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Polish Sausage

Polish Sausage
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  • Do you like your onions grilled or raw? Poll ended at March 7th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Grilled
    95%
    61
    Raw
    5%
    3
    Total votes : 64
  • Polish Sausage

    Post #1 - March 4th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Post #1 - March 4th, 2008, 10:25 am Post #1 - March 4th, 2008, 10:25 am
    I'd like to find the best Polish Sausage spots in the city. My brother, who moved to Austin, TX from Chicago 18 years ago, is coming to town for a visit. His one request is to get a good polish sausage while he's here.
    I know they make a good polish at Charcoal Delights by North Park.
    Can we make a list of good joints to get polish?

    Charcoal Delights
    3139 W Foster Ave
    Chicago, IL, 60625
    (773) 583-0056
  • Post #2 - March 4th, 2008, 10:41 am
    Post #2 - March 4th, 2008, 10:41 am Post #2 - March 4th, 2008, 10:41 am
    To my mind, the best Polish in town can be found at Wolfie's on Peterson just east of California. There are many who wold argue for Jim's Original or Maxwell St. Express, but I don't care for those overly porky versions.

    Wolfy's
    2734 W. Peterson Ave.
    773-743-0207
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - March 4th, 2008, 10:51 am
    Post #3 - March 4th, 2008, 10:51 am Post #3 - March 4th, 2008, 10:51 am
    I go to Wolfy's regularly and it's a fine place. My only problem with them is that I find their polish a bit dry. I don't think it stands up well to the onions.
  • Post #4 - March 4th, 2008, 10:52 am
    Post #4 - March 4th, 2008, 10:52 am Post #4 - March 4th, 2008, 10:52 am
    Cathy2 organized a polish tasting for a pretty good number of LTHers at Weiner and Still Champion a couple of years ago. I don't remember how many different sausages from how many different suppliers we tried (it was at least five) but I believe Gus is still serving the winning polish there.

    Weiner and Still Champion
    802 Dempster
    Evanston
  • Post #5 - March 4th, 2008, 11:42 am
    Post #5 - March 4th, 2008, 11:42 am Post #5 - March 4th, 2008, 11:42 am
    what about mustards in evanston?

    they deep fry their polish!
  • Post #6 - March 4th, 2008, 12:26 pm
    Post #6 - March 4th, 2008, 12:26 pm Post #6 - March 4th, 2008, 12:26 pm
    I like Mustard's but I haven't had their Polish. I'll check it out.
    It's a busy place at lunch time. Good news.
  • Post #7 - March 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Post #7 - March 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm Post #7 - March 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Not the top of the list but I like the Polish at Quick Bite on Western. They deep fry it!

    Quick Bite
    5155 N Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    (773) 989-4918
  • Post #8 - March 4th, 2008, 1:29 pm
    Post #8 - March 4th, 2008, 1:29 pm Post #8 - March 4th, 2008, 1:29 pm
    For me, a Polish should be porky, not beefy, so I'm definitely in the Maxwell Street Polish camp (although I think they use a blend of pork and beef, do they not?). Anyhow, growing up, all our Polish sausages from the Polish deli were either pork or pork & beef/veal (never 100% beef), and mom would butterfly it down the middle, score the edges, and fry both sides to a beautiful crisp with copious amounts of onions (cut into half moons).

    So, my vote as far as fast food Polish goes, would be Maxwell St. Express.
  • Post #9 - March 4th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Post #9 - March 4th, 2008, 4:23 pm Post #9 - March 4th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Jim's original for me.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 4:59 pm
    Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 4:59 pm Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 4:59 pm
    We deep fry as well and finish on the char grill.
  • Post #11 - March 4th, 2008, 5:10 pm
    Post #11 - March 4th, 2008, 5:10 pm Post #11 - March 4th, 2008, 5:10 pm
    According to some of the parties involved, who spoke at the Stuffed symposium last fall, Maxwell St. Express serves Vienna Beef polish sausages, so no pork there. IIRC, Slotkowski (now owned by another entity) supplies Jim's Original.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #12 - March 4th, 2008, 5:29 pm
    Post #12 - March 4th, 2008, 5:29 pm Post #12 - March 4th, 2008, 5:29 pm
    Hi,

    Slotkowski is owned by Leon's, which also orginated the Sausages by Amy brand.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - March 4th, 2008, 5:47 pm
    Post #13 - March 4th, 2008, 5:47 pm Post #13 - March 4th, 2008, 5:47 pm
    My favorite Polish is from a very ugly place. It's small, it's old, it's ugly and can get crowded. It's Gina's in Bensenville. Great fries and a Polish deep fried. I don't know about the onions since I don't use them. I suspect they are raw. But I'm one that believes a sausage should have it's own flavor and be able to stand on it's own (not literally).

