Life on the Veg: Vegetarian Sausages at Valhalla Table

There's little better than a hot, spicy Italian sausage between your buns. There, we said it. Now that we've gotten the necessary sexual innuendo out of the way, it's time to move on and describe what it was like to wrap our lips around seven savory inches of vegetarian goodness.

You know you're aching for more..

Edwin was quick on the draw with his announcement of the opening of Costa Mesa's Valhalla Table last week, but during that time their concept for a veg-friendly sausage was still in the incubation period. That concept has now manifested into two vegetarian options: the spicy Italian and the Kung Pao chikin sausages.

Both sausages are made in-house from a base of seitan (wheat gluten) and ring in at $7 including tax. The spicy Italian is a flavorful blend of herbs and spices that leave your mouth with a slight hum of pleasant, chili-induced heat. The texture is springy without being chewy and doesn't have a distinct aftertaste (which is usually the case with soy-based products). Both sausage and pillowy bun are grilled so that they are slightly darkened by a layer of crispy char. This adds a delightful crunch to your bite, similar to sinking your teeth into the edge of an In-N-Out grilled cheese. Try topping your sausage with the spicy sambal balado, a chunky Indonesian salsa, for an awesome kick that will satisfy any chili-lover.

More on the sweet side, the Kung Pao chikin sausage is lighter in consistency and color. It isn't really spicy (although though the menu lists it as such) and is flavored in a way that conveys a distinctly Asian influence. The sweetness is reminiscent of lap cheong (Chinese sausage) without the toughness or, um… pork. Peanuts pit the outside of this sausage, completing the Kung Pao recipe and adding an interesting texture to your munching experience. This particular sausage is also quite good when topped with the sambal balado or caramelized onions,


The thick-cut Belgian style fries are reason enough to hit up Valhalla Table at least once. $3.50 and fried to perfection, these little slices of Heaven are tender on the inside, crisp on the outside and come with your choice of (wait for it…) nine different types of dipping sauce. The most popular sauces are the mango curry mayo (which, FYI really tastes like curry) and the spicy sambal ketchup.

The pesto mayo is also quite good, made with generous amounts of fresh and aromatic basil, but the unexpected champion is the absolutely amazing honey mustard which you can get for FREE at the condiment table. Once you try it, you'll be dreaming about that mustard for the rest of your life.

Be sure to check out the extensive imported beer menu which also includes a number of delicious organic brews. Yeah, they're pricey, but you're not going to be able to find much of the German stock anywhere else in town.


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