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Dayum delicious

Best bite of the night, IPA Bratwurst classic. DAYUM.
Best bite of the night, IPA Bratwurst classic. DAYUM.
Place

Salt & Cleaver

3805 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

When I say “dayum,” I’m referring to this viral video, of a man whose contagious enthusiasm for a sandwich turned him into a meme, but we'll get to that in a moment. In terms of décor, the sausage-centric Salt & Cleaver is not my style. Super high ceilings, sparse seating ideal for singles, and giant TVs loudly tuned to the sports channel probably appeal to your average sausage and beer lover, but this gustatory gal was relieved to snag the one low table in the corner for a happy hour gathering of three.

Shot of the bar at Salt & Cleaver

When asking about items on the menu, I learned that the only sausages made in-house are the ones that fall under the “S&C Classics” section, where fixings are curated for you, and substitutions are not allowed. If you want to build your own, you can choose from meats that were procured off-site and cooked in house (smoked pork bratwurst, turkey brats, spicy Polish, chicken Florentine, smoked spicy Cajun, and a few others). The selection of “fixins” for your custom dog are the usual: sauerkraut, grilled onion, roasted peppers, relish; and you finish it off by choosing a sauce — smoked brown ale mustard, spicy horseradish mustard, S&C sauce (which is like a spicy fresh ketchup), or you can opt for regular ketchup and yellow mustard.

Summer in Alcatraz, breezy and easy to drink

It was strongly recommended that we opt for an item under the classics section, and I’m glad we did. It was happy hour, so we began with a round of drinks and the $2 happy hour fries. For craft cocktails, Salt & Cleaver delivers. Well-balanced flavors, nothing too cloying or sour. I tasted both the Summer in Alcatraz (rye whiskey, St. Germain, lemon, “bruised” basil and orange) and, the one I preferred, though both were delectable, the Kentucky Schmoozer (bourbon, maraschino black cherry reduction, Domain de Canton, and ginger beer).

Kentucky schmoozer, great for this boozer

Along with the fries, which were fantastic, we also shared the stuffed piquillo peppers with shrimp crab curry. These were gone in 30 seconds — the shrimp crab curry stuffing was hot and crisped on the outside, and the brown ale mustard and balsamic glaze enhanced the fresh pepper and toothsome filling.

Stuffed piquillo peppers, the perfect appetizer

My man ordered the “Duck.Duck.Pig” classic, comprising duck and bacon sausage, duck confit, “bacon-aze,” and orange marmalade on a house bun. I was too infatuated with my sausage to bother tasting his. David reported that the “crispy duck confit” on top, in his words, “wasn’t unpleasant, but it didn’t add the duckiness” he’d expect of confit. Rather, it tasted more of frying oil, or whatever it had been cooked in, perhaps because it was too finely shredded. Both David, and our friend Mia, who was with us, agreed that mine was the best sausage on the table.

Duck. Duck. Pig. A duck/pork explosion.

I'd gotten the IPA Bratwurst: smoked pork sausage, malted sauerkraut, roasted peppers, smoked brown ale mustard, on a pretzel bun. I was concerned about all the “smoked” descriptions because I usually don’t care for overly smoky flavors — that’s when I tried to substitute the sausage for one from the other list and was informed that I couldn’t do that, but in a nice, “please trust the kitchen” sort of way. And I’m so happy I relented. Upon my first bite, I said, “DAYUM,” and the others laughed, because they got the reference and knew immediately what it implied. Every bite was balanced, each unique ingredient was discernible yet harmonious with the others. When I shared with David and Mia, they too let out a little moan and nodded in agreement that this was indeed a dayum good sausage.

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Best bite of the night, IPA Bratwurst classic. DAYUM.
Best bite of the night, IPA Bratwurst classic. DAYUM.
Place

Salt & Cleaver

3805 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

When I say “dayum,” I’m referring to this viral video, of a man whose contagious enthusiasm for a sandwich turned him into a meme, but we'll get to that in a moment. In terms of décor, the sausage-centric Salt & Cleaver is not my style. Super high ceilings, sparse seating ideal for singles, and giant TVs loudly tuned to the sports channel probably appeal to your average sausage and beer lover, but this gustatory gal was relieved to snag the one low table in the corner for a happy hour gathering of three.

Shot of the bar at Salt & Cleaver

When asking about items on the menu, I learned that the only sausages made in-house are the ones that fall under the “S&C Classics” section, where fixings are curated for you, and substitutions are not allowed. If you want to build your own, you can choose from meats that were procured off-site and cooked in house (smoked pork bratwurst, turkey brats, spicy Polish, chicken Florentine, smoked spicy Cajun, and a few others). The selection of “fixins” for your custom dog are the usual: sauerkraut, grilled onion, roasted peppers, relish; and you finish it off by choosing a sauce — smoked brown ale mustard, spicy horseradish mustard, S&C sauce (which is like a spicy fresh ketchup), or you can opt for regular ketchup and yellow mustard.

Summer in Alcatraz, breezy and easy to drink

It was strongly recommended that we opt for an item under the classics section, and I’m glad we did. It was happy hour, so we began with a round of drinks and the $2 happy hour fries. For craft cocktails, Salt & Cleaver delivers. Well-balanced flavors, nothing too cloying or sour. I tasted both the Summer in Alcatraz (rye whiskey, St. Germain, lemon, “bruised” basil and orange) and, the one I preferred, though both were delectable, the Kentucky Schmoozer (bourbon, maraschino black cherry reduction, Domain de Canton, and ginger beer).

Kentucky schmoozer, great for this boozer

Along with the fries, which were fantastic, we also shared the stuffed piquillo peppers with shrimp crab curry. These were gone in 30 seconds — the shrimp crab curry stuffing was hot and crisped on the outside, and the brown ale mustard and balsamic glaze enhanced the fresh pepper and toothsome filling.

Stuffed piquillo peppers, the perfect appetizer

My man ordered the “Duck.Duck.Pig” classic, comprising duck and bacon sausage, duck confit, “bacon-aze,” and orange marmalade on a house bun. I was too infatuated with my sausage to bother tasting his. David reported that the “crispy duck confit” on top, in his words, “wasn’t unpleasant, but it didn’t add the duckiness” he’d expect of confit. Rather, it tasted more of frying oil, or whatever it had been cooked in, perhaps because it was too finely shredded. Both David, and our friend Mia, who was with us, agreed that mine was the best sausage on the table.

Duck. Duck. Pig. A duck/pork explosion.

I'd gotten the IPA Bratwurst: smoked pork sausage, malted sauerkraut, roasted peppers, smoked brown ale mustard, on a pretzel bun. I was concerned about all the “smoked” descriptions because I usually don’t care for overly smoky flavors — that’s when I tried to substitute the sausage for one from the other list and was informed that I couldn’t do that, but in a nice, “please trust the kitchen” sort of way. And I’m so happy I relented. Upon my first bite, I said, “DAYUM,” and the others laughed, because they got the reference and knew immediately what it implied. Every bite was balanced, each unique ingredient was discernible yet harmonious with the others. When I shared with David and Mia, they too let out a little moan and nodded in agreement that this was indeed a dayum good sausage.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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