There’s something very summer-y about having an encased meat on a bun with grilled onions. It’s the smell of the onions that makes my olfactory senses nostalgic for the main concourse of Comiskey Park (home of the greatest grilled onions on the planet — I will hear no arguments). Going to a ball game, though, isn’t the only time that a good hot dog, brat, Italian or Polish sausage is needed. They’re always needed.
There’s a beautiful sensory overload when you bite into a quality bratwurst (or sausage of your choice). The snapping of the casing, the flavorful juices, and the tender meat combine for flavorful glory. If you use proper condiments, the flavor combinations come together for a snack that’s perfectly acceptable at outdoor barbecues and even some high-end restaurants.
In Champaign, unfortunately, there’s a vacancy in the sausage department. There’s only a handful of places to even get a sausage in town, much less a high-quality one. That’s why I was surprised to see the first thing on Farren’s lunch menu was a jalapeño-cheddar bratwurst. The folks at Farren’s know their way around a grill, so it seemed like a good idea to order this beast.
Honestly, this was a near-perfect lunch. The brat wasn’t too spicy, it wasn’t too cheesy, and it was perfectly cooked. It came with a mountain of fries that soaked up any excess brat juice. The bun was crispy but not difficult to eat. And the onions. My goodness. The onions were the perfect, and only necessary condiment.
Farren’s needs to keep this brat around and consider wading in to the unchartered waters of quality sausages in Champaign. It was that good and I want more of it. Of course they’re known for their burgers — they’re the best in town and they’ll always be “the burger place.” But maybe they can be the burger and brat place too.