Keego Harbor Specialty Sausage & Charcuterie Co. [DTW]
- rainsux Aug 4, 2012 08:47 AM
I must be blind. For the past four [count'm 4] months I've driven by this operation
without noticing them. It's on the big curve ... formerly a flower, plant & garden
store. Long before that, a gas station.
Anyone shopped or lunched at this recent establishment?
On the weekends; they have a grill setup outside with samples. During the week,
they have a limited sandwich menu - taken from a much larger selection in their
refrigerator cases. Pulled port, brisket, smoked corned beef, Italian sausage (sweet
or spicy), muffuletta & gumbo.
They grind and smoke in-house. The rest of their inventory is sourced from other
If I wasn't headed for a BBQ this afternoon/evening, I'd have ordered lunch. I tried
all the samples. They seemed promising - certainly worthy of another visit. But my
memories the smoked kielbasa from R...ski's in Rogers City, says that R...ski's is
better. I'm kicking myself for not paying attention to the buns & rolls they use ....
Perhaps I can coax Boagman or GG to meet for lunch during the week.
I've had their Italian beef and some of the sausage and found it to be worth the stop. I need to get back and try their cheese-steak next.
I tried their Italian sausage today. It includes cooked peppers and onions.
The sausage is a coarse grind; just as I like it. I would have preferred a bit more pepper ... and perhaps sage. Ergo; I like Vinnie's Italian sausage a bit better - but Vinnie's is not worth
the 76 mile round-trip. This will do just fine. Price $5.99
I do like Keego's roll/bun more than Vinnie's (and Gabriel's).
There are two tables along the side of the bldg.
Later in the week, I will tried their smoked corned beef sandwich.
Tried the smoked corned beef and seafood gumbo.
The smoked corned beef is available as two different sandwiches;
with swiss cheese; or with BBQ sauce. I chose the BBQ edition,
my lunch companion chose the swiss cheese.
Great smokey flavor. Good corned beef. Good roll. The BBQ sauces was not to my
liking. Not KC, not Carolina ... different. It was not "bad" ... but I wouldn't order it again.
My lunch companion liked her "w/swiss cheese" version and would order it again.
The seafood gumbo was also a let down. Not very seafoodie. No real heat. I will not
Second weekend for me (Thanks Rainsux). Last weekend it was Hungarian sausage cooked by them (good spice but a bit overcooked for my taste) and Keego brats for home. The sub roll was awesome and I found the brat texture a bit soft for my style but the taste was very good.
I have been on the hunt for Montreal smoked meat and was literally about to head to Windsor when I read RS's review on smoked corned beef. I've not had neither Montreal nor smoked CB before but the review swayed me to try here. Mark and Sherri (owners) were there and while they made the sandwiches Mark took me through some of the other products. They are doing berkshire baby back ribs and uses Duroc for the primary sausages.
They have a number of inventive sausaqge recipes so you won't tire of the array. They also have their own smoker so it's really just a matter of Mark's creativity.
Back to the Smoked Corn beef on Ciabata with swiss and spicy mustard; when they brought the sandwich to be wrapped I had to have them cut and wrap 1/2 before even getting started. I would guess and easy 8oz of meat on a 6x6 ciabatta ( from Walled lake).
The meat was tangy and they gave me a handful of napkins. I could have used a couple more as it is that moist. Tangy and the beef, cure and smoke all come through.
They have two cafe tables under roof on the side and that's a great place to take the drooling edge off before you get home.
I don't know how RS ate the whole thing in one go as it is a true meal but the terrific taste will definitely push you to try.
Yesterday, while hoovering the smoked corned beef, I noticed that the sandwich board listed two  Italian sausage sandwiches: Sweet or Hot (Spicy). On my first visit, all I can recall ordering
was, "Italian sausage."
Today I returned for the Hot (spicy) Italian sausage. Excellent! I like it better than Vinnie's ...
I stopped by again today - had the Hungarian sausage. Very tasty, not spicy/hot. Papriki, perhaps?
The bun used for the sausage sandwich was different today; and not in a good way:
- About 1.5" more bun than sausage
- Too big for the to-go container
- Plain olde white bread bun. No flavor. No texture. No chew. It fell apart as I ate the sandwich.
The disappointment has been gnawing at me all afternoon; so I called and politely inquired.
They say that their baker is having QC problems and that they're auditioning alternative
Thanks guys, finally got to check it out with the kid today. We split the smoked corned beef sandwich with mustard and swiss. Very good. I might actually try it with the bbq sauce instead next time, as that unique sauce (sample) rubbed me right. They don't serve the Italian beef sandwiches anymore, due to their other items vastly outselling that. I'm going for the spicy Italian sausage next.
I sampled their ribs. Not quite my style, but that's a personal thing. They had sold out of the Hungarian sausage---in other words, they make small batches and sell while fresh, so they don't get in a position to have to move old stuff (my interpretation). So, I got a red hot chicken sausage (can't wait to try), as well as a brat for benchmarking purposes, and a sweet Italian. Will report back. Anybody have a report on the slaw and potato salad?
