Sausage League is a brilliant event devised by Marben in which Toronto restaurants compete for the best sausage dish. Having missed out last year, we were eager to attend, especially when it was announced that this year two of our favourite restaurants would be competing, Black Hoof and County General.
Gin & Juice and Old Fashioned 11/13
Sponsored by Steam Whistle, the $25 Sausage League dinners include a bottle of Steam Whistle, and two sausages dishes each. Since none of us drink beer, we donated them to the kitchen. Instead we ordered a spicy Gin & Juice, and an Old Fashioned, both of which were good.
Evan’s Charcuterie board 24
Although it was a Sausage League night, the Marben menu was still available, so A ordered the charcuterie board in hopes of more fried pig’s head. Instead, the charcuterie included a pork terrine, duck salami, and mysterious fried spheres we could not identify. All of the meats were delicious, but I especially enjoyed the duck salami with red onion chutney on a crostini.
Black Hoof’s Blood Sausage and Popcorn
Black Hoof’s sausage dish was a blood sausage with sherry gastrique, topped with popcorn and baby lettuce. The slice of sausage contained pork blood, beef tongue, back fat, nuts, nutmeg, and winter spice – which tastes more appetizing than it sounds. We were surprised at how perfectly the crunchy popcorn and fresh greens paired with the rich earthy sausage. This dish also made me laugh as it reminded me of a meal in university when we had nothing to pair with steak…except popcorn (except this tasted much better). Also, the dark sausage and popcorn are hilariously ideal date night food – much like Oreo cookies and visits to the dentist!
County General’s Sausage and Perogies
Having perfected the fried chicken sandwich, we knew better than to judge a County General dish simply by appearance. Their dish consisted of a Polish pork sausage, and potato perogies with apple sauce and crème fraîche. A simple and very well executed dish, we both polished this off quickly.
Both restaurants played to their strengths – Black Hoof with their innovative and unconventional meat creations, and County General with their perfection of classic favourites. Deciding between the two was incredibly difficult, as both sausage dishes were delicious but on such different scales. In the end I chose what would be the eventual winner of the night – Black Hoof’s sausage, for its flavour and unique pairing with popcorn.
Paulette’s Original Donuts: Cinnamon Latte, Balsamic Blueberry & Root Beer Float
We skipped dessert as A had picked up (and taken a bite out of!) some doughnuts from Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken earlier that day. The three cake doughnuts were cinnamon latte, balsamic blueberry and root beer float flavoured. The root beer float was my favourite, as it perfectly recreated the sweetness and fizz of root beer. The latte and blueberry were both good, but had I not known the name I wouldn’t have been able to identify any balsamic flavour.
Wednesday Evening, June 27, 2012.
488 Wellington St W, Toronto
928 Dundas St W, Toronto
The County General
936 Queen St W, Toronto
Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken
913 Queen Street E, Toronto