All you need to know about our life is that we actually shlepped over from some other part of the South Side once to see if the original est. 1945 location of Polka Sausage & Deli at 115th and Whatever still operated (it looks like, if it still exists at all, it’s a Mexican lunch counter now). Yet somehow we’ve never managed to get to the next generation’s version which opened earlier this year, ten minutes from our house at Fullerton and Clybourn. Nick Kindelsperger at Serious Eats Chicago makes us feel like that much more of a schmuck with his report on this rare thing, a new Polish food business not located on Milwaukee near Belmont. A big focus is sausage making, and another focus is serving the deli products at lunchtime, and the result is:
the smoked Polish sausage ($4.45), which just might be one of the best versions of Chicago classic I’ve ever eaten. No joke. Grilled to order, the casing is crisp, while the insides are tender and smokey, with just enough garlic flavor peeking through. It’s topped with only some strong mustard and sauerkraut—which the deli also makes from scratch. The final masterstroke is a soft onion-studded roll that tenderly cradles the sausage while adding a hint of sweetness.
That’s just for starters. Read it all, there’s time to get there for lunch.