I kind of liked the Gumbo. Mellow and wholesome. The beef chili--with neither beans* nor tomatoes--rocked! Very complex. Check it out! Cornbread was good, too, especially if you like it crammed with moist cheese and spicy jalapenos. *perhaps they should call it, "Chili a la Boagman"
Boy, the owner is a character. It's a good thing his wife works along side him, to keep him grounded. Apparently he's a gemologist or something, and owned a furniture store in Royal Oak. Not sure where he gained expertise in meats, but the stuff tastes good, and I think he's even teaching a class on Oct 4, "Rubs and Marinades(?)", in a culinary series at the Bloomfield Library. May be interesting.
I'd say Biercamp has a little more of the "can't-experience-this-anywhere-else" factor, but this KHSC certainly makes my Favorites list. And, any place that emphasizes quality, natural, humanely raised heritage breed meats, deserves a big thumbs up!
Not to be a thread bumper, but I just have to reiterate that the chili is perhaps the best I've ever had (even better the next day, and i don't usually say this). That's very subject to personal preferences, of course. The skins are left on the chiles, but that is a minor defect in the understated masterpiece.
Regarding the sausage, the red hot chicken sausage was a little gritty with hot pepper powder, but very good. To my surprise the brat had the most truly exceptional flavor, and the Italian finished third, but that was not to be negatively taken, given this impressive line up!
Being in mood for a good bowl of Texas Red Chili (No beans No Tomatoes) off to Keego. VTB was right as usual. Less than $5 for a 12 oz container eaten on their patio was very pleasant on this cool but sunny day. I too found the chile skins to be a bit distracting but a minor flaw. I also found it to be a bit under-salted for my taste (the sausage too sometimes) but to each his choice and mustard on sausage and salt in the chili fix both of them. Another container of chili is tempering in my fridge for tomorrow.
I've decided to hold off buying tube products until the day or longest day before (they are not terribly far from me) as my freezing experience with this super fresh style has never been good. So, no sausage reviews today.
Other updates: They now have a house smoked pastrami that was not quite as peppery as my personal preference but another fine sandwich meat in an outstanding arsenal.
They have also restarted with Giuseppe's for the long rolls having resolved the inconsistent length and a return to a fine roll for tube meats.
I am consistently impressed with the friendliness, willingness to engage and cleanliness of this former gas station. These guys are fanatically clean which is a good thing in a meat shop.
Stopped by today for some andouille (only frozen this time of year) and bought a Keego chili dog: Jalapeno brat, house made chili, onions and mustard on a roll.
Ignoring the roll this is a darn good sandwich if you like spicy but not head blowing. Chili sauce could have been a bit wetter/smoother (no beans in their chili) but the tastes were excellent for $7.
Unfortunately, weather keeps them off the patio but we can hope.
> Ignoring the roll ...
I stopped by today for a birthday sausage lunch. Hurray;
I am 29 ... again!
The bun ... what a let down from their original supplier. Still
much better than the Wonder Bread bun that they briefly
tried, but definitely: Nothing special about the bun.
The sandwich buns are (still?) sourced from Cantoro's.
KHSS&C was my Friday lunch stop. A few changes since my
last visit, ~3 months ago:
Seating for 12-15 inside; think teenie restaurant, not market.
I ordered a spicy italian sausage w/peppers & onions. Seems that their recipe has changed - again. Not a bad change. Not a good change. Simply an unanticipated and unwelcome change: Mustard
I like my condiments applied very sparingly. This was too much mustard for my satisfaction.
Note to self: Must be VERY specific when ordering prepared foods.
I was also there Friday, for my first time.
Was a late lunch, close to 2:00 probably.
I had the gumbo, which was really good and had a good sized shrimp in it. Pricy yes.
Also had the pulled pork sandwich with spicy sauce. Didn't think the sauce was all that spicy. The sandwich was good.
The service was great, for the most part. The guy behind counter was slicing corned beef and he offered me a taste.
I left with some frozen chorizo and andoille, if my memoepry serves me.
One odd thing happened as I was leaving. The guy checking me out repeated what I had ordered, but said a medium gumbo. I only he had the small. He said are you sure? I looked over at the soup containers, and said, yes I'm sure. Thought that would be the end of it. But no, the guy pulled the garbage container out, reached inside, and pulled out my soup container. Then said, yes, you were right, small gumbo.
That was odd, and weird, but I will be back. Quality food!
I am not surprised. Why? Two reasons ...
1. Location. That curve has drivers focusing on
- The curve
- The traffic light
- On-coming traffic
- They were there for four  months before I noticed that the site was no longer a plant/landscaping shop.
2. Inconsistency. My two gripes:
- The roll. Wonderbread one day, artisan bakery roll the next week.
- Not getting what I ordered. I like spicy italian sausages, not sweet. Yet they could not consistently deliver what I ordered. Yes, they would fix the mistake. But, really, it was < 10 secs from order to prep and they got it wrong too many times.