    Gina's
    1222 W Irving Park Rd
    Bensenville
    (630) 766-1841
  • Post #14 - March 4th, 2008, 5:54 pm
    Post #14 - March 4th, 2008, 5:54 pm Post #14 - March 4th, 2008, 5:54 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:According to some of the parties involved, who spoke at the Stuffed symposium last fall, Maxwell St. Express serves Vienna Beef polish sausages, so no pork there. IIRC, Slotkowski (now owned by another entity) supplies Jim's Original.

    =R=


    One or maybe both of those locations offer a choice of a "regular" or a beef only polish. I've tried the beef only version(s) and they still have a taste that is different (smokier/porkier) than the Vienna Polish and Hungarian sausages I grew up with at Flukey's and (later) Wolfie's. I guess that's why I strongly prefer the Wolfie's Polish to either of the Dan Ryan bastions of Polish Sausage. Sadly, Flukey's (or whatever the new name is) long ago changed to an inferior Polish.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - March 4th, 2008, 6:08 pm
    Post #15 - March 4th, 2008, 6:08 pm Post #15 - March 4th, 2008, 6:08 pm
    stevez wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:According to some of the parties involved, who spoke at the Stuffed symposium last fall, Maxwell St. Express serves Vienna Beef polish sausages, so no pork there. IIRC, Slotkowski (now owned by another entity) supplies Jim's Original.

    =R=


    One or maybe both of those locations offer a choice of a "regular" or a beef only polish. I've tried the beef only version(s) and they still have a taste that is different (smokier/porkier) than the Vienna Polish and Hungarian sausages I grew up with at Flukey's and (later) Wolfie's. I guess that's why I strongly prefer the Wolfie's Polish to either of the Dan Ryan bastions of Polish Sausage. Sadly, Flukey's (or whatever the new name is) long ago changed to an inferior Polish.

    Interesting. There has always been a certain mystique to the Maxwell Street dogs. I do know that the versions served down on (no longer) Maxwell Street are generally proprietary, so that probably explains why they taste different. They are different.

    I grew up with Sinai 48 (that brand is now owned by Best's Kosher), so neither of the transplanted Maxwell St. places line up with my earliest memories, either. But I've rarely met a sausasge I didn't like, so both of those Maxwell St. entities make for an enjoyable stop, every once in a while. I used to love Poochie's (in Skokie) version but it's been quite some time since I was there. Another one I used to enjoy was Big Al's in Glencoe, which burned down long ago. They served some version of a Vienna polish that was deep-fried and utterly delicious.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #16 - March 4th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Post #16 - March 4th, 2008, 6:19 pm Post #16 - March 4th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I used to love Poochie's (in Skokie) version but it's been quite some time since I was there.


    Poochie's Polish used to be great, but when it changed hands, they switched the Polish and it's no longer nearly as good. The salami on french bread is now my go to Poochie's sandwich.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - March 5th, 2008, 6:55 am
    Post #17 - March 5th, 2008, 6:55 am Post #17 - March 5th, 2008, 6:55 am
    I'm in NYC for the month of March, finding myself missing a big, juicy deep-fried Polish from here.
  • Post #18 - March 5th, 2008, 2:13 pm
    Post #18 - March 5th, 2008, 2:13 pm Post #18 - March 5th, 2008, 2:13 pm
    any polish i've ever had at a hot dog stand pales in comparison to the real deal from a polish deli like andy's.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #19 - March 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    Post #19 - March 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm Post #19 - March 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    Same name, different beast (well, not really, but you know what I mean).
  • Post #20 - March 5th, 2008, 2:40 pm
    Post #20 - March 5th, 2008, 2:40 pm Post #20 - March 5th, 2008, 2:40 pm
    slandering the kielbasa!
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #21 - March 5th, 2008, 5:24 pm
    Post #21 - March 5th, 2008, 5:24 pm Post #21 - March 5th, 2008, 5:24 pm
    Paul SL wrote:I'm in NYC for the month of March, finding myself missing a big, juicy deep-fried Polish from here.


    Paul,

    If you get into the city, give Danny Meyer's Shake Shack in Madison Square Park a try. Vienna Beef hot dogs with all the trimmings. They aslo serve excellent cheeseburgers and shakes. Check out the wait on line via their "Live Shack Cam." www.shakeshack.com

    Take care.

    Mark
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #22 - March 5th, 2008, 5:55 pm
    Post #22 - March 5th, 2008, 5:55 pm Post #22 - March 5th, 2008, 5:55 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I do know that the versions served down on (no longer) Maxwell Street are generally proprietary, so that probably explains why they taste different. They are different.


    If I remember correctly from last year's Sausage Symposium, the Jim's Original is basically an off-the-shelf Slotkowski modified in size but not recipe (I believe they wanted one with a somewhat smaller diameter than the standard). Could a different shape affect taste? Probably.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #23 - March 5th, 2008, 6:12 pm
    Post #23 - March 5th, 2008, 6:12 pm Post #23 - March 5th, 2008, 6:12 pm
    Jiimmy's on the corner of Grand and Pulaski. I know this neighborhood is ghetto as hell, but this used to be like everything west of Humboldt Park, the largest community of Polish outside of Warsaw. Check it out.
    Dan
  • Post #24 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm
    Post #24 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm Post #24 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm
    Onions, either grilled or raw, are fine but real men like their Polish sausage garnished with a half-pound cheeseburger.

