All words and photos by Nancy Chow.
My boyfriend argues that brunch is only in the limited time frame of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (maybe 2 p.m.) during the weekend, because anything later is veering into solely lunch territory. I say anywhere between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends (and holidays) is fair game, because the menu/kitchen tells me this. Although we completely disagree on when is considered proper brunch, we both agree that sausage is definitely a brunch item.
San Francisco’s Rosamunde Sausage Grill, as the name suggests, specializes in all types of meaty links. Rosamunde feeds on this recent bicoastal branch trend. From Portland’s Pok Pok to San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food, restaurant chains have been skipping the middle of the country to plant straight into the city’s hippest neighborhoods. Rosamunde is located in budding South Williamsburg off of Bedford Avenue, a little past Metropolitan Avenue, the host of a bevy of restaurants and bars.
I was ecstatic to try Rosamunde Sausage Grill, mostly because I am a highly indecisive person and partly because I wanted to see what the buzz is all about. My dream is to go a restaurant that only serves one thing, so I only have to worry about making the decision of where to go. I was elated when my brother Jason suggested the newly opened Rosamunde (decision made) that focuses on sausages (one thing!). It’s sort of deceptive though, because they have a whole laundry list of different types of sausages, including three vegan types. Don’t get me started on the beers they have on tap.
The panic set in when I saw the board of delectable sausages. The window of encased meats/substitute meats was in the back, where you also pick up your order. Maybe seeing the different shades of meat would have help? My thought process went something like…
I should try something different like one of the vegan options, because that’s different. But meat…ohhh merguez! Sweet, sweet Italian chicken! Duck, I love duck! No, must focus on vegan options…Hmm…Mission Street. Wrapped in bacon?! Anything with bacon is guaranteed to be good, but this is a sausage place…Duck. Yes, duck is good. I love figs. Fig and duck…
So, I ordered the duck mainly because I think my uncertainty was scaring the cashier and I’m not sure when I would ever eat a duck sausage. My brother decided on the cheddar bratwurst with peppers and beef chili in a French roll after going through a similar indecisive bout. I ordered the sausage plate, which comes with a salad, a cup of baked beans and crostini. We also ordered some homemade sodas, because that list was significantly shorter than the amount of beers on tap.
The cashier immediately mixed our sodas at the bar as we waited for our order number to come up on the screen in the back. The grapefruit tasted more of lychee and the cucumber was surprisingly scrumptious as well as refreshing.
Our order was ready pretty quickly, but my second panic attack set in when I saw the row of sauces they offered to the left of the pick-up counter. Condiments are a bit of my weak spot. If you have not been to the East Village’s Pomme Frites, you must go there, because i) fries are perfectly fried twice and ii) they have an entire condiment menu to dip the fries into. As I was growing up I loved ketchup; so much that I used to create ketchup sandwiches. Yes, it was just plain sliced bread with ketchup slathered on. I swear my taste palate matured. I have since learned how to appropriately use ketchup, thank you. I also often forgive dishes a little bit if it comes with a great sauce. We tried the curry ketchup and the garlic-pepper mayonnaise. The garlic-pepper mayo was creamy with a heavy, addicting garlic flavor. The curry ketchup pretty much tastes as you would expect (read: wonderful), and it was so good that I was tempted to steal the vat and house it in my nearly empty fridge to keep the other bottles of sauces company.
My duck sausage came in two dark, skinny pieces. Resisting the temptation to dip the whole thing into the ketchup, I cut a bit of one link and bit into it with a satisfying snap. Slightly sweet with the figs cooked in and delicious as duck usually is. It was a little on the dry side, but the curry ketchup almost compensated with its perfectly spiced self that complimented the smokiness of the duck sausage. The salad was a good mix of chopped walnuts, sweet peppers and blue cheese crumbs on a bed of mixed greens drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. I only took issue with the baked beans (vegan friendly). I’m fine with the lack of meat in the beans, but it was too sickly sweet, heavy on the molasses. I had two spoonfuls and could not eat anymore. I was severely disappointed and reached over to try my brother’s cheddar bratwurst chili dog.
Unlike my duck sausage, the cheddar bratwurst came in a thick log of pork and was moist. It was delicious, possibly the best chili-cheese dog I’ve had. It was a bit messy but probably because I cannot eat a sandwich or a hot dog like a dainty lady. I might’ve ruined the presentation for my brother, but as my mom says it all looks the same when it goes down your digestive system.
I have a strong allegiance to Crif Dogs and their whacky palates. There has been a span of two weeks, where I have had Crif Dogs three times and ate two dogs each visit. If I were craving something exotic, I think would still stick to Crif Dogs for their imaginative combinations and their breakfast dogs. Sure the duck was great, but wouldn’t it have been better with some pineapple relish, bacon and maybe some more ketchup?
How long would I wait? 10 minutes (5 minutes of waiting and 5 minutes of indecision)
555 Driggs Avenue (between N. 6th and N. 7th Streets)
Recommendation: Spicy red neck, good morning or tsunami
Pies ‘n’ Thighs
166 S. 4th Street (between Driggs Avenue and Roebling Street)
Recommendation: Chicken biscuit