“It’s a dog eat dog world.” A phrase commonly applied to business or politics, it has never sounded more appropriate than after checking out the North American premiere of Dachshund UN last night. Part of the World Stage programming, this show features a group of dachshunds representing the Commission on Human Rights.
What’s Sausage League you ask? Listen, we know Pride Week just ended but let’s keep our minds out of the gutter. Now in its second year, Sausage League is hosted by Marben (488 Wellington St.) each Wednesday from May to September. Chefs from restaurants across Toronto compete to see who can create the best sausage dish. After hearing rumblings of this epic swine showdown, we attended last week’s round with The Black Hoof battling it out against County General.
Here’s how it works: $25 buys you a plate from each competitor, a bottle of Steam Whistle and a voting ballot. The dishes are served anonymously and are identified as “red plate” and “blue plate”. Last week’s red plate took a more traditional approach with a Polish-style sausage served with pierogies, creme fraiche and beets. The blue plate went way outside the box with a boudin noir stuffed with apricot roasted peanuts, topped with popcorn (!!) and greens. Needless to say, our vote went to the blue plate. It turns out we were in the majority, as the blue plate (a.k.a. The Black Hoof’s Brandon Olsen) took home the W.
Based on our visit last night, here are some Sausage League “do’s & don’ts”:
DO: Make a reservation.
DON’T: Make your reservation late. Ours was for 9 p.m. and half our table didn’t get sausages because they ran out. Learn from our mistake: the early bird gets the sausage.
DO: Go with a bunch of people so you can try other menu items too. We highly recommend their burger.
DON’T: Be afraid to try something a little out of your comfort zone. The Black Hoof’s entry was blood sausage, which sounds terrifying but was actually super delish (see above).
DO: Keep your eyes peeled for the infamous Chef Grant Soto. We spotted Twitter’s golden “chef” sitting at the bar testing out the bangers. We almost asked for an autograph, but held ourselves back.