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NJ Diner Sausage - I give up!!

Searched the internet for the past two weeks with no luck. I though I had struck gold when I followed up on a recommendation for Thumanns Links...but whe I went to pick up my 10 pound box, it was the small links <frown>.

I'M LOOKING FOR THE BIG ONES served at diners here in Monmouth/Middlesex County and all across the state. As abover, Thumanns is out as is any of the dreck manufactured by Johnsonville.

Please help me. Please. Help. Me.

PS - When is Cindy Sherman leaving us?

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  1. If you are a regular at one of the diners, you can try talking to the owner/food buyer, and see if they will order an extra box and sell it to you. That would seem to be the best and easiest way to go.

    1. Any restaurant supply house has them, I get mine from Restaurant Depot in Union, off Rt.22 west
      but they sell to food establishments only

      1 Reply
      1. re: LEOFONT

        who is the distrbuter, or the marketing name ?

      2. This makes me sad. How on earth does no supermarket carry these??

        3 Replies
        1. re: pktaske

          I've heard Pork King recommended. What you're looking for is 2oz links rather than 1 oz, if that helps in your search. Farmland is really good too, but don't know how many places use them in Jersey. I've found the Farmland sausage at the grocery but only in the smaller size. Just go to your local cash and carry and you will be in hog heaven!

          1. re: pktaske

            My thoughts exactly, what a product. Does Shoprite not have enough connections to the wholesalers? Really, I am going to start emailing shop-rite's today, Join me?

            1. re: debdel

              There are wholesale suppliers, and there are retail suppliers. And never the twain shall meet. (One other type supplier is to the club stores like Costco and BJs; again, they cannot cross barriers).

            1. re: lemarais

              ...but we're talking breakfast sausage here, not Italian unfortunately.

              1. re: coll

                Well, there are about 12 varieties there, only one is called "Italian". What would distinguish "breakfast" sausage other than shapes? Are we looking for little links or patties? (The OP asked for large)

                Most of the commercial brands (Jimmy Dean, ugh!) use fillers and chemicals-- Fairway is made from scratch with all basic ingredients. I love the OP's use of the word "dreck".

                1. re: lemarais

                  Yeah those are all Italian, or I could say Italian American, style. For serving with pasta or parmigiana, or grilling...for dinner basically. They are typically 4 z each. Breakfast sausage usually is flavored with salt pepper and sage, they are very plain. They are sold in 1.5 or 2 oz patties, or 1z or 2z tubes. When someone wants a "large" breakfast sausage, they are looking for the 2 oz. You can get all of these cooked (most popular) or raw. All with the same flavor profile, as opposed to Italian which will have parsely, fennel, broccoli rabe and/or other Italian type additions.

                  Breakfast sausage was always pork, although now there are also turkey versions for healthcare. I recommended a couple of good breakfast sausage brands by name, because you won't find Jimmy Dean or one of those in a diner kitchen. What the OP is looking for has to be procured from a restaurant supply, not Fairway (not that I don't LOVE Fairway myself!)

                  1. re: lemarais

                    Breakfast or country sausage is usually distinguished by being rather distinctly seasoned with sage.

                    1. re: equal_Mark

                      You're right, I shouldn't have said they are "plain". They have a very distinct flavor. Guess I was thinking of all those wacky Italian flavored sausage, like pesto or roasted pepper. But you won't find anything but sweet or hot in foodservice either, so not a good analogy.

              2. I guess I don't understand what you are looking for. In the grocery stores there are small breakfast sausage links and then larger Italian (various heat strength) ones which we use to make sausage and pepper and onion sandwiches. They fit in small sub rolls. Are there larger ones that those?

                2 Replies
                  1. re: pktaske

                    OK, I see now...I wonder if some place like Costco has them? I'll keep an eye out for them. and yes, I'm from Jersey.

                1. OK. I checked, and the highly-acclaimed Swiss Pork Store in Fair Lawn makes their own breakfast sausage from scratch! I checked with a friend who frequents the place, and he has had the breakfast sausage from there, and says that they "hit it out of the park" with those and make eating any comercially-produced types any longer impossible! It also is on the tommyeats "Best Food Retailers" list.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lemarais

                    Go for it! Wish I was closer. Just remember to tell them you want 2 oz size!

                    Go for it! Wish I lived closer. Just remember to tell them you want the 2 oz size.

                    1. re: coll

                      I'm so there. Will report back!

                  2. To funny, I was a waitress for years in Jersey diners and never thought i'd have a problem buying fat link breakfast sausage when I left the business, have been trying for many years to purchase them, sexton was the distributer at the time, but no one seems to want to sell to the private sector, what a product for Laurie of "The Shark Tank" to get a hold of, QVC would blow their phone lines up with sales. New Jersey Diner sausage is know all over the eastern seaboard, my cousins still come in from long island NY to the jersey Diners for the sausage and that's over thirty years!!! so if any one knows a distributer who sells to local stores please, please, please, post

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: debdel

                      why would your cousins <<"still come in from long island NY to the jersey Diners for the sausage..">>?
                      the diners on Long Island are almost as abundant as in NJ. And serve the same industrial heat and serve food from the same industrial distributors.

