The eight-inch, pudgy homemade “artisan hot dog” at Sausage Inc. is one of the best in town, pink and oozing in the middle, charred and ripped from the grill on the outside. Grade: A
Sausage Inc. is a new place on University Place specializing in (duh!) sausages, to the exclusion of almost everything else. Luckily, some of the sausages — which are made on the premises — are good enough to stand up to that lack of a supporting cast. Here is the result of the first carryout order from the establishment, which replaces a Dutch Chinese fast-food chain at the same location, just down the block from the sainted Bowlmor Lanes, the Assisi Cathedral of Greenwich Village.
There are six total sausages, available for $5.51 each, plus tax. You’ll be glad to hear they’re very big sausages, of large circumference, and one and one-half of the links should satisfy anyone. The vegetarian sausage was unavailable on our visit, and we chose three of the remaining five: Farmer Sausage (beef and bacon), Blanco (pork and basil), and the Artisan Hot Dog. Untested went the Chipolata (pork and chipotle) and the Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, and cranberry). Of the three sides (fries, mac ‘n’ cheese, green salad), we only tested the latter two ($3.22 each). We ordered, at 87 cents each, two condiments (pickles and sauerkraut) and skipped the coleslaw. Every sausage comes with sautéed onions (B-).
The photos speak for themselves, but in case they remain mute to you, we’ve included a heartfelt letter grade.
You can have unlimited amounts of the squirtable sauces (left to right): Honey Mustard (B), Sweet Chilli Butter (C+), Rosemary Garlic Aioli (B), Cheese Fondue (D), Cilantro Pesto (B), Smoked BBQ (B-), Homemade Relish (not shown, A). You can always revert to the normal catsup and grainy mustard also provided.
The Farmer Sausage (B) had a nice smokiness and chewiness, and totally stood up to a stout grilling. Still, the interior terrain was at times tough going. This is a sausage for the rugged individualist.
The Blanco (B-) is a softer sausage, made with pork and seasoned with basil. The basil flavor was so mild as to be almost undetectable, and there were little bits of gristle here and there.
The pretzel buns (A) are nothing short of brilliant, seen here glowing eerily as they’re being warmed up over the flame.
The mac ‘n’ cheese (B) is so simple — basically, radiatore and mild cheddar melted on the griddle and nothing else, with no liquid component — you really can’t fault it. But then you can’t praise it very much, either.
The salad (C). Yawn.
The pickles (A)
A cigar-store Indian stands guard outside of Sausage Inc.
106 University Place
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2011