While we were in Old Oakland to have lunch at Cosecha, we were charmed by the renovations they have made to those wonderful Victorian streets. Tucked in amongst the warehouses of an industrial district are shops, office space, and restaurants that draw a stylish crowd of mostly young hipsters.
You may scoff, but I enjoy seeing young people dressing up a bit these days, and taking care with their appearance. The young women wore floaty summer dresses and the guys sported "office casual". Makes a nice change from enormous tee shirts, drooping pants and backwards baseball caps. These "kids," were well dressed and enjoying a lovely day.
With extra time on the meter, we walked around for a few minutes, peering into shops and reading menus for future reference. Drawn into the interior of one of the buildings by a sign hanging from the ceiling, we happened upon a marvelous butcher's counter. Taylor's Sausage sells more than sausages, but most of the case was filled with pork in one form or another. Being a pork-loving girl, I was enchanted.
Taylor's is one of those butcher shops that give you confidence. Their products are obviously fresh and the place is as clean as the proverbial whistle. The French call window shopping "licking the windows" and, in this case, it was almost embarrassingly true. Everything looked so good that, even filled with Cosecha's excellent tacos, my mouth was watering.
After a few minutes of enjoyable dithering, we settled on two kinds of sausage to try - garlic beef and Swedish potato. The helpful butcher explained that there is, indeed, meat in the potato sausage, just less of it than in the others. The beef is offered in spicy and less spicy, so we chose less, wimps that we are. I was eager to try.
I prepared them very simply, sautéing over a low flame in a wide frying pan, flipping them to brown as much as would touch the pan.
Oh. My. Heavens.
The beef and garlic was rich and substantial, full of flavor and full of juice. The spice level was fine for us, even a little surprising in the first two or three bites, but entirely pleasurable. The Swedish potato was even richer, oddly, and so swoon-worthy that we both closed our eyes in pleasure at the first bite.
Needless to say, we will be back. And so should you, if you love sausages.