Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Best Sausage in Dallas

Grinding meat and stuffing it into a pig's rinsed and salted intestines is not an art form often embraced by the pitmasters of our fair city. Dallasites seem happy enough to munch down on the overtly brackish links with hot dog like consistencies that are the standard offering. Over the past few years I've tried to take note of where you can find a decent link in the city that isn't available as the buy-one-get-one special at Albertson's. Here is that list.

Smokey John's Bar-B-Que - While several type of sausage are offered, the smokey all beef link is house made and has plenty of black pepper kick. Get a three-meat plate and try all three of their sausage offerings.

Smoke - The sausage trio at Smoke has gotten a blog entry of its own, but it's worth reiterating the uniqueness of these tasty links. The rabbit sausage remains my favorite, but you might as well get a tasting of all three.

Mac's Bar-B-Que - While Billy McDonald doesn't stuff this jalapeno hot link himself, he has it made to his specifications in West, Texas. He said it's not done by Nemecek's, so I presume he's getting it from the other sausage maker in town (I learned recently that Mac's old supplier went bankrupt. He now gets his sausage from J bar B). I go to Mac's if I want a bite of that half beef, half pork link with just enough heat from the diced jalapenos mixed in. I like these slices best atop a chopped beef sandwich.

Dave's BBQ - In South Dallas, you can find these homemade links that are perfectly spiced and nicely smoked. They have just the right amount of snap for a natural casing sausage, and are subtly spiced.

Mike Anderson's Barbecue
- While they don't make it themselves, these guys know how to smoke some local favorites. Their hot link is from Smokey Denmark's in Austin which is beefy and peppery. Bits of it can also be found in their beans because that's where the trimmings go. Mike's regular sausage comes from Rudolph's just a few miles away in Deep Ellum. This kielbasa is mildly spiced, plenty fatty with lots of salt, but it's a great choice at Mike's. It's also one of my favorite links to throw on the grill at home. A few more local joints using Rudolph's sausage are Big Al's Smokehouse and Hawk's Hickory House among others.

Baby Back Shak - The final entry isn't for a traditional smoked sausage, but instead for the cajun specialty that is boudin. Usually, the meat and rice mixture is squeezed from the casing until all that's left is the skin, but some folks chomp on through like any other link. It's not homemade, but I like this version most because it's available as a very filling side item to any of their plate meals.

If you know of any other great sausages available in the area, or especially any that are homemade, please comment below. I suddenly have a hankerin' for a good tube steak.

- BBQ Snob


Unknown said...

I asked the Baby Back where they got that tasty boudin once, thinking it was homemade and I was surprised when they said a local grocery store. Sure enough, there it was sitting among the links, etc. in Kroger at Mockingbird and Greenville. Been enjoying it ever since ...

Randy Eli Grothe

MRL said...

Speaking of sausage, it's worth a mention that I peered into the not-yet-open Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas today while eating in the area, and was rewarded with a tour of the interior from Chef Gary. Can't wait to try the Kreuz Market sausage, though none was ready. They should be open soon, I'm told, hopefully by the Super Bowl if not before.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this quick summary. Mac's is one of my go-to bbq joints.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.