|food & drink|
For 42 years, Karl's Sausage Kitchen has occupied the same lot on Route 1, but many commuters just pass it by, not exactly sure what it is -- could it be a 1950s burger joint? Those in the know, however, can hardly bear to pass by without stopping in for some one-of-a-kind carnivorous delights. Now run by Michael Engel, son of the eponymous Karl, the crowded shop carries 30 kinds of homemade sausage, cold cuts, and smoked meats.
Best meat in a tube
With its own smokehouse fueled by hard maple chips (in contrast to the liquid faux-smoke process favored by many store brands), Karl's knocks our socks off with a German bratwurst of intense woody flavor -- not to mention a hot-selling smoked bacon and a "rost" bratwurst, made with whole caraway seeds, intended for grilling. Engel makes no bones about the quality of his products: "You just can't compare commercial sausage to what we do. A home-cooked meal is a home-cooked meal." The walls are lined with imported goodies to round out the meal -- from sauerkraut to candy -- but the heart of the store is a glass case full of the sausages that have been the family's labor of love for all these years.
Karl's Sausage Kitchen, 142 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus, (781) 233-3099.