Friday, September 20, 2013

Sausage League 2013 - Final - The Saint vs. The Drake

How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that I attended the first Sausage League battle of 2013 between Bryan Birch of Barque Smokehouse and Jesse Vallins of The Saint Tavern. It was definitely not yesterday though...more like back in May before summer even started. Oh summer, where did you go? 

Anyway, I found myself back at Marben (@MarbenResto) this past Wednesday evening for the Sausage League 2013 final. After four rigorous months of competition it was time to finally crown the Sausage King of Toronto! Will it be last year's champion, Jesse Vallins of The Saint Tavern or John Koplimae of The Drake Hotel? It must be fate because I voted for Jesse's sausage dish back in May and here he is once again :)

How Sausage League works: For $25, you get to enjoy two unique sausage dishes (one from each competitor) along with two Muskoka Brewery beers. You'll then get to cast a vote for the dish you like best. It's the same format through out the entire competition. 

Sausage League 2013 finalists ready for battle: John Koplimae of The Drake (@thedrakehotel) and Jesse Vallins of The Saint Tavern (@thesainttavern).

(Photo Credit: Marben)

I was craving for a cocktail so I ordered myself an old fashioned.

The Marben bar.

Muskoka Brewery's cream ale (left) and lager (right).

Smoked pork and dill pickle sausage with mashed sweet potato, preserved watermelon & arugula salad, pork rinds and spicy mustard

Buffalo chicken sausage with beer battered onion rings, crispy chicken skin and dill dipping sauce

Both sausages were tender, juicy and delicious. I loved the tiny pieces of dill pickles nestled within the smoky pork (blue) as well as the sweet and tangy flavour of the buffalo chicken sausage (yellow). However when I compare each dish in its entirety - the sausage plus the sides - it was an obvious choice for me. The dish that suited my taste the most was the blue dish. The mashed sweet potato was nice and creamy (I dipped the crispy pork rinds in it for that extra punch in flavour) and the arugula salad topped with chunks of watermelon was well-dressed, light and refreshing. Everything on the plate complemented the sausage beautifully. Oh and the spicy mustard and sausage combo was superb. Overall, the blue dish was refined and executed very well and I really enjoyed its clean and bold flavours. So what did everybody else think? Who was crowned the Sausage League 2013 champion?

SAUSAGE LEAGUE 2013 WINNER = BLUE SAUSAGE from Jesse Vallins of The Saint Tavern.

Yes! I'm so thrilled that others loved Jesse's sausage dish as much as I did. Great work Jesse and congratulations! With his victory, Jesse will enjoy a trip for two to Chicago, home of famed Sausage King Abe Froman!

Related Posts:
Sausage League 2011