Yanni's Sausage Grill - North Bay Hidden Treasure

A new North Bay link destination

John Vrattos wanted a new career in the worst way.

So after three decades working in sales for two Bay Area bakery chains, he began chasing his secret passion: wurst.

He opened Yanni's Sausage Grill in Penngrove a few months ago, in a 270-square-foot shop outfitted with nothing more than a tiny kitchen, a deli case and a stand-up counter for two.

From that small space come meaty thrills, each split, grilled to order, and laid into sandwiches made with rolls from Full Baking Company.

A basic Italian sausage is handcrafted with plenty of fennel or red chile, then molded plump and firm ($5). Vrattos also produces a phenomenal garlic-mint link ($5), a traditional Greek loukaniko comprising pork, anise and orange ($5).

Yet you've likely never had sausages like his unique creations, including a Greek-style one stuffed with Kalamata olives and Feta ($5.50), or the Socrates, which combines chicken and dried Black Mission figs ($5.45).

New recipes are in the works: At Thanksgiving, Vrattos concocted a turkey link with celery, onions and dried cranberries.

Home cooks may rejoice now, too, as Yanni's recently acquired its retail license.

Yanni's Sausage Grill, 10007 Main St., Penngrove; 707-795-7088