The Essentials: Hand-Crafted Sausages That Speak to Phoenix Now and Then

Chris Malloy
Schreiner's Fine Sausage holds down its corner.
Welcome to the 2018 edition of The Essentials, our catalog of indispensable and quintessential Phoenix food and drink. From now until May, we'll be sharing 50 dishes, drinks, and food experiences that make up the culinary backbone (and personality) of metro Phoenix. This list is highly eclectic, mixing classics with newer and lesser-known favorites. But all The Essentials have one thing in common: We think they're required eating (and drinking) in metro Phoenix.

5: Sausage from Schreiner's Fine Sausage

They come from Spanish and English culinary traditions. They come from South African and Cajun gastronomy, from Portuguese and Italian. They are Bangers and Boerwors, Brats and Bologna, Chorico and Chorizo. They are certainly hotdogs, and most definitely wieners. They are hot or mild, smoked or fresh, and they are sold by the sandwich or by the pound. They are eaten in restaurants from end to end of the Salt River Valley. They are meaty, handmade links from Schreiner’s Fine Sausages.

The story of Schreiner’s wide-ranging sausages began in 1955, before Elvis had even recorded "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog.' Hugo Schreiner founded the meaty operations. The Shiller purchased the business in subsequent yeras. “The location is the same as it was over 60 years ago,” a blurb on the Schreiner’s website reads, “right down to the red-and-white paint.”

Many things about Schreiner’s haven’t changed, including shaping the sausages by hand

What has changed, though, as the shop’s esteem has grown, are the kinds of sausages they make, their volume and their reach.

Hugo Schreiner likely could not have foreseen his shop would one day encase maple-bacon-blueberry or pistachio-fig sausages. He probably never could have predicted that his roadside plant would fill spicy beer links. And the chicken-enchilada sausage bunned with tortilla chips on a telero roll at Chase Field? Perhaps nibbled down the third base line? Maybe during late innings in October? You can bet that this creation never flitted through his waking mind.

click to enlarge The bounty. - CHRIS MALLOY
The bounty.
Chris Malloy
You’ll find coins and curls of Schreiner’s sausage in many dishes across metro Phoenix. Schreiner’s is one of those highly regarded producers, a name you see appear in dish descriptions again and again, a word that gives a menu credibility and cachet among eaters of our city.

If you want, you can head to the heart of the sausage operation. Park at the Seventh Street location and bring your appetite, and you can eat links right from the source.

In many ways, Schreiner’s channels a bygone Phoenix. You see aprons and totally un-Instagrammable mounds of ground meat, blocks of unappetizing cheese and fair prices, smiles and genuine hospitality, and the red and white of the squat timeworn building, as faded as memories of the 1950s.

But on the other end, Schreiner's can re-animate past eras.

The place will make you sausages from your old recipes. Say your grandparents, who link your family line to any one of the six sausage-making continents, happened to hone a sausage recipe over the years that to remember gives you nostalgia or chills. Maybe that’s a Sicilian link with fennel seeds, boiled weisswurst from Bavaria, or fire-red Lap Cheong from China. Given the old recipe, Schreiner’s will craft that sausage for you.

Schreiner’s channels Phoenix's past. Schreiner’s channels the present. For then and now  Schreiner’s is a Phoenix Essential.

Schreiner's Fine Sausage. 602 North 7th Street; 602-265-2939.
Tuesday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday.

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49: The Bear at Short Leash Hot Dogs + Rollover Doughnuts
48: Grilled squid and other specialties at Andreoli Italian Grocer
47: I-10 Nachos at Cocina 10
46: Coffee made from ROC2 beans
45: The Haturo Sub Sandwich at Cheese 'n Stuff
44: Zookz at Zookz
43: Jade Red Chicken at Chino Bandido
42: Tasting menu at Quiessence at The Farm
41: Single-origin Papua New Guinea Bar at Zak's Chocolate
40: Green chile at Casa Reynoso
39: Brûlée burger from Paradise Valley Burger Company
38: Hand-pulled noodles from China Magic Noodle House
37: Carne adovada sliders at Dick's Hideaway
36: Crispy Pig Ear and Amaro cocktails from Crudo
35: Chile-laced specialties from Cafe Ga Hyang
34: Martinis at AZ88
33: Nooner at Duck & Decanter
32: Eggs Maximilian at Harlow's Cafe
31: Beef Tacos from Asadero Norte De Sonora
30: Orange Blossom from Huss Brewing Company
29: Rye bread from Yasha From Russia
28: Scotch Beef and Mashed Potatoes from Tarbell's
27: Griddled Corn Cakes and Ramona Farms Super Food Salad at Phoenix City Grille
26: Soup from Reathrey Sekong
25: Lamb tongue sandwich at Haji Baba
24: The Special at Grand Avenue Pizza Company
23: Red chile at Elmer's Tacos
22: Marranitos at La Purisima Bakery
21: Kronuts from Karl's Bakery
20: Beef pies at Chou's Kitchen
19: Bavarian pretzels & schnitzel at Haus Murphy's
18: Red chili burro and sopapillas from Los Dos Molinos
17: Camelback Soda at The Sugar Bowl
16: Brisket Sandwich at Chelsea's Kitchen
15: Taco Hazz from Ta'Carbon
14: Barnone at Agritopia
13: The Jazzy from Emerson Fry Bread
12: Flour Tortillas from La Sonorense Tortilla Factory
11: Peach picking at Schnepf Farms
10: The Purple Fusion at Snoh Shaved Ice
9: Sours from Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
8: Umi No Sachi at Hana Japanese Eatery
7: Carne Asada Tacos from Taquería Los Yaquis
6: Tasting Menu from Different Pointe of View
5: Sausage from Schreiner's Fine Sausage