Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Porter Road Butcher Smoked Sausage Taste-Off

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 5:43 AM

Porter Road Butchers smoked turkey (left) and andouille sausages
  • Porter Road Butcher's smoked turkey (left) and andouille sausages

As Dana reported here on Bites on Wednesday, Porter Road Butcher is now open for business. Seeing as I pass it on my way home most days, I had to stop in Wednesday night. And being the instant-gratification type that I am, I neglected the gorgeous array of fresh meats in the meat case, heading straight for the ready-to-eat smoked sausages, which were available in turkey and andouille.

And wow, were they good. The turkey was a firmer sausage and had a slight peppery glow. I quite enjoyed it. But the andouille knocked my socks off: It had more of a ground texture, and a sublimely subtle and complex flavor with just a hint of heat, though not exactly spicy-hot. And at $9 a pound, I got two good-sized sausages for a little over $5, which strikes me as a bargain.

In fact, the sausage was so good that I couldn't resist buying a couple of extras to take to the Bites tasting committee the next day. Below, a sampling of some of the responses from the lucky tasters:

"I preferred the andouille, but the turkey was a delicious option, and by far the best turkey sausage I've ever had."

"A lot of andouille sausage has that liquid-smoke taste that drowns out everything else. But this is great. Would be awesome in jambalaya."

"Something peppery in the turkey sausage made me think of curry."

"I usually think turkey sausage is bland, but this was good."

"I didn't try the turkey sausage. It goes against everything 'sausage' in my book. But I really liked the other."

"I'm a classic sausage guy. I liked the turkey, but much preferred the andouille."

"I'm a smoker so my taste buds are dead, but I enjoyed them nonetheless."


One more thing: Kathleen Cotter and her Bloomy Rind artisan cheeses have taken up residence at Porter Road butcher. Kathleen had cheese magazine Culture's winter issue on the counter. On the cover: Rush Creek Reserve, a divine soft cheese that The New York Times rightly calls "a cheese for scooping."

Kathleen had some in stock, and offered me a taste — holy cow (zing!), was it good. Salty, nutty, smokey, creamy. I bought half a wheel to take home. Needless to say, it's already long gone.

Porter Road Butcher (887-6395) starts its full weekly schedule today. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. (Closed Mondays.)

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