Okay, you’re clearly going to have to check your Freudian slips, double-entendres, and latent whatever fantasies at the door here, because I photographed sausages, I ate sausages, and, well, I LOVED the sausages.

Last Monday I got an email invite to Toronado’s Oktoberfest and, since I well remembered my chagrin over missing last year’s beer and sausage bash, this event was a seriously oh-holy-jesus-in-a-jury-box-there’s-no-freaking-way-I’m-missing-this type of thing. I mean, hello? Beer! Sausages! Beer! Meat stuffed into suspicious skin films by even more suspicious means! I kid. Though I have had my fair share of food phobias and even still harbor a few (I mean, what is it that makes tofu so squidgy, really?), I have never been afraid of hot dogs, bratwurst, sausages, or anything else you might want to stick in a bun. I’m really trying hard not to make this post dirty — honestly!

After two years of living in San Francisco, I had never managed to eat at the fair Rosamunde Sausage Grill on Lower Haight. This wasn’t because I hadn’t tried, because I did! Several times, while sipping the good Aventinus brew at Toronado, did I mention my hankering for a good, hot sausage, but it was always met with derisive catcalls and thoroughly ungentlemanly and, frankly, unsanitary remarks. So, finally, it’s again Oktoberfest and, since I need to gird my loins to deal with Hateful Jim on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, I rang up a few friends and told them we were supping on Rosamunde sausages and Toronado beer that night.

We got to Rosamunde right around six-ish and stared ravenously at all their offering ($4.00 gets you a sausage in a French roll with your choice of two free condiments: sauerkraut, grilled onions, sweet or spicy peppers, or spicy beef chili). What to choose! I mean, there was lamb, beef, pork, duck, and veal! Not only that, but there was figs, peppers, onion, leek, peppers, cherries, and beer! (Those were the delicious complements that were ground right into the various meats. Ooh, beer…) Did I want the Merquez with spicy lamb AND beef? Two succulent meats for the price of one? No, I liked the duck with figs. Wait, did you see the Cajun-smoked spicy pork? Sorry, no — better make it the smoked lamb with sun-dried tomato and potato. Wait, wait — hold that idea, because here comes a better one: the beer sausage with spicy pork and beef topped with grilled onions and dabbed with German mustard. Yeah, that’s the plum order. Clearly.

After grabbing our plastic baskets, promising to return said plastic baskets, and hustling to our table next door at Toronado, I finally got to bite into the firm, juicy, spicy sausage of my dreams. There was sufficient heat ground into the meat to make my newly-stuffed nose run a bit, and so much flavor that I had to be by myself in a corner and not talk to anyone for awhile. It was SAUSAGE HEAVEN!

I first washed it down with a Hofbrau Oktoberfest, but found that brew to be somewhat lacking in the honeyed notes I had experienced in a recently-quaffed Oktoberfest at Suppenküche. Next, as I sampled the Spaten Oktoberfest, Mathra wandered off and discovered steam tables full of complimentary sausages, saurkraut, potato salad, sweet buns, and pickles in the next room. Score! Still, I was happy to have paid for my beer sausage, grilled onions, and ginormous dill pickle at Rosamunde because it opened up a whole new world for me. Next time, I’m totally scoring the Weisswurst (you get two!) made with veal, onion, and leek. Or the wild boar with apple and spice. Or the chicken with smoked cherries.

Damn. Is it 11:30 yet?

Rosamunde Sausage Grill
545 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117


Monday-Sunday: 11:30 AM-10:00 PM

Toronado Pub
547 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117


Monday-Sunday: 11:30 AM-2:00 AM

Oktoberfest 27 October,2005Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Anonymous

    Try the chilli…seriously, it’s the best I’ve ever had.


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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