Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Czerw's Kielbasy

So my friend gave me a pile of "Polish hot dogs" from what looks like the most amazing place in the world. Czerw's does everything old-school Polish style which is why people wait in line for hours for their Kielbasy and homemade pierogies - including a not-so old school but incredible sounding cheesesteak pierogi. Everything is made fresh & smoked right there on a side street in Port Richmond.

I haven't been there yet but every time I look at these photos I want to (thanks Tim). The "Polish Hot Dogs" were nothing like hot dogs, but amazing and reminded me of the smoked sausage my Pennsylvania Dutch grandparents always had on the dinner table.

Gigantic, spicy and super smoky, great for breakfast or cooked with saurkraut. If you wanted to break the rules of regional cuisine these would be great in gumbo, beans & rice, garnish for potato soup, basically anything that calls for sausage or smoked meat.

Czerw's Kielbasy
3370 Tilton Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134


Anonymous said...

I was born in Poland, came here at age 15 and lived in Port Richmond for 18 years. One thing I can tell you that no Pole eats Czerws kielbasa because it is not authentic. In fact if you go to any of the following Polish deli stores such as Polka Deli, Krakus, Piast or Super Delicatessen in you will find that none of them sell Czerws products because no one would buy it. No disrespect to Czerws, but the authenticity has been lost many generations ago, I guess because they wish to cater to a larger audience.

Anonymous said...

dear anonymous, where then would you go in the philadelphia area?

hawk krall said...

Someone's always gonna hate on the most popular place, and for every hole-in-the-wall joint that makes it onto blogs, newspapers or "triple-d" there's 4 or 5 places that nobody's ever heard of, that might have done it first, better, more authentic, whatever..

I totally understand regional / traditional / ethnic foods being part of people's Identity to the the point that they will defend their favorite place with the same voracity that one might argue about health care or immigration or war.. it's kind of amazing.

Anyway I'm new to the world of Port Richmond polish food.. so thanks for the recommendations above (Polka Deli, Krakus, etc) but still think Czerw's is awesome..

It's not really about who's the best or first for me.. more about trying everything, appreciating the variations and discovering how regional foods are born and how they evolve...

Chris said...

I won't argue about "Polish authentic" and being Ukrainian, I know there are differences between our foods anyway. What I do know is, as a kielbasi (or kielbasy, as they spell it) eater of 50 years, Czerw's is this area's king !

We trek to Port Richmond from the NW suburbs a couple times a year (more like a pilgrimage). The foods are great, the prices are right and brothers behind the counter are generous with samples and hospitality. I feel like family there.

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Dadrules said...

What "Anonymous" said is hoggwash. Most small deli's make their own(why buy Czerws) or have moved on to Hatfield or BoarsHeads brands, as they can make more $. Other deli's couldn't sell Czerws for what you can pay at the source.
Lets face it Port Richmond can be a rough area. Many people(too scared /wealthy) wouldn't be caught dead there. The places they frequent DO SELL Czerws up to double the price/delivered. Flavor is everything. They're will to pay for it.
The REAL authentic recipe is has 6 ingredients total- all everyone uses. It's a matter of how much of everything that makes the difference.
Sounds like Anonymous owns a deli w/ ax to grind, taking NO credit for the comment, hence Anonymous..