The words gourmet and snag don’t usually sit in such close proximity, but the humble sausage has had a makeover of late and fancy snag stalls are popping up all over Melbourne. Straying from the traditional sausage in supermarket white bread, topped with tomato sauce and optional onions, these new takes on the sausage sizzle are piling on the toppings and stepping it up a notch. Hawt dawg!
Painted in a cheery yellow, this store right outside Melbourne Central describes its sausages as “haute dogs”. The tag is justified as this Sydney import only uses artisanal, handcrafted sausages made from lean, low fat meats with all-natural casings and no artificial colours or flavours. The menu features sausages made from various delicacies, including from wagyu beef and an Italian style sausage made from pork and fennel. Continuing the high-end theme, they’re served on buttery brioche buns. You can ‘eat in’ by perching on one of the bright yellow stools beside the stall or takeaway.
The latest addition to the gourmet snag scene is Phat Brats, which opened just last week on Brunswick Street, promising “honest sausages”. Phat Brats sources its ingredients from local suppliers and everything on the menu is natural wherever possible. If you can’t make it to Fitzroy, there’s also a Phat Brats stall at the People’s Market in the Docklands. Served straight from a shiny red shipping container, we can recommend the meaty beer-soaked bratwursts topped with lashings of mustard and the spicy chilli dogs.
Riverland is best known as a drinking den with a cracking location in the bluestone vaults that line the Yarra river. But there’s more to this waterside bar; it also serves up a menu of gourmet snags cooked alfresco on the barbecue. Many have tried to resist the smells of barbecue as they sip their beers by the river, but most have failed. Riverland grills three kinds of sausage all made by Morrison Street Butchers in Wodonga: Aussie beef, spiced lamb and the rather sophisticated combination of duck and pistachio.
This laneway bar in Melbourne’s CBD is dipping its toes into the gourmet snag market each Friday. Over summer, Section 8 started hosting special Friday barbecues featuring foot-long gourmet sausages, which were so successful they’re becoming a permanent fixture. These snags are from veteran continental butchers R&G Russo on Lygon Street and are practically as long as your arm. Sides include gherkins, pickles, Asian salsa and caramelised onions. Pull up a stool amongst the shipping containers and graffiti and feast on one of Section 8‘s foot long snags, served from a converted shopping trolley.
Jakob’s Kitchen grills gourmet sausages from its fire engine red trailer, which can be tracked via Twitter or Facebook and found at events and festivals. The owners are Eastern European and have happy childhood memories of feasting on European gourmet sausages, which they now serve up themselves. Menu options include European Chevapi (skinless sausages made from beef steaks and pork) teamed with shredded cabbage and barbecued onions as well as an authentically smoked Kransky.