    Image

    That's-A-Burger
    2134 E 71st St
    Chicago
    773-493-2080
  • Post #25 - March 5th, 2008, 6:31 pm
    Post #25 - March 5th, 2008, 6:31 pm Post #25 - March 5th, 2008, 6:31 pm
    danimal79191 wrote:Jiimmy's on the corner of Grand and Pulaski. I know this neighborhood is ghetto as hell, but this used to be like everything west of Humboldt Park, the largest community of Polish outside of Warsaw. Check it out.
    Dan


    Oh, no, my friend. That's no ghetto, that''s my old 'hood.

    Jimmy's is like nothing else. And as the years go by, the grittier the atmosphere & clientele, the better!

    NO KETCHUP! NEXT!!
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing!
  • Post #26 - March 5th, 2008, 9:32 pm
    Post #26 - March 5th, 2008, 9:32 pm Post #26 - March 5th, 2008, 9:32 pm
    Jiimmy's on the corner of Grand and Pulaski.

    Count me as a fan of Jimmy's Red Hots. I go for the wonderfully seedy atmosphere, for the classic natural casing dogs, and especially for top-notch fries but the boiled Vienna brand Polish just doesn't do it for me. Also, no grilled onions are available, only raw.

    . . . this used to be like everything west of Humboldt Park, the largest community of Polish outside of Warsaw.

    You are correct that there used to be a significant Polish presence in the area, but the densest Polish neighborhoods were never west of Humboldt Park. Have a look at this excellent article from Encyclopedia of Chicago that discusses Polish migration to Chicago and the evolution of Polish neighborhoods in the city. Be that as it may, are hot-dog-stand Polishes usually associated with Polish neighborhoods? That's not my impression.
  • Post #27 - March 6th, 2008, 7:47 am
    Post #27 - March 6th, 2008, 7:47 am Post #27 - March 6th, 2008, 7:47 am
    chicagostyledog wrote: give Danny Meyer's Shake Shack in Madison Square Park a try.

    Darn, I was only a block from there yesterday. I'll just have to head back that way later this week.
  • Post #28 - March 6th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Post #28 - March 6th, 2008, 11:32 am Post #28 - March 6th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Rene G wrote:
    Jiimmy's on the corner of Grand and Pulaski.

    Count me as a fan of Jimmy's Red Hots. I go for the wonderfully seedy atmosphere, for the classic natural casing dogs, and especially for top-notch fries but the boiled Vienna brand Polish just doesn't do it for me. Also, no grilled onions are available, only raw.


    I prefer a natural casing Polish smothered with grilled onions. A skinless Vienna Beef Polish, the same served at Jimmy's, when deep fried and finished off on a grill mimics the flavor pattern and the "snap" of a natural casing deep fried Polish. Martino's in Milwaukee is one of the few places serving a Polish using this method. I wouldn't have believed it, until I tried it.

    Martino's Italian Beef
    1215 W Layton Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53221
    414-281-5580
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #29 - March 6th, 2008, 9:08 pm
    Post #29 - March 6th, 2008, 9:08 pm Post #29 - March 6th, 2008, 9:08 pm
    My favorite remains Jim's. I had my first Polish (and Pork Chop sandwich) from Jim's after a Hawks game when they were still located on Maxwell & Halsted and Bobby Hull was playing for the Hawks.

    However I must confess that eating off the hood of your car (as we did then and still do now) while adding greatly to the experience, can be a problem for some folk this time of year.
    "I drink to make other people more interesting."
    Ernest Hemingway
  • Post #30 - July 10th, 2021, 8:59 am
    Post #30 - July 10th, 2021, 8:59 am Post #30 - July 10th, 2021, 8:59 am
    Skunked on Fixin’ Franks Maxwell Street Polish with JP Graziano giardiniera, they were making more but it was 20-minutes, I decided to roll my own. In the Tribune article Nick Kindelsperger mentions Fixin' Franks sausages come from Makowski's Real Sausage Company. Makowski, a South Side Chicago company, mentions on their web site Costco carries Maxwell Street Polish.

    Fired up the '88 AMC Pacer and off I went. Pork/beef, snappy, juicy, distinct garlic, a third of a pound of pure natural casing Polish perfection. Wow, this is a terrific Polish!

    As does Fixin' Franks, I went steamed poppy seed bun, caramelized onion, giardiniera, mustard. Though the mustard was my giardiniera/mustard mix. The only thing missing was the King of giardiniera JP Graziano, I used Tony's giardiniera, an Edison Park Italian deli.

    Makowski's Maxwell Street Polish is a top-tier Polish, right up there with Josephs Finest Meats stellar natural casing hot dogs. I suggest you have one this week, either at Fixin' Franks or roll you own from Costco.

    Makowski's Maxwell Street Polish, count me a Fan!

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    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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