For a very long time, my Twitter bio (and life goal) has been “Mostly I just want to live inside IKEA like a modern-day ‘From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler'”. Then I found out that today’s teens had beaten me to living out my own dreams. And now I am on the hunt for a new place to modern-day ‘From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’. I think I may have found a contender in Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar on the UES (1652 2nd Ave).
I recently got an email asking if I’d like to test out Beyond Meat’s new plant-based sausage (not on the market yet), and having hopped on that Beyond Burger train last year, I obviously said YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES!
Before the product hits retail stores, you’ll be able to find it in a handful of restaurants in various US cities. (NYC got the ball rolling at Schaller’s in the form of three plant-based riffs on the menu’s beloved classics.)
In case you’re not familiar, Schaller’s is a Schaller & Weber (since 1937!) enterprise, and for the past 2.5 years of its existence, the menu has been (as one would expect) fairly meat-heavy with plenty of wursts. (The best wursts, in fact.) They’ve had other plant-based sausages on the menu before, but Beyond Sausage is apparently the only one that’s held up well enough in terms of flavor profile and texture. (If anyone is going to tell me that this is a good product, I’m 100% going to trust the meat guys first.)
So what makes Beyond Sausage so texturally sound? It’s made from a combination of peas, rice and fava beans, and the casing is made from algae to achieve that signature sausage snap. (If you’re going, “Oh my god, ALGAE?!” then clearly you haven’t ever thought that much about what actual meat sausage casings entail.)
But would it deliver for real?! The Beyond Sausage menu options include:
- the Brat – served with S&W sauerkraut and dusseldorf mustard
- the Sweet Italian – served with grilled peppers & sautéed onions
- the Hot – served with daikon-carrot slaw, cucumber, fresh jalapeno, cilantro and Sriracha aioli
Obviously I tried all three. Obviously they twisted my arm real hard.
Photo credit Katie Foster
The first bite was crucial, because that’s where you get all of the textural lowdown. Admittedly, it’s a slightly softer mouth-feel than a sausage-sausage, but you still get a little bit of snap, and honest to god, if you didn’t tell me this was not meat, I’m not sure I’d notice. I didn’t feel that way with the Beyond Burger – yeah, I thought it was cool and something I’d use from time to time, but I didn’t feel as fooled as everyone made it seem like I would be. This definitely held up better as a convincing substitute, IMO. I also feel like this would be excellent at a backyard BBQ // getting that mega blackened charcoal char (which is admittedly not for everyone, but is for me) would be SO IDEAL.
Future at-home use aside, I would be perfectly happy eating Beyond Sausage at Schaller’s for the rest of my life. I honestly liked all three offerings (all served on AMAZING pretzel buns) for different reasons – as an Asian food fanatic, I liked the Banh-Meat’s nod to Vietnam’s pride and joy, and the spice level was (for me) v. perfect. Meanwhile, you cannot go wrong with the Classic provided you are (and I definitely am) a fan of sauerkraut and mustard. Same goes for the Sweet Italian – you’ve gotta be into peppers and onions (again, I definitely am, slash WHO ISN’T???) but the flavors are incredibly addictive.
UGH, it always really bums me out when I end up liking someplace that’s located above like, 23rd street, you guys, because now I know I’ll be making the trek back up to 86th street many, many more times in the future. (To be fair, it’s not even that long on the train, I’m just being insufferable.)
I’m not strictly veg, so I’ll also definitely be perusing some of the spot’s other menu options (like an “Aussie Dog” with beet ketchup, and obviously the Currywurst), plus I popped into the Schaller & Weber meat shop next door after the taste-test and IT IS AMAZING. They’ve got everything from meat to cheese to sauces to chocolate (shout-out Jesse for hooking me up w/ bacon and bangers and everything in between), so if you’re in the vicinity, definitely make it a point to swing by.
All in all, 10/10 would eat Beyond Sausage again, and 11/10 would eat it at Schaller’s. If you’re in NYC, definitely get up there for a taste-test, and if you’re not in NYC, stay tuned for news from Beyond Meat about when this will roll out near you!