                    2. They have the fat breakfast sausages at the meat counter inside the Dutch Farmers Market in Flemington. Not sure of the other locations also carry them, but worth checking out. I know they sometimes sell out, so you may want to call ahead and order it.

                      1. Occassionally I buy a breakfast sausage from Premio called Grande.

                        They are the big links like diners serve. They are pretty good. I get them at the Shoprite on Union Hill Rd. & Rt 9.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: joestein

                          I shop there too but I only see those rarely. They're pretty good. I usually buy a bunch when I get out to PA.

                        2. pklaske: (OP) Please give us a report here on the sausages you got at Swiss Pork Store in Fair Lawn. Thanks!

                          1. Sexton sausages were served in my high school back in 1974. After graduating, my younger brother used to bring me home a sub whenever they served them. AWESOME!
                            They are without a doubt the BEST sausage ever! Even the sauce was delicious. Later on, I found them being served at a local bar called "The No Place Inn" in Bogota, NJ. They too called me when they were being served for lunch.
                            I tried to research them because I still crave them. Sexton was ultimately purchased by US Food Services, however my repeated emails to them inquiring about the sausages were unanswered. IF ANYONE KNOWS WHERE I CAN PURCHASE THE SEXTON ITALIAN SAUSGE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: thebrin

                              Probably long gone as a US Food product, since they got bought out by SYSCO. But, Sexton/US Food is not a manufacturer so they had it made/packaged by someone else. NJ is such a big meat processing area, whoever it was could still be around. Ask someone who's been in food sales for a good while, any company, it's not a secret usually.

                            2. JONES BREAKFAST SAUSAGE has the best taste of them all, and I have tasted them all...(Supermarket)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LEOFONT

                                Me too, but I prefer Jimmy Dean or Farmland.

                              2. although I know what you are referring to and have had them for years in diners, what I see these days is plain, flavorless ones that aren't worth it anymore. and many diners are cutting costs and serving the little links now.

                                they USED to taste like breakfast sausage. Seasoned with sage and black pepper (and salt, of course). Now they are void of any of these. The diners just drop them into the deep fryer and throw them on a plate. But if you find the large breakfast sausage that has breakfast sausage flavor, I would also be interested in the source. I'd ask my local diners, but the ones they serve aren't worth it. as large as they might be.

                                1. Yeah Looking for years and years and to be sure we are looking for the same sausage the fat linked breakfast sausage not the italian dinner ones! Sexton was the only wholesaler that sold them, that was over 25 years ago when i worked the diners, if anyone knows any owners or are friends with diner owners please ask the name of their disturburtiors name (please excuse the spelling lack of sleep here !!!) thanks for everyones help

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: debdel

                                    I used to sell a brand named Pork King (and of course it stuck in my mind) it was very popular with my deli customers. They raved about it! Maybe Restaurant Depot could give you some info?

                                  2. Orignially lived in NJ, I now live in Arizona and just got back from a trip to NJ. One of the requests my husband makes when we are back in NJ is for the Diner Sausage he loves. with the Internet I thought there might be a resource that I can go to and have a box shipped to us here so I googles it and your blog came up. Have you found anything else since you posted the above? any help would be wonderful. Thanks Diane Talts

                                    1. JONES breakfast sausage has the BEST TASTE of any breakfast sausage, which many are tasteless.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: LEOFONT

                                        Jones is a grocery store brand, not really what we're discussing here.

                                        1. re: LEOFONT

                                          Just not the same. Jones is a legit substitute when you can't find the real thing, but the little Jones sausages just won't do. The Diner sausages (2 oz.) have a nice crunchy exterior and a wonderful breakfast sausage taste. I used to be able to fine Jones frozen dinner sausages but they are not available any more. I won't give up.

                                          1. re: DianeTalts

                                            Ok-WE DID IT!!!!

                                            After many many months, I was finally able to win my way into the heart these last two weeks of a great waitress at a diner with exceptional sausages. The owner who was another great human being sold me a box with instructions on how to cook them. Basically boil for 20 min then drain and rapidly cool. They can then be refrigerated or frozen. When ready to serve , they need to be DEEP FRIED to get that snapping brown outside.

                                            Note the links are joined together by casing. The real deal.

                                            These are not available to the public.

                                            1. re: pktaske

                                              I see they are Thummann. So sorry I didn't know that when I was in Jersey 2 weeks ago. My prior next door neighbor, before I moved to Arizonas, is a Thummann distributor. I am sure I would have gotten them from him. I just saw him. We used to get thumann's frankfuter's from him...they were so delicious. Have to think on this one and see if I can get him to give me a name of a distributor here in Phoenix. They are beginning to sell Thumann's down here.