I feel so lucky to live in a city like Chicago where the cultures are so diverse, yet so prominent in each of the neighborhoods. When I was talking with some friends about doing this blog and basing it around pork, they quickly suggested going to a Polish sausage shop in their neighborhood. They frequent it and highly recommended the quality and the great prices. Of course, with recommendations like that, I was on board! I told them they needed to take me and show me this gem! We planned on a day and made it happen.
They live in the Avondale neighborhood which is a bit of a trek from us, especially if you use public transportation, so this was a trip to take in the car. It was snowing earlier that day so the roads were not the best, but that was not going to stop me! We drove down and picked them up. They directed me to the shop that was a mere 6 minutes from their place on Milwaukee Ave. My excitement grew when he pointed out the sign — Kurowski’s Sausage Shop. It wasn’t much, and it my experience, places that don’t look like much from the outside are amazing! We parked and crossed the snowy street. I opened the door and the smell of a European meat shop wafted into my nose. I WAS IN HEAVEN!
I tried to hold back my excited look. I wanted to blend in, but I am sure I looked odd as I ogled at the meat case and the sausages hanging behind. I grabbed a basket and moved forward.
I was greeted at the beginning of the aisle with ponski, a Polish filled doughnut.
I grabbed a bag and filled it with 4 of them. I couldn’t help myself, but had to try. I kept eyeing the busy meat counter. I wanted to go through the aisle first to see if there was any other delight I might grab. I got a few; some unique tea flavors and amazing Polish mustard. I saw some baked goods but held back because I was there for the meat! Then I was there, in line. I didn’t understand a thing written on the meats, it was all in Polish. Luckily, I recognized the cuts of the fresh meat. I passed it by when I saw the bacon on top of the case curing. I wanted that, and just at that moment the woman behind the counter came by. At first she seemed thrown off that I was speaking English, but she quickly changed her language to help me. I pointed to the bacon I saw curing. She asked how much I wanted and how thick I wanted it cut. I couldn’t think what I was going to do with it fast enough. I had thoughts of chopping chunks of bacon into pasta, so I told her to give me the whole slab and not to cut it at all! I started eyeing some other cured meats. I asked her what they where. She called over the butcher to explain to me that one was another bacon while the other was a cured pork loin. I had her slice me a half pound of the bacon. Then I saw the hotdogs. While not pork, they were made with veal and looked absolutely delicious. If you’ve never experienced a European hotdog, I highly recommend it. Since this was a sausage shop, I knew they were made in-house. From there I started to scope out some sausages on the wall. I was really unsure which to get. I honestly wanted to buy 2 of each, but I knew that was ridiculous and there was no way Walter and I could eat that much sausage in a week. I was already over buying, but I didn’t care. I was excited for this. I decided on the BBQ Sausage. I am pretty sure it is because it was the only word recognizable to me, but I received a quick validation from my friend that it was one of their favorite sausages and one that they served at their wedding. I couldn’t go to a European store without getting some cold cuts and cheese, so I selected a Mortadella (which I think was also made in-house) and an edam cheese. While she was slicing those up, I headed back to the fresh cuts of meat and deliberated what to grab. I was craving a pork steak, so focused in on the shoulder cut. It was huge, about 2 pounds. I asked for that to end my shopping. We dropped our friends off back at their place and I could not get home fast enough to try our findings!
They were all amazing and lasted only a couple of days! To the left is what we did with the hot dogs and sausages.
If you ever get a chance to come to Chicago, or live here, you have to check this place out. The people were friendly and the prices were as amazing as the sausages and meat we bought there!