No. 51: Locavore's Maple Andouille Sausage

Categories: SFoodie's 92
locavore-andouille.JPG
Kimberly Sandie
Locavore's maple andouille, $7.
SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

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In maple country, where SFoodie grew up, one of the treats of spending the afternoon at a sugar shack was to throw a few breakfast sausages into the sap and fish them out after they'd cooked in the thickening liquid. (SFoodie retroactively prays the syrup never made it onto the tables of devoted vegetarians.)

Locavore's Jason Moniz achieves a similar effect with his maple andouille, one of a cluster of sausages that star on the Mission restaurant's lunch menu. Moniz is a worthy successor to Bruce Aidell, a playboy of pork, a Breughel of boudin. Cilantro-lime, sweet and hot Italian, pork adobo, porter kielbasa ― the sausage lineup seems to change each time the chef receives a new pig to play with.

The first time we ate it, Locavore's maple andouille brought back memories of wood huts filled with sugary steam. Swollen, ruddy, and grill-blistered, the andouille tastes as if it is larded with syrup and butter, the crisped bun standing in for the pancake portion of a Saturday morning breakfast. The sausage is neither too smokey nor too sweet, built along the same lines as a good longanisa, and produces as reliably spectacular a series of juice explosions as a Michael Bay movie. Even nostalgia and a few decades can't keep us from concluding that Locavore's sausage is much better than a Jimmy Dean link cooked in boiling sap.

Locavore 3215 Mission (at Valencia), 821-1918, www.locavoreca.com.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tarts
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery
69: Plow's crispy potatoes
68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye
67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe
66: Nakaochi at Ippuku
65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer
64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut
63: Destination Baking Co.'s challah
62: Cotogna's roasted carrots
61: Hard Knox Cafe's chicken and waffles
60: The Rebel Within from Tell Tale Preserve Co.
59: The Slanted Door's Whiskey Cocktail
58: Carnitas burrito from Taqueria San Francisco
57: Sakura mochi from Benkyodo
56: Birria at Gallardos
55: BBQ pork skewers at Fil-Am Cuisine
54: JapaCurry's katsu curry
53: Vegan flan at Gracias Madre
52: Cinderella Bakery's pelmeni

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