Hot Dog of the Week: Otto's Sausage Kitchen in Portland, OR
Otto's has been on my radar for quite a while, having secured positions in various Best Hot Dog in America articles including our own. One of the few places left in the country that both makes and serves their own hot dogs, Otto's is an 80-year-old traditional German sausage shop and market that charcoal grills their homemade encased meats in front of the store seven days a week.
Otto's outdoor grill is open every day from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., serving a variety of traditionally made dogs and sausages. The Old Fashioned Wieners are beef and pork, natural casing eight-to-a-pound dogs, stuffed and smoked on site.
Watch them being made on this clip from Diners Drive-Ins and Dives from a few years ago. There's also the larger quarter-pound frankfurters, as well as bockwurst, garlic sausage, andouille, even Mettwurst.
Hot from the grill, the dogs are served with minimal toppings and your choice from a wide variety of mustards, ranging from German Dusseldorf to the not-as-traditional jalapeno and Cajun creole mustard.
Much more than just a hot dog stand, Otto's makes all sorts of smoked and cured meat products, available to take home or served on their sandwiches made fresh at the deli inside the store. There's also homemade soups, salads, and a great selection of European and local wine.
A traditional European sausage shop where you can also sit down and eat lunch is insanely unique already, even more so for Portland where you're more likely to find cream cheese slathered veggie dogs than old school German wieners hand made from an 80-year-old recipe.
It's also great to see Otto's wieners and sausages available to purchase online. Although I'm sure the shipping costs are steep, the prices are pretty reasonable for mail-order sausage at $6.99 for a pound of dogs or $26 for a four-pound "mixed grill" variety pack.
Otto's Sausage Kitchen
Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.