bit scriffier than I would want. Perhaps you went picking on Saturday; the bok choy was gone when I was there on Sunday. I went home with goodly amounts of leeks and carrots. When I told Mike my share-partner and I both really liked his carrots he pulled out another big bunch for me to take. He also convinced me to take some collard greens, saying they were super sweet. Haven't tried them yet. Also I took some broccoli. Did you visit inside the hoop house? Everything looked so perfect!

                      I am really looking forward to the next distribution, which Mike said would be on the 22nd in Topsfield. Then I will probably take a different route that will put me on route 1 north so I can stop at Karl's before reaching Topsfield. After that I will probably visit a quilt shop that is Newbury and specializes in reproduction fabrics (another interest of mine). So the winter CSA at First Light Farm is turning into a grand excuse to do all sorts of things on the North Shore that I just would not usually get to do.

                  3. d
                    deweyweber54 RE: deweyweber54 Dec 5, 2010 05:29 PM

                    Ah, Black Forest Ham. Forgot about that one. Superb. Thanks Pinch.
                    We'll add that to our order. Wondering what weissvurst is like?

                    Indeed very nice people who own and run the shop.

                    Pork Chops, Smoked Bacon, and Liverwurst are our favorites.

                    Any other items to consider that might be useful over Christmas?

                    Heavenly store, and best of luck to the new owners who seem to recognize what they have inherited.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: deweyweber54
                      GretchenS RE: deweyweber54 Dec 6, 2010 06:32 AM

                      Indeed, the new owners have added new items and new 7 day-a-week hours but have not discontinued anything or changed quality at all. They are delightful, as others have said. I highly recommend the weisswurst (which used to be called white bratwurst under the old ownership but which is otherwise unchanged), it is a superb light delicate treat. There is a hilarious video on how to cook and eat them under Fun Facts on the Karls Sausage Kitchen website. I was just there on Friday and they have a TON of imported seasonal baked goods and other treats, as well as all their standards. Don't forget to grab a landsjaeger or two to eat in the car on the way home! (All of the sausages freeze exceptionally well so I usually stock up while there.)

                    2. n
                      nomadgirl RE: deweyweber54 Dec 7, 2010 01:07 PM

                      I was at Karl's over the weekend. Their fresh (not smoked) kielbasa is great (said by a girl who has only eaten butcher kielbasa, no Hillshire Farm). Also, they were talking about how they will have smoked salmon if they can source wild salmon. They said they won't sell smoked salmon made from farm raised salmon. Impressive.

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