On The Sausage Trail: Washington, DC

Dateline: Washington, DC – June 2012

With Sausagefest.com being a Chicago based organization (I use that term loosely) you might think we get Chicago or Midwest centric.

Unlike ESPN (the Eastcoast Sports Network) we actually cover sausage artists from other parts of the country. Before we get overwhelmed with all the Midwest sausage season, lets start the summer grilling season in our nation’s capital.

DC Sausage Sampling

Our nations capital is always an amazing place. The museums, shrines, and memorials are all worthwhile destinations. If you’re an American citizen it’s difficult to not have a feeling of pride as you walk around The District. Driving the district generally will upset your stomach so we suggest walking and using the Metro. Since you’re in DC for food never jeopardize your stomach resources on driving.

Like our country, The District can also delight you with the diversity of sausage artists. If you’re not in to diversity, DC Is not going to help your narrow views of reality.

Start a Saturday morning in DC at the Eastern Market. The Capital Hill neighborhood is east of the Capital. You can walk it if you’re at the Capital. Head generally southeast and look for the market. The blue or orange lines of the Metro drop you a short walk from the market.

The Eastern Market has been around since 1873. US Grant was President then and given his eating and drinking habits we’re betting he was here.

Grab breakfast at Market Lunch. There is much to choose from – crab, seafood, grits, biscuits – all available with eggs served a number of ways. Their coffee is above average and the line moves pretty quickly and friends are made as you wait.

After breakfast, stroll or waddle (depending on how much you ate) down the indoor aisle and go to Canales Quality Meats and Union Meat Company. The sausage variety is large. Make a few selections than think about how you’re going to cook them once your back at the hotel.

The Eastern Market is a smaller market than Cleveland’s East Side Market or Seattle’s Pikes Market, but still a classic community center. Walk back to the Capital and take the Metro and work off breakfast as you head to Georgetown.

In Georgetown the sensory overload for adults gets into the danger zone. The watering holes are plentiful, dining superb and even the running stores are cool. So in keeping with cool and sensory overload go to Dean & Deluca.

Stay focused on sausages. This will not be easy because surely the path to hell is paved with the food distractions that will entice you and distract you. Move to the sausage case quickly.

Here you will find offerings from Mann’s Sausage Company, Creminelli, Fra’Mani, Olli Salumeria, and Molinari. For a sausage lover this is a feast of opera like portions; too much, too amazing, too good to believe – and there’s no one singing in German. Its actually better than opera.

The major players at Dean & Deluca are: William Hughes and Bobby Boyd. William serves as Manager and sausage ambassador/savant. He was a great host the morning we visited. After you’ve been done in by the sausage bounty do not go get one of their great coffees, but head back to the wine area.

Even if you’re Mormon you’ll want to go here. The devilish angel in charge of wines here is Bobby Boyd. Bobby will speak of nuance and depth of flavor for this Duckhorn or that Ramey. Before too long you’ve lost balance and you have a case of wine – done in by salami and great red wine. Suck up the cost and enjoy.

Afternoon naps are a good thing after visiting the Eastern Market and Dean & Deluca but fight the urge, get the coffee drink now and head to Fairfax, Virginia.

This will be a car ride but it’s worth it. You want to head to the Farmer’s Market near the courthouse on Main Street. Once you’re there and the coffee has re-balanced you, find Il Bastone. Just get there before 1 PM on Saturday since the market closes then.

The artist in charge is Alex. He has artisanal sausages from a United Nations recipe book: Argentina, France, Italy, German, Spain and others. These are 100% natural sausages, home made to his artistic eye – and more importantly, worth trying.

Enjoy Washington, DC and remember that politics is not sausage making. Sausage making is art; politics is butchering.

The Eastern Market
225 7th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Dean & Deluca
3276 M Street NW
Washington, DC

Il Bastone
10500 Main Street — Main & West & Page Streets (between Wells Fargo and Courthouse)
Fairfax, VA 220