European Homemade Sausage Shop
|Shopkeeper Frank Jakubczak
Poland native Frank Jakubczak’s humble South Side sausage shop has changed little since its opening in 1973, and its loyal customers wouldn’t have it any other way. No other shopkeep in town has such a lofty reputation for the fresh Polish link, the peppery Hungarian or the finger-sized “Polish delight.” On an afternoon in March, Jakubczak was making about 125 pounds of blood sausage with the help of an assistant who said the two added a liter of pork blood to the mixture – for coloring purposes only. Don’t forget to pick up a kiszka, the hefty Eastern European favorite stuffed with tooth-tender barley. Cut the casing open and dump the dark contents into a pan. Delicious. 1985 S. Muskego Ave., 414-384-7320, eurosausage.com.
The meat aisle at the city’s only Asian megastore dazzles with the purples and reds of animal life. Pork kidneys, pork livers, turkey feet, beef neck bones and chicken gizzards all go for reasonable prices. So do thick cuts of pork with the rind still attached. 5455 S. 27th St., 414-308-1095.
For knackwurst with a satisfying snap, consult the elves at the same place President Barack Obama shops for sausage when he’s in town. He’d have been wise to buy a couple coils of Usinger’s saucisschen, the Downtown deli’s savory breakfast sausage that comes impaled on a wooden skewer. 1030 N. Old World Third Street, 414-276-9105, usinger.com.
Roberts’ Specialty Meats
The beef jerky is so powerfully flavorful that it’s almost a delicacy. The Irish banger sausage is also some of the area’s best and well-suited for a plateful of belly-warming bangers and mash. 135 E. Sunset Dr., Waukesha, 262-549-6328, robertsspecialtymeatswaukesha.com.
Ries’ Sausage Plus Spirits
This place sells a few meats that grew up somewhere off the beaten path, including elk steaks and burgers, and rabbits ready for stewing. The elk come from West Bend’s very own Meadow Creek Elk Farms. 1435 W. Washington St., West Bend, 262-334-4355, sausageplusspirits.com.
El Rey and Cermak Fresh Market
Chorizo releases a red ichor when it cooks that’s as good as any taco sauce for wetting a tortilla. We snacked on the Mexican sausage from both El Rey and Cermak and honestly couldn’t decide between the two. We recommend repeating the experiment. El Rey: multiple locations, elreyfoods.com. Cermak: 1541 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee, 414-988-9051, cermakfreshmarket.com.
Riverwest newcomer Scardina fills casings with both traditional and unexpected mixtures, including a “Reuben” sausage stuffed with corned beef, kraut and Swiss cheese. Ready-to-cook spiedini kabobs make even culinary dunces look skilled, as does pizza sausage sold in bulk. 822 E. Chambers St., 414-395-3369.
Ray’s Butcher Shoppe
The adventurous fowl-eater will find much that’s tempting, including fresh turkeys, game hens and even geese. Ray and friends also make venison sausage, but only if you supply the deer. 4640 W. Loomis Rd., 414-423-1322, raysbutchershoppe.com.
Glorioso’s Italian Market
Of all the Italian sausages concocted by Eddie Glorioso (above), Milwaukee’s leading octogenarian butcher, the cheese and pepper variety is his favorite. But don’t overlook the mild or Tuscan Basil links at Glorioso’s, a neighborhood standby. 1011 E. Brady St., 414-272-0540, gloriosos.com.