Seafood is undoubtedly the protein of summer, turkey and ham get plenty of love during the winter, and lamb is intrinsically connected with spring. As for autumn, well, it’s all about the sausages; they pair perfectly with seasonal ingredients like apples, and play a central role in the month-long holiday of Oktoberfest. That’s why we’re spotlighting our very favorite forcemeat in Brooklyn, from Karczma’s kielbasa and Chiang Mai’s sai ua, to The Vanderbilt’s cheesy brats and Tacos El Bronco’s chorizo.
The Meat Hook: There’s generally a sausage in rotation at The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop, like the gyro-esque lamb links, puddled with slivers of toasted garlic, pickled tomatoes and yogurt. But if you head to the actual store, your choices increase exponentially, including 30+ internationally-inspired “classy sausages” (like French Chipolata, English White Pudding, South African Boerewors and Chinese Lap Cheong), and 24 “trashy” types, from Bacon Cheeseburger, Baked Potato and Buffalo Chicken, to Thai Pork Roll, LA Chorizo, and the hot sauce-speckled Long Dong Bud.
100 Frost Street, Williamsburg
The Vanderbilt: This craft sausage-focused gastropub is where Saul Bolton and Ben Daitz came up with the idea for their popular Brooklyn Bangers line, which took off at Brooklyn Flea, and can now be found at restaurants and shops throughout the city. But given the opportunity, its still best to go to the source for their all-in “sausage flight,” currently featuring a beef brisket dog, a length of mustard seed-studded kielbasa, classic German weisswurst, and our personal favorite, the smoky cheddar brat, which releases molten rivulets of tangy cheese with each and every bite.
570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights
Rosamunde Sausage Grill: Save for potato salad, pretzel sticks and pickles, it’s literally all about the sausage at this San Francisco transplant, either served on a plate (a la the currywurst; rings of sliced knockwurst smothered in curried ketchup), or grilled and tucked into a fluffy french roll. Options range from plebeian (beer sausage, hot Italian and Cajun andouille) to fancy pants (duck with figs and brandy, wild boar with cranberries), and there’s even a vegan line; including apple sage, Polish kielbasa and Mexican chipotle.
285 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Ed & Bev’s: One of the Sussman brothers’ brand new stands at Berg’n, this kiosk is an ode to the Detroit dishes they grew up with, which are largely inspired by Brooklyn boardwalk fare. And chief amongst them is the Coney Dog—all-beef frankfurters topped with mustard, chopped onions and beanless smoked brisket chili.
899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights
Lockyard: Bay Ridge’s very first beer garden focuses on craft suds and artisanal sausages, sourced from Brooklyn Cured (i.e. the Brooklyn Brat, topped with spicy horseradish mustard and kraut), and local favorite, Lioni’s, which supplies San Gennaro Sweet or Hot links, smothered with sautéed onions, peppers and provolone. Although tofurkey beer brats are also an option, to the delight of vegans everywhere.
9221 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge
Karczma: For traditional Polish sausage, comfort food haven Karczma, in the heart of Eastern European Greenpoint, is a no-brainer. Grilled hunks of rust-colored kielbasa can be found cuddled up to pierogies and potato pancakes, as part of a heart-stopping meat platter, or served straight up, piled with caramelized onions and sautéed cabbage.
136 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint
Chiang Mai: This Red Hook pop-up focuses on Northern Thai specialties, like the herbaceous grilled pork sausage, Sai Ua—crumbly crescents perfumed with lemongrass and red curry, and served with sticky rice, raw veggies, bouncy pate, and a saucer of incendiary green chile paste.
293 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
Tacos El Bronco: Among the many notable, homemade taco toppings at this Sunset Park standout are course clumps of chorizo—ground, fatty pork sausage, stained scarlet with chile peppers, and redolent of smoky cumin and citrusy Mexican oregano.
4324 4th Avenue, Sunset Park