Alternative to closed Polish meat market?
We used to rely on the authenticity, quality and consistency of Victor's European Meats on Hwy 99, but after Victor suddenly passed away last year, his family has sadly closed up shop. Does anyone know if they relocated somewhere? Any suggestions on where else to buy housemade keilbasa, pierogies, and other Polish specialties? Thanks.
Shoot, we were just about to go to Victor's for the first time to seek out some Polish items (specifically, kielbasa) for the holidays. I stumbled upon this article while researching alternatives and I am planning on checking a few of them our this week. I am really only looking for kielbasa for myself (going to make the other items), but I'll try to report back.
Reporting back on our quest for Kielbasa for the holidays. Can't compare any of them to Victor's, since I never went there. Also, because we went on the weekend before Christmas, some of the stores were extremely busy and we couldn't always check out all the offerings. From what I did see, I don't think any of them really had any other items (like pierogi, etc).
1. Gartner's - they do A LOT of business around the holidays. They have a number system for filling your order and when we arrived, there were 108 people ahead of us (not kidding). Someone gave up and just handed us their number, allowing us to jump up about 30 spots. You can order ahead, but be forewarned, you still have to wait your turn in line to pick it up and pay. On to the kielbasa...it was a large sausage that had the consistency of a hot dog, which is to say it was of a very smooth texture. Did not seem too fatty, but the flavor was just OK.
2. Old Country Market - a small market where many of the customers came in and spoke to the people behind the counter in their native language. They make both a polish sausage and a kielbasa; we only purchased the kielbasa. It was the smallest sausage we purchased that day and had the second best flavor. We thought it was the best sausage when taking into account the fat:flavor ratio.
3. Olympic Provisions - we had heard from a friend that they made a great kielbasa, so off we went. It was very good, in fact we thought it had the best flavor of the four we tried, but it was also BY FAR the fattiest.
4. Edelweiss - they looked like they had a lot of great things, but were also crowded and busy, so we just got the sausage and left. This was the only place that did not have a sausage specifically called kielbasa, but they had a couple called polish sausage and I selected one of those. This was our LEAST favorite sausage in terms of flavor. For some reason, it just seemed bland. We will go back to check out their other offerings, though.
This was our informal taste test (and we did grill them all up and try them side by side for comparison). In order, Old Country, Olympic Provisions, Gartners, Edelweiss.
I'd like to update this thread before I go to great expense to ship Polish sausage out from back east. Do we have any updates to the kielbasa scene in Portland? I bought some of Olympia Provisions kielbasa, but it is not spiced as I remember from my childhood. It is good sausage, though. There is a huge Polish store in New Jersey that I have mail ordered from called Piast, but their shipping charges usually equal my order so that's crazy. Surely there are some homesick Poles who make great sausage here in Portland. I was lucky enough to eat Victor's sausage before he passed away. His sausage is the closest to what I remember my grandmother bringing from Buffalo, New York.