Nothing has changed
in almost eighty years. Same huge, smoke blackened and
seasoned smokers, same recipes for kielbasa, pierogies,
stuffed cabbage and other Polish specialties.
Third generation of the same family stoking the smokers
and stuffing the kielbasa.
The smoky aroma of
smoldering cherry and apple logs hits as soon as you
turn onto Tilden Street. Walk into their store and the
smoke strikes your eyes. Poke around the corner into the
smoking room and it gets thicker still. Open one of the
three cast iron smoker doors, and the smoke becomes
dangerously enticing, luring you into the smoker, with
the temptation to pull the door closed and nestle in
until properly barbecued. A tasty way to go.
and smoked kielbasa, Czerw's sells extra garlic, cajun and turkey
kielbasa. There is also
bacon, hot dogs, smoked pork butt and pulled pork
shoulder. Pulled pork? "Is that southern or
Polish." John Czerw answered, "Doesn't matter. It's
football season and makes a great sandwich."
Czerw's also makes
a bunch of pierogies. My first time there I went
home with "loaded' pierogies - potato with cheddar
cheese and bacon. The also do cheesesteak
pierogies along with both potato and sauerkraut
Plenty of cooking
going on. They cooked up some kapusta or stuffed
cabbage. There's Bigos too, a Polish hunters stew with
onions and cabbage.
They are proud of
the kielbasa - nothing artificial, no scraps, no
preservatives. Pork butts with fresh garlic and some
Stop by during a
weekday and there's no wait. On the weekend, maybe a few
people in line. During the week before major holidays,
especially Easter and Christmas, there's a line out the
door and down the block. Normally that would be
bad news. But on Christmas, at least, to keep people
warm, they bring the line inside and let folks wait in
the smoke room.
As an aside, I came
up with my own football watching sandwich, courtesy of
Czerw's Kielbasy. Grilled kielbasa, sautéed pierogies,
caramelized onions and stone ground mustard. Doing the
same next week, but adding some sautéed apple, too.