Someone suggested in another thread that I post my findings on the best kielbasa in Greenpoint, and please excuse any digressions that are about things other than sausage. Just to give you some background, I'm of Polish origin, but born here. I do speak Polish, so I have an easier time of making my way around Greenpoint. Over the years my mother and I have found different butchers for the best versions of different sausages, based on rigorous taste testings! Buy most of these sausages whole, and slice them at home like cold cuts, or grill them up, roast them or dice them and add to omlettes or frittatas, or drop me a line for other cooking suggestions.
Manhattan Ave between Nassau and Driggs
This is the best one-stop butcher in Greenpoint, they make everything on site (as most in Greenpoint do), but I find that their sausages overall have the best flavor. They also have the best bialy kielbasa (fresh white sausage) in NYC. And they don't use "liquid smoke" to flavor any of the meats, as a lot of others do. Sikorski is right next door to Warsaw Bakery, and they always have an enormous cardboard box full of fresh, crusty rye loaves. Grab a loaf (it will be unwrapped) and take it to the counter and have them slice it and bag it for you. Typically I'll buy three or four loaves and freeze them, they defrost and still taste fresh from the bakery. If the bread is still warm - which it very often is, don't get it sliced, because it will get squished in the slicer. Most of the stores in Greenpoint sell bread from the New Warsaw Bakery, but it's noticeably the freshest at Sikorski. The folks here are also much friendlier and more helpful than a lot of places in Greenpoint. They'll let you try anything you like, in fact it's encouraged. I challenge all of you not to buy a whole hunk of roasted schab (pork loin) fresh from the oven and brought from out back...which happens every couple of hours. You can easily eat half of what you bought before you leave the store. If you're lucky they'll bring it out as you walk in, and I can't imagine a better smell in the world.
Recommended for: Krajana kielbasa, bialy kielbasa (white sausage - which is fresh, not cured; used in zurek/white borscht or excellent roasted with onions), Wiejska kielbasa, Kabanos, pastecik (sp? this is a coarse, rustic pate), uncured fresh slab bacon and roasted schab (pork loin)...and fresh RYE BREAD
Steve's Meat Market
Nassau near Manhattan Ave
Steve's is everyone's favorite, and it is indeed very very good, and they rival Sikorski for friendly service. They have a "new" sausage that is a slightly spicier version of Kabanos, it's by no means spicy to a palate that likes spicy food, but it has a nice coarse black pepper kick.
Recommended for: all the sausage, especially the Kabanos (fresh, dried and spicy)
Manhattan near Java
Beata has a rustic, double smoked Krajana sausage that my mother swears tastes just like kielbasa she had as a child in Krakow. It's only available late on Fridays and early on Saturdays.
Recommended for: double smoked Krajana
W. Nassau Meat Market ...most Poles call this place "Kiszka" but there are a lot of other "Kiszkas" in the neighborhood, this place is THE Kiszka
Manhattan near Kent
This is one of the best all around butchers in the city. I have never been here when the line didn't snake around in a double circle inside the shop. Don't ask questions, be prepared to order quickly, and they don't speak a lot of English there. If they have a gorgeous whole cut of meat (beef or pork, Poles don't eat much chicken, so don't expect to find any) that you'd like to make a beef stew or goulash from, they will cube it for you in less than a minute, and it's fascinating to watch - I want their knives! Sometimes, but not always, they have fresh pork tenderloins for a fraction of grocery store prices, typically they're about $5 or so each. I also get pork and veal cutlets, pre-pounded there. They also have the best Parowki, which are like enormous Polish hot dogs an inch and a half in diameter and a little longer than a foot. Typically I avoid their kielbasa (except the Parowki) and cold cuts because I find they have a heavy chemical flavor of "liquid smoke."
Recommended for: fresh beef and pork, Parowki
Manhattan near Kent
Polam has delicious cold cuts, freshly made homemade ham studded with whole garlic cloves. They also have a bucket of pickles in the back that are fantastic.
Recommend for: garlicky homemade ham, pickles
If you're shopping in Greenpoint, and want to sit down and have a bite to eat after you're done, head over to Cafe Relax on Newell just off Nassau, one block beyond McGuinness. It's a luncheonette that has a handwritten menu board above the counter, menu items are in Polish and English (but the English translations are rather funny). Entrees are typically enormous, served with two sides, and run under $6. If they haven't sold out, have a bowl of zurek (or white borscht) redolent with fresh dill, it's served in the traditional way with a half a hard boiled egg floating in it, with slices of bialy kielbasa and a side of mashed potatoes. Take a small spoonful of potatoes, and dip it in the soup as you go. All the pierogi are great (boiled or fried, whichever you like): Russian cheese and potato, sauerkraut and meat filled...the Russian are the best. Nalesniki (stuffed crepes) are great here. The potato pancakes are some of the best outside of my house. The pork and chicken cutlets are great, ask for the raw sauerkraut salad and mashed potatoes as your sides...or buraczki (beets), or the cucumber and sour cream salad. Don't forget to order a beer, Zywiec is one of the best. You can feed 4 hungry people and order a few plates to take home ("na wynos" = to go) for $40 (with beer) and leave so stuffed you're in a food coma.
68 Newel St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Sikorski Meat Market
603 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Steve's Meat Market
104 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
984 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
W-Nassau Meat Market
915 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
952 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
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