The sausage wrap is underrated. It’s too simple to get much attention, but it deserves more than bottom-of-the-menu status. At its most basic, a sausage wrap is a link of sausage wrapped in a single slice of white bread. You can call it a wrap, a roll-up, fold-over, or sandwich. Call it whatever you want (well, maybe “taco” is too far per the comments section, they’re known as “Polish tacos” in South Texas), but it’s probably the cheapest meat item on the menu. Paying $4 would be too much, and I’ve seen it at plenty of barbecue joints for $2.

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Vita’s BBQ sausage wrap cross-section

“What if it’s not on the menu,” you ask? A sausage wrap is always available, as long as the barbecue joint sells sausage, and offers free slices of white bread. From what I’ve seen around the country it’s mainly a Texas thing, and you’d be out of luck anyway if the barbecue joint served biscuits or cornbread exclusively (not many of those in Texas), or if they’ve gone to just serving thick-sliced artisan bread. The game is still on with Texas toast, whose buttered and browned surfaces are a bonus. The point is, all you need to do in most cases is order a link of sausage, then head to the condiment bar. Just like at the ballpark and 7-11, the condiments are always free.

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A well-dressed sausage wrap from Vitek’s BBQ in Waco

I prefer my sausage wraps with raw onions, pickle slices, barbecue sauce, and mustard. The sausage should be positioned diagonally along the square slice of bread before rolling, then you must eat it as fast as possible. That fluffy white bread offers itself up as an ideal blank canvas, but it lacks staying power. The fact that it collapses right around the sausage circumference so readily is why a higher quality bread, even white bread, is actually a detriment to the sausage wrap. I love the sausage at both Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin and Clem Mikeska’s in Temple, but that fancy bread ain’t made for wrapping.

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A sausage wrap at Clem Mikeska’s with good bread means it’s too fat, even for my mouth

That’s brings us to the sausage. Shape is more important than quality. Yes, a great homemade sausage like the German-style jalapeño sausage from Vitek’s BBQ in Waco always helps, but even a mediocre link can sing inside a sausage wrap. Sausage rings will have to be cut in two, as will the longer links at places like la Barbecue, but that’s no problem. Now you have two sausage wraps, and probably your cheapest lunch of the week. Enjoy.