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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

German Blood Sausages at Schmidt's

Posted By on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 7:50 AM

click to enlarge Blood sausage Berlin-style with stewed apples and onions, $13. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Blood sausage Berlin-style with stewed apples and onions, $13.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I was in Chicago last month: twentysomething-degree days, scrabbling for Chapstick to soothe lake-effect lips. Whether it was the cold or merely being again in the city of big shoulders ― the place my husband and I lived for most of the '90s ― I craved the smell of smoked flesh and garlic that suffuses Paulina Market, the amazing meat and sausage shop on North Lincoln, where the North Side's dwindling stock of German and Polish ladies in snow boots and parkas with fur-lined hoods still line up for kielbasa and smoked goose neck.

Alas, I didn't catch a whiff of Paulina this trip. But last night in the Mission at Schmidt's, facing the sustained chill of a damp 54°, I met up with a plate of grilled blood sausages ($13), sourced from Dittmer's in Mountain View, the server said.

Texturally they inhabited the place where creamy and pasty converge ― not a bad place to be ― with a flavor that floated nutmeg and allspice above a subtly coppery whiff of blood. Served up "Berlin style," the menu noted, which means a tangle of pale, long-cooked onion and apple, like the smashed potato dish Himmel und Erde ("heaven and Earth"), only without the potatoes. All Schmidt's sausages lacked: A dining room packed with coats slung over chairs, the blast of central heating, and ladies in snow boots.

Schmidt's: 2400 Folsom (at 20th St.), 401-0200.

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