My wife and I along with a friend spent this past weekend in Chicago for the opera. Since we all have Polish heritage in our backgrounds (grand mother's), we decided to kill some time before getting the train back to Grand Rapids, Michigan Sunday by paying a visit to N. Milwaukee!
This is a trip I'll never forget! We started at Kurowski's Meat Market about noon on Sunday. Since I was in haste last week to learn a few lines in Polish, it was enough to get us in the door and into the thick of things! The place was packed and everyone seemed in a hurry. We were able to get a nice supply of sausage to take back with us, using the help of a nice lady standing next to me who was kind enough to give me some language assistance.
After leaving Kurowski's, we spotted Endy's down the block on the other side of the street. A quick stop there found the store empty of people and a more relaxed atmosphere for me to apologize to the young lady for such poor Polish and beg for assistance in English! We then added to our sausage treasure some more.
Then there was the bakery right across the street from Endy's. Wow, I purchased a poppy seed filled bread loaf and decided to leave before I lost all control! Those cakes are surely something to die for!
Well our walk back towards Kurowski's took us past the Staropolska restaurant & bar.
What a great place for a dinner and a good Polish beer or two! The gal bartending did speak some fair amount of English, to my relief!
This is one trip I'd love to repeat, but first I need to get some questions answered.
Here at home we have Kiszka, Krakowska (Krah-KUSS-kah) and Kielbasa, both fresh and smoked.
I did all right at Kurowski's with the Kiszka, but it seems there's a variety of Krakowska and the word "fresh" in front of Kielbasa caused me some trouble! So I'd like to inquire to the correct Polish names for these sausages. The same question for liver sausage?
Sunday isn't a day to decide to get a sausage and Polish lesson all in one at Kurowski's either!
I asked the young lady at Staropolska's about Czernina (duck blood soup) and she hadn't a clue as to what I was talking about. Is there a proper Polish name for this soup?
I know that all the rage now is learning Spanish! Okay, taco and burrito, that's enough for me!
I've now decided that before I go back to N. Milwaukee, I'm going to learn some more Polish. I think the folks there appreciated it that I at least gave it a try, speaking to them in their own language.
Grand Rapids is not a big Polish area so I doubt lessons can be had here, and like any thing else, if you don't use it, you're going to lose it!
I do like the audio pronunciation help. So if anyone has any ideas as to something I might be able to get on-line that would offer beginning Polish 101 for dummies, with an audio aid (CD). That would really be great!