Best Sausage Orange County 2012 - Sabatino's Sausage Co.
251 Shipyard Way
Newport Beach, CA 92663
The Sabatino family hails from Chicago, that hog butcher for the world, so it's no surprise it knows its way with sausage. What's surprising is how Sabatino's Sausage Co. has managed to stay in business over the decades while hidden in two obscure Newport Beach storefronts. Find your way to the original, waterfront, red-checked-tableclothed Italian-American restaurant. Order the sausage and bell pepper "appetizer," a massive sizzling-cast-iron platter that comes out with a hissing length of tube steak that's easily a meal for two. The coarse ground-pork sausage bursts with juices pumped up with melted cubes of sharp sheep's-milk cheese, red pepper flakes and coarsely chopped flat parsley leaves. Fear the big platter of sausage will leave you in a food coma? Try a more reasonable sausage sandwich, which can be ordered at the newer, smaller storefront on 32nd Street, which is geared toward takeout business. Yeah, you just ate sausage, but since you're there anyway, pick up a coil of fresh, raw links to cook at home over the weekend. Grilled slowly over indirect heat, sautéed in a big skillet or cooked into a red sauce, the incomparable sausage adds a level of flavor you won't get from a pedestrian Italian variety. While Sabatino's makes only two flavors of Italian sausage and no other variety, this one-trick pony is in a league of its own.