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Café Centraal's All-Local Sausage Throwdown

Sep. 7, 2011
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From its beginnings as a backyard barbecue six years ago, the Lakefront International Festival of Sausages—more concisely known as Sausage Fest—has grown into a block party outside of Café Centraal (2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), and as the turnout has increased, the stakes have been raised, too. This year, local sausage makers will not only be competing for recognition in four categories (for best bratwurst, Italian, Polish and “exotic” sausages), but also for a best-in-show honor that includes a contract to be the exclusive sausage supplier for Café Centraal and its sister restaurants in the Lowlands Group: Trocadero Gastrobar, Café Benelux, and the Café Hollander locations on Downer Avenue and in Wauwatosa.

A panel of sausage experts that includes Lowlands restaurant owners and the organization's new culinary director, Wilhelm Borgstrom, will pick the winner.

“Sausage is a really key culinary focus of the Lowlands region, so chef Borgstrom wanted to see for himself what's out there,” says Eli Rivera, Café Centraal's general manager. “This is our way of making sure we're serving the best sausage at our restaurants.”

Confirmed sausage makers competing in the event on Saturday, Sept. 10, include Buddy's Meat Market, Bunzel's Old Fashioned Meat Market, C & R Market, Glorioso Bros. Italian Foods, Just Italians, Ray's Butcher Shoppe and Lowlands' current sausage supplier, Rupena's Fine Foods. A $10 all-you-can-eat sausage deal will let spectators sample them all.

The event runs from 2 to 8 p.m. and will also feature live music and a hot-dog eating contest, as well as a host of locally made products, including drinks from Lakefront Brewery, the Great Lakes Distillery and Point Brewery, and sausage and hot-dog buns from Breadsmith and Wild Flour Bakery, respectively. Proceeds benefit the veterans-aid organization the Wounded Warrior Project.


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