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Apr 4, 2003 06:38 AM

Polish food/grocery in ABQ

  • c

This might be a ridiculous question (is it too much to hope for?), but does anyone know if there's a decent-sized Polish community in Albuquerque?

Coming from Chicago (Warsaw II), I'm used to having numerous Polish groceries within reach. Is there anything remotely close in ABQ? Maybe a general Eastern European grocery or restaurant?


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  1. The only place that comes close is German. The Alpine Sausage Kitchen at 2800 Indian School NW.
    Also, Kellers at 2912 Eubank has a wide selection of meats and sausages and might have some Polish choices. I get Andouille there. Good luck

    2 Replies
    1. re: scottso

      Keller's has good meats, and they have a kolbassi lunchmeat that's good and cheap (they call it "Polish Garlic Lunchmeat" or something like that).

      That said, my Polish friends make their own sausages and mail order from NY and Chi. Sorry.

      1. re: scottso

        I bought smoked kolbasa at the Alpine S H. First time there in 31 years; same owner!

      2. Alas, there is little Polish in ABQ

        You can get excellent Kielbasa and double polish sausages, as well as about 30 other varieties, at Joe S. Sausage on Rio Grande at Griegos in North Valley. Lovingly handmade stuff.

        Look for his place on Urbanspoon/Albuquerque.

        3 Replies
        1. re: larrymcg

          Shenkooya (thank you in Polish), my unasked question is answered!

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Its Polish.....not shenkooya!!!

            1. re: johng58

              Making kapusta to go w/ my kolbasa!

        2. I was at a John Brooks grocery store yesterday (the one at Zuni and San Mateo), and noticed that they had a display of Polish foods (jars of various soups, jams, condiments, as well as juices, sweets, maybe some crackers). It wasn't huge (maybe a 4-foot by 6-foot shelving unit), but it was the most Polish food I've seen all at once in Albuquerque. I meant to ask why they had it, but forgot.

          1. Cafe Istanbul, on Wyoming, has an attached grocery with an Eastern European section, and I've found the management at Ta Lin Market on Louisiana & Central to be pretty good about ordering items customers request, so, although they haven't got much Polish food in stock as a rule, you might want to give them a try. I don't think there's much of a Polish community anywhere in NM and I'm pretty sure there aren't any specifically Eastern European restaurants in the whole state (I grew up in Pittsburgh and lived for years around the corner from a great Polish cafe in NYC, so I miss that food and have looked around for it quite a bit in the years I've lived here). There used to be a place in Santa Fe called Cafe Phenix owned by a lady named Yevgeniya Gozenpud but I'm pretty sure they closed. There does seem to be some kind of connection between Poland's and Santa Fe's arts communities, though. There have been a few pretty great exhibits there of Polish art there in recent years and a place called "Folk Arts of Poland" has been in business on Don Gaspar for about ten years. There's also a store called MR Poster that specializes in Polish poster art. I wonder if the owners of either of those places would have any leads.

            Cafe Istanbul
            1415 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

            8 Replies
            1. re: ninrn

              I grew up near Hazelton and Central Jersey. Thanks for the tip on Istanbull, I've been trying to find it, is it well hidden? And the tip on Talin too. It was the first place I hit on my return to Nm in Aug.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                RE: Istanbul - Unless I'm mixing it up with another place, which is entirely possible, I'm pretty sure it's on the West side of Wyoming, just north of Constitution and has a fairly visible blue and white sign.

                1. re: ninrn

                  No, wait, Cafe Istanbul's sign's red and white, not blue and white. Blue and white's the other place with really good felafel.

                  Cafe Istanbul
                  1415 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

                  1. re: ninrn

                    I get off I-40, turn N. on Wyoming and I look to the left?

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Yes, North on Wyoming from I-40 and CI is on the left. I'm not sure if you can make a left right there or if you can get into the shopping plaza from Constitution. so you might have to make a U-turn at Aspen (just north of Const) so you'll be on the correct side of Wyoming, and then turn right into the shopping plaza. The address is 1415 Wyoming NE. I keep thinking the Istanbul sign is visible from the street, but it may be a bit buried in that plaza. -- Good luck.

                      1. re: ninrn

                        Got it. Thanks I flew out of Albuquerque in Aug. '79 to work in Norway; returned to Albuquerque area in Aug, '10; I know the old area, of which Wyoming is one.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Boy, it must have changed a lot since '79. Welcome back. What do you think of it?

                          1. re: ninrn

                            Too big! When I arrived in '69, no interstates, but a lot of great NM food! I taught at Rio Grande HS; many places w/ no English menu or no menu at all!
                            Blake's green chile burgers seam a little less good and the same w/ the Frontier.
                            There were several Don Panchos w/ their $.99 all you can eat buffet. I loaded up on guacamole. Fourth and Central was a rough area, w/ low riders trying to make sparks as they rode over the RR tracks.
                            I miss Okie Joes, on the corner of Univ. & Central, where the Circle K is. A great college bar w/ entertainment. Nob Hill was "in need of renewal".
                            But the Alpine Sausage House was there and hasn't changed at all!

                            Rio Grande Cafe
                            100 Los Alamos Hwy, Espanola, NM 87532