Eli’s Serious Sausage (Street Food Vendor/Cart)

Restaurant: Eli’s Serious Sausage
Cuisine: 
Hot dog/Street Food/German
Last Visited: 
February 8, 2013
Location: 
Vancouver, BC (Gastown)
Address:
 110 Dunsmuir Street
Transit: Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain
Phone: (604) 366-0036
Price Range: $10 or less

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6FMF Must Try!

Food: 4
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Value: 2.5
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Only sausage stand in Vancouver
  • D-Original Sausage Co.
  • Local/All natural 100% pork
  • Only pork sausages
  • Nitrate free sausages
  • Gluten free options
  • Casual/quick
  • Various locations
  • Cash only
  • Mon-Sun 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • For locations/hours: @EatEli

**Recommendations: Currywurst, although I prefer the Bratwurst in a bun with fried onions and Eli’s Curry Sauce

Eli's Serious Sausage (1)Wow. I haven’t seen one of these in a while. What can I say? It was back to basics. I almost find it shocking to come across a hot dog stand nowadays with so many creative and ethnic street food options, but that’s what this is. Or was it? Careful with the “h-word” because this is no ordinary “hot dog stand”, this is Vancouver’s only sausage stand.

Unlike New York with their New York style hot dogs and Chicago with their Chicago Style hot dogs, Vancouver doesn’t really have a signature hot dog. Well to be honest, the one that represents Vancouver the most is probably our Japanese inspired hot dog the Japadog. It is not a “hot dog city”, but classic street food will always have its place.

I was hosted at Eli’s Serious Sausage for lunch and I got to meet the man behind the sausage… well, that didn’t come out right. Anyway that is Daniel “Eli” Raber and this is a one man operation. At 24 years old he is the owner, cook and manager of his own business. He entered the food world simply because he has always loved food.

I was pretty surprised to discover he was so young and I always assumed that the guy running Eli’s Serious Sausage would be an older fellow. Most of the younger entrepreneurs in the street food scene nowadays tend to go the trendier route with more creative concepts and custom designed food carts/trucks, but this is pretty much all of Eli’s Serious Sausage. That being said he does have a custom made trailer he uses for catering and larger festivals.

There is nothing fancy or “trendy” about his old fashioned cart or selling sausages, but he is actually part of a very big food “trend” (for lack of a better word), and that is the local food movement. Eli believes in local and all natural food with no preservatives. He uses only one type of bratwurst supplied by one of Vancouver’s favourite and most trusted sausage suppliers, D-Original Sausage Co. The German style Schrippen buns are handcrafted by a local European bakery called Gesundheit Bakery in Abbotsford and he grills the sausages and buns upon order.

For a sausage stand specializing in one thing, he is doing it right, but I can’t help to question why I am paying for something I can easily do at home myself? It’s a fair, but unfair question and me asking just means I’m probably not the demographic. However if I was craving street food and specifically a sausage, I would come here. 80% of his clients are repeat customers though which says a lot. There are people who like the convenience and prefer traditional street food, but for me I would get more satisfaction in supporting Eli than perhaps the end product (although I like the suppliers).

The menu is simple and limited to only two options, the standard Bratwurst on a Bun and the Currywurst. D-Original Sausage Co. makes fantastic quality sausages and Eli makes sure you get them fresh and hot. And he enjoys it, so what more can I ask for? More options? Perhaps, but he’s a super nice guy that has found a way to be part of the food world while promoting his favourite products and the local food scene. That, I can appreciate… and I bet so does D-Original Sausage Co.

Going back to the “more options” thing though. If this is a classic European sausage only stand, fine. But there are a lot of different sausages. As much as I like D-Original Sausage Co., local suppliers Oyama and Cioffi’s also have some excellent sausages. Yes, there is lots to be said about Eli’s loyalty, but variety is the spice of life and as a consumer it would make things more exciting. Actually even D-Original Sausage Co. has more sausages, so I would love to see more options overall regardless of who supplies them.

On the table:

Eli's Serious Sausage (3)Bratwurst on a Bun4/6 (Very good)

  • $7 (optional fried onions are complimentary)
  • Again, the bratwurst is from D-Original Sausage Co. (a handcrafted 5th generation sausage maker in Vancouver).
  • The bratwursts are made with 100% local pork without any filler or preservatives. It is a quality product.
  • It was a moist, plump, and juicy bratwurst with a nice pepperiness and a snappy skin.
  • The German style Schrippen buns are handcrafted by a local European bakery called Gesundheit Bakery in Abbotsford.
  • It is a yeasty hard bread roll made with wheat flour and it is quite plain tasting and contains no oil or sugar (or at least this one doesn’t).
  • The bun is naturally a bit stiff and dry, and the inside is fluffy and very chewy, and it reminds me slightly of potato bread.
  • I wouldn’t have minded more options for the bun.

Eli's Serious Sausage (4)It is recommended with sauerkraut (not home made) and whole grain mustard. Available as self-serve condiments.

Eli's Serious Sausage (5)**Currywurst4/6 (Very good)

  • $7 (optional fried onions are complimentary)
  • It is served with the same German style Schrippen bun handcrafted by Gesundheit Bakery in Abbotsford.
  • It is a yeasty hard bread roll made with wheat flour and it is quite plain tasting and contains no oil or sugar (or at least this one doesn’t).
  • The bun is naturally a bit stiff and dry, and the inside is fluffy and very chewy, and it reminds me slightly of potato bread.
  • Again, I wouldn’t have minded more options for the bun.
  • They currywurst is the same bratwurst (see description above), but served sliced and generously covered with Eli’s home made Curry Ketchup Sauce.

Eli's Serious Sausage (6)

  • Eli handcrafts his own Curry Ketchup Sauce in small batches.
  • It was an unexpected sauce that packed a lot of flavour.
  • It was smoky sweet and tangy with an obvious tomato-Ketchup like base. It was on the sweeter side.
  • It tasted like a tomato barbeque sauce with curry spices and it had quite the kick and a bit of heat.
  • It tasted a bit Indian with the curry powder and likely had cumin, coriander and maybe even Worcestershire for the kick.
  • It was very thick and flavourful sauce and the spiciness made your mouth tingle, but it wasn’t hot (mild-medium spice level).

Eli's Serious Sausage (2)Eli’s Currywurst sauce is also available bottled to go ($6).

Eli's Serious Sausage on Urbanspoon

3 Comments

  • Steve says:

    I am a big fan of Eli’s currywurst. As I have never been to Germany, I can’t personally vouch for the authenticity of this sauce, however I have chatted with 5 or 6 people who have visited the German currywurst stands (evidently they are just as common as hot dog stands in New York) and the general consensus seems to be that Eli’s sauce is better than average. I guess I need to go to Germany on a fact finding mission to confirm this for myself LOL!
    I agree with you, it would be nice to have a few other sausage options, however as a small, one man operation with limited grill space, I think Eli prefers to keep it simple by serving just the bratwurst. D-Original does, as you mentioned, make a lot more than bratwurst and they do have a retail outlet in Steveston (for take home only, they don’t grill them there). Visit: http://www.doriginalsausagehaus.com/

  • Bernie says:

    Great article. Are you sure the Curry wurst Eli serves isn’t actually D-Originals actual Currywurst?? As you said I wouldn’t venture out to pay $7 for a brat as the Steveston shop is close to me and we visit on a regular basis. Would be nice for Eli to offer along the brats and the curry wurst, say the Nurenburgers or the Thuringers. They would even cook faster as they are similar in size to the euro weinies. Also D sausage has seasonal varieties that could go well. Good on Eli for doing it his way!

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