Polish in South Jersey, Philly?
I went to Catholic school in a Polish parish years ago, and learned to love kielbasa, pierogi, kluski, etc. I used to count on going back to the school every year for it's carnival, and the hugely popular Polish Kitchen - then the diocese closed the school. This past weekend, the parish held a Fall Festival and resurrected the Polish Kitchen, and after having stuffed myself with 2 years worth of Polish food desire, I'm good for a while. But since the future of this parish is in question (the diocese is plotting to eradicate many older parishes, and incorporate others) I don't know if this Fall Festival will ever be repeated. So - are there any good sources of Polish food in the area? I've tried buying pierogies and kielbasa at the Acme, and they're just not the same. I thought it was just nostalgia, but this weekend I knew there was a huge difference. Polish food isn't exactly spicy, but packaged versions are bland, where the fresh, homemade versions have a real flavor.
There are TONS of Polish places in the Port Richmond and Allegheny neighborhoods of Philly. Drive along Richmond Ave. and Allegheny Ave. and you will find bakeries, little restaurants, and other food purveyors that should more than satisfy your Polish cravings. My favorite is this one: http://www.kielbasyboys.com/ Hard to get to in a maze of one-way streets, but totally worth it. The kielbasa is stupendous, they have homemade pierogies for sale, plus big barrels of pickles and other Polish delicacies.
If you are anywhere near Trenton there is a great Polish deli in the Trenton Farmer's Market on Spruce Street, which is best gotten to off of Rt. 1. They have an amazing selection of keilbasas and bacon and the best pierogies I've ever eaten. They carry a large selection of cured meats and coldcuts you'd be hard pressed to find any where else in the area, fabulous sourdough rye, and a nice selection of prepared foods and imported items from the Old Country, as well as some other good specialty vendors. Definitely worth a trip. The market also has a good range of local farmers as well. The best days to go are Friday-Saturday, which is when the most fresh goods and vendors will be there.
I don't know if you are ever in the area of Philadelphia College of Textiles, but there is a place called the Pierogi Kitchen off of Henry Avenue. It is about a mile west of the campus. A student I met who is a Polish immigrant told me their pierogis are very similar to her mothers; and are great. You can find them on the web; I looked them up once.
In Port Richmond, which is just off the Allegheny exit of I-95 you'll find Krakus Market and Syrenka's on Richmond St., just off of Allegheny. Krakus Market also has a luncheonette, and Syrenka's is a cafeteria style luncheonette.
Around the corner there is Piast grocery store (www.piastonline.com) which is very small but very packed with Polish foods.
Julia's Bakery and Cafe, also on Allegheny Ave, is a lovely little place with gourmet Polish pastries and things like crepes etc.
Czerw's (Kielbasa Boys) on Tilton has wonderful kielbasa, but as someone posted, a bit tough to get to, but worth it. Just map it out. They are take out only.
See pics of Syrenka's food and Piast.