Wednesday, August 04, 2010

HFF Quickie: Tony's Darts Away

Good things beget good things. You open up a successful Korean BBQ taco truck, shitty frozen yogurt franchise or beer-slinging sausage kitchen and there will be competitors. Most of these competitors will be craven imitators or third-iteration Michael Keaton facsimiles, but the best will build upon the initial idea and make it its own. Such is the case at the old Burbank dive bar-cum-suds and sausage eatery Tony's Darts Away.

Sure the basic premise is nearly the same as Wurstkuche. There's a broad selection of both conventional and esoteric sausages with your choice of fancy or quotidian toppings and washed down with a broad array of craft draught brews. But Tony's distinguishes itself in a few ways. First, it specializes in American, specifically Californian, micro-brews. Second, the sausages tend a bit more toward the conventional chicken and pork based varieties and less toward the rattlesnake and rabbit end of things. Third, Tony's deliberately targets the vegan and vegetarian crowd with four different vegan sausages and numerous vegan-friendly toppings including veganaise and meat-less chili. Fourth, and most notably, Tony's doesn't do Belgian fries. They make up for this lack of frites with very nice house-made potato chips and the ubiquitous LA sweet potato fry.

The Tony's vibe is still 100% Valley dive bar, albeit cleaned up a bit as opposed to Wurstkuche's post-apocalyptic industrial chic. The friendly staff is well-versed in its beers and readily offers up tastes from the rotating cast of Golden State brews. The sausages were excellent and well-prepared. My pork andouille was plump and moist with pretty respectable heat. My two "small toppings" were Creole mustard and garlic paste, my "large toppings" were sauteed onions and sauteed peppers. I wanted to try the more atypical toppings but I couldn't imagine enduring the mental somersaults required to eat an andouille with mango-melon salsa. Ah well.

For lunch, Tony's packages a sausage with a side salad and potato chips for a very reasonable $8.75 (fully loaded sausages are regularly $6-$7) and the beers start at $4.50 for that rare, elusive LA beast: the proper pint.

It's unfortunate that Tony's is so damn far away from my usual grazing pastures, but it's a nice stop before or after a trip to the airport or if you find yourself stuck in Burbank after your pitch meeting at Nickelodeon.

Tony's Darts Away
1710 W. Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91506
(818) 253-1710

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