Who doesn’t like sausages? I love them! If someone causally told me that they didn’t like sausages, I would very seriously reconsider our friendship compatibility. That is how much I like sausages – it is on my friendship check-list. “Must love sausages” is pretty high up there with normality. You know the saying, “man cannot live by bread alone”? The genius was clearly a sausage lover who probably didn’t mind some ketchup or mustard to go along with it.
Imagine my delight then, when I found out about Snag Stand – the home of heavenly “haute dogs”. Times that by three when I discovered that it was at Melbourne Central and opposite the State Library. Score one for easy access! This meant that I could jump on the tram, grab the deliciousness and head back within 20 minutes give or take. Perfect. Know what is even more perfect? Their marketing skills - which is cleverly littered with puns. I love puns (can you tell from the title?) and I love sausages – clearly this was a match made in hot dog heaven.
The first thing that I noticed about Snag Stand was how prime the location was. Traffic was heavy and almost everyone had noticed the stand. And even if you somehow MISSED seeing the stand, you could not possibly miss/resist smelling the aroma of sausages sizzling on the grill (unless you are down with the cold/flu and have a block nose). The striking yellow colour of Snag Stand makes a play for the New York atmosphere. They are 2 (I think) high tables and chairs which you could sit on and munch the hot dog while people watching – if that is your thing. The term people watching is kind of creepy, I know. Another way of saying it is “watch the world go by” – which sounds comparatively less stalkerish… Anyway, you walk up to the counter to place your order and in return, you get a buzzer which sounds and vibrates when your hot dog is ready for collection. Easy peasy. The times that I was there, I saw students, construction workers, and people attired in suits lining up to place their order. The humble sausage brings together people from all walks of life.
Snag Stand menu caters for a range of tastebuds – even if you are vegetarian (potato, smoked apple and sage). I suppose it is the equivalent of tofu burgers although I never got use to their appeal. Each item on the menu is displayed on a square black cardboard with fancy writing and their description. They include, wagyu beef, pork and fennel (italian), weisswurst (veal, parsley and onion), chicken and rocket, beef and horseradish, spicy spanish chorizo, greek (lamb, rosemary and oregano), chillidog, backyarder, toulouse, australian fare, american classic, german bratwurst, and my all-time favourite: spicy cheese kransky. On top of that, they pair their artisan sausages with fancy accompaniments such as sauteed onions, house-made sauerkraut, creamy coleslaw, coopers ale BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and different kinds of mustards (ranging between meh and so hot it’ll make you cry). Did I also mention that most hot dogs come served with a toasted brioche roll? Brioche always gets me. If you are a fussypot who don’t fancy the above options, you can design your own hot dog – how awesome is that?
Between the two of us and three visits, we sampled the (1) chicken and rocket, (2) spicy spanish chorizo, (3) chillidog, (4) american classic, and (5) spicy cheese kransky and (6) toulouse. To top off our greediness, we couldn’t resist ordering their chips with house-gravy dipping sauce. Across the board, all sausages were top quality, packed with flavour and the right amount of juiciness. They are well seasoned and tasty without being overly salty for the health conscious – but then you do not eat hot dogs if you are worried about health. The only sausage that I found to be a bit “meh” was the american classic. If you prefer milder flavours, go with the chicken and rocket or the toulouse. On the other hand, you should totally order the chillidog or spicy spanish chorizo if you like your lunch to pack a punch. The chilli on the chillidog seriously high-fived my tastebuds. For me, I would be forever faithful to the spicy cheese kransky (even if it wasn’t spicy) because I absolutely love the combination of cheese and sausage. The only advice I would give is to eat the hot dog carefully because Snag Stand is generous with their toppings (not that I am complaining). You do not want the juices to dribble down your chin, sriracha/chipotle mayo or truffle/wasabi aioli to smudge your expensive suit – especially if there is going to be a board meeting afterward.
In summary, Snag Stand sets a pretty high bar for quality sausages in Melbourne. Yes, it is pricey but then again, it is not your average sausage sizzle. I foresee a long relationship with Snag Stand as long as it continues to stock my spicy cheese kransky!