Austin’s Top 6 BBQ sausage

By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking

1. La Barbecue. Sausage is the Holy Ghost of the barbecue trinity, more mysterious than its corporeal brethren and the least understood. Even the bishops of brisket and ribs outsource sausage to the monks of Smokey Denmark and Hudson’s and Texas Sausage Co. But this list is for the ones who practice what they preach, who make their own salvation. And their own sausage. La Barbecue makes just one, a sausage built with brisket and its delirious trimmings packed into a lock-tight pork casing with heart, liver, black pepper and a host of red, yellow and orange spices for a cautionary Luciferean burn. It’s a Hail Mary link that connects every time. September 2015 update: 1906 E. Cesar Chavez St. next to Stay Gold (map)
2. Micklethwait Craft Meats. An e-mail asking Micklethwait what goes into an all-star kielbasa came back with this: beef, pork, garlic, black pepper, coriander, mace, paprika, mustard, cardamom, allspice, marjoram. And fresh sage. The spice cabinet of a frontier medicine show. The wheel of fortune might land on knockwurst, jalapeño beef, duck with cherries or lamb chorizo. Every one’s a winner. 1309 Rosewood Ave. (map),
3. Freedmen’s. I like the figs and apples and bacon of this creative sausage lab. But Freedmen’s everyday sausage is good every day, a blend of beef and pork with garlic and fresh jalapeño that builds into a symbiotic low-and-slow barbecue afterglow. 2402 San Gabriel St. (map),

4. Lamberts Downtown Barbecue. If Lamberts sometimes feels like the Epcot Center of Austin barbecue, the artifice ends at the beginning of this link, where the rugged casing is tied off to hold back an aggressive mix of beef, pork and jalapeño ready to fight if you call it a poseur just one more time. 401 W. Second St. (map),
5. John Mueller Meat Co. Dry and cranky one day, robust and jovial the next, forever full of pepper and bull. The sausage at John Mueller’s trailer is always worth a conversation, no matter what mood it’s in. 2500 E. Sixth St. at Pedernales (map),
6. Bowie BBQ at Whole Foods Market. They make their sausage at the meat counter behind you. Is that local enough? Bowie BBQ smokes whatever the butcher’s making that day: beef and habanero, pork and jalapeño, an artisan wild card. Because Whole Foods is a master sourcer-er, even the standby Pederson Farms hotlinks will do. Just don’t tell Fed Man Walking. 525 N. Lamar Blvd. (map),
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)