Not his grandfather’s bratwurst

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Schaller & Weber’s spinoff sausage stand goes (partly) vegan


  • Co-owners of Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar Jesse Denes, left, and Jeremy Schaller with recently added vegan selections to their menu. Photo: Katie Foster

  • The Sweet Sicilian, a sweet Italian "sausage" served up with caramalized onions and peppers and a balsamic drizzle is among the recent vegan additions at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar. Photo: Katie Foster

A sausage stand with old-school, carnivorous connections selling links made with peas, fava beans and rice? It might seem a stretch, but it’s exactly what you can get at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar in Yorkville.

Just over a month ago, representatives from Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles company, got in touch with Jeremy Schaller, the third-generation owner of Schaller & Weber’s butcher shop, and offered him the opportunity to be the first to sell one of its “Beyond Sausage” creations in the city. He took a chance, and then a bite.

“It was overwhelmingly better than I expected, I was amazed by the texture, which was very meat-like, and the spice blend, which tasted like a real sausage,” said Schaller, 39, recalling that first taste.

Two short weeks later, the Second Avenue stand had new menus and was selling three varieties of vegan “sausage”: the Beyond Classic, a “bratwurst” with sauerkraut and mustard; the Sweet Sicilian, a sweet tuber with onions, peppers and balsamic reduction; and the Banh Meat, a spicy link with carrot-daikon slaw, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapenos and Sriracha aioli. All are served on a pretzel bun.

“I’ve got a great team working for me and they really pulled it off,” Schaller said about the fast incorporation of the new products.

The stand’s manager, Opes Sehindemi, said they are selling very well. “It’s something that tastes just as good as the pork sausage,” she said.

Schaller said there have been days that Beyond Sausage has outsold his other offerings. “It’s been about 35 percent of all sausage sales at the Stube. And the best part is that the clientele is all new customers,” he said. “If and when the initial buzz dies down, we think it’ll be between 10-20 percent of the business, which is outstanding.”

On a recent Monday evening, Matt Schutzman, 26, usually a meat eater, waited for his Banh Meat link. “My girlfriend’s vegan, so I’m a part-time vegan. This is my third time and I’m a big fan. For me, to get a very similar taste while impacting the environment much less, is very important.”

Brandon McGregor, 45, who lives in the neighborhood, said the vegan offerings were “wonderful.” “I’ve ordered five or six times in two weeks.... The preparation — the sauerkraut, really good mustard and the pretzel bun make it so very satisfying.”

Later this year, Schaller and his business partner, Jesse Denes, plan to open Stube Sausage Bars on the Lower East Side and in Austin, Texas.

“Both locations have a high demand for vegan options,” Schaller said. “There’s always going to be an increased demand for vegan products and this has made a huge impression on our business and will remain a staple on the menu going forward.”

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