Euro Deli and Market

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Since moving to Latham, one of Albany John’s favorite new food spots is Euro Deli and Market at 106 Wade Road Extension. The staff are super friendly, helpful, and always so sharp looking.

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When you first walk in there are rows of dry goods and shelf-stable groceries on the left. Pickled things, candy things, tea things, giant wafer discs.

There are freezers in the back with some breads (they have a few fresh loaves of bread, too) and vareneky and pierogi.

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There’s a deli counter to the right of the store with a bunch of cured meats, cheeses, and sausages. You can get them sliced or made into a sandwich. They also have hot food options that they prepare very quickly. Their food is so cheap! All of the food we ordered in this post came to about $20, and we ordered a ton of food.

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Even further to the right of the deli was a small dessert counter with paczi they brought up from a bakery in NYC (the person behind the counter couldn’t remember the name). Filled with prune and mixed berries.

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One grilled kielbasa (they split it horizontally) with hot sauerkraut and toasted rye. This is something crazy like $4.

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This is their big combo platter and it might be $7.99 (I kind of forget the prices of everything, just that all of the food we got was about $20.

It’s 4 pierogies (so tender and… pillowy perfection with a little crisping on the exterior), one grilled and horizontally split kielbasa, bigos, and a stuffed cabbage. Albany John loves stuffed cabbage, so he loved this. I thought it was a little heavy on the rice, and but then again I’ve never been much of a stuffed cabbage fan.

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Pancakes of potato with sour cream. So, so good! Crispy exterior, creamy interior.

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Borscht. A gigantic tub of borscht. Beets, carrots, and I think broad beans. Light, earthy/beety & peppery flavor to the broth.

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Paczi. We bought one of each of the flavors. These were likely a day old, so they weren’t that great. Kind of heavy, tough, and stale tasting. Still good with a cup of tea, but pretty dense things on their own.

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And a Maciek chocolate bar to wrap things up. I thought this was like a caramel filled bar, but it was kind of like honey with just a hint of anise/fennel/licorice at the end. Albany John liked it, though.

Saturday Procurements

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Saturday was mega-shopping day. I got over to the Troy Farmers Market. Met up with my sister, the raw fruit-only vegan, and a friend of hers before they went to the vegetarian expo. Man, she is getting skinny only eating raw fruit!
These pickles from Puckers Gourmet Pickles and Kraut were tasty, but too expensive for me at $10 per jar. Made Ba-Tampte pickles look much more affordable in retrospect, although I do appreciate the small-batch pickles. Albany John ate a garlic clove out of one of the three day-cured pickles and then we had to leave because princess couldn’t handle the garlic. (Ahem, that’s what you get for not paying attention to what people are saying, ahem)
I drove over to the Menands market to pick up some produce there. I think their items are cheaper than at the Troy Farmers market, and the vendors are nice, too. I am kind of falling in love with Lansing’s Farm – they’re so smiley and nice!
I also got eggs from another vendor – $1 for a dozen because they were on the small side and from new laying chickens. Heck yes!

Hit up the Olde Polish Deli for some more tasty foods. Albany John finally got to peep the insides, and gave it a thumbs up as well.
The proprietor is incredibly nice, too.

Then I went into the Schuyler Bakery. It’s like 2 blocks down from the Olde Polish Deli. GOSSIP TIME! Okay, so there was this middle aged/older lady asking for some kind of baked goods. Only she wanted them hot and fresh out of the oven. And they only had them cold. The counter guy kept telling her that they only had the one batch, and while there was more in the back, they were all baked, and were from the same batch and would be the same. You would’ve thought he told her that her kids were ugly – she acted SO offended, like she wasn’t asking something impossible and that they “Wouldn’t do this one little thing for me?” She muttered something like “Unbelieveable” and walked out of the door in a huff.

I almost couldn’t hold in the laughter before the door closed. I mean, how oblivious do you have to be to ask for something made fresh at a bakery? It would take at least 30-40 minutes for something to bake, plus there would be time to mix the ingredients, and that’s completely disregarding the idea of making something small batch in a large-scale bakery. I mean, it’s a small space, but bakeries make things in mass quantities.

The guy behind the counter explained that one time, this lady came in when they were pulling them from the oven and got the baked good she wanted hot, so now she expects it the same way every time, but is never nice about it. Heck, if that were me I would 1) be nice, and 2) ask if they knew when they’d be baking them so I could try and get there when they’d be hot. I don’t really know what anyone would expect to be super fresh at close to 1 pm at a bakery that opens its doors at 5 am.

I didn’t have much scratch on me, so I got half a dozen hard rolls for a stellar $1.50. They were a little stale tasting, but I’m guessing they would have been great for an early morning breakfast. As Albany John and I were leaving, the same lady who had a hissy fit in the store drove by us to turn around (it was weird… was she waiting for us?) and said “Can you believe some the nerve of some people?”. Again, I almost started laughing, and Albany John goes “Yeah, SOME PEOPLE are really rude,”

I don’t think she got it. Who waits for someone to leave the bakery to try to get them on her side? That’s just creepy.

So here’s my haul. On the bottom are some deli goods from Olde Polish Deli, followed by 2 large heads of garlic, and those rolls from Schuyler Bakery.
Middle row = eggs, red potatoes, and radishes,
Top row = Tomatoes and Cauliflower the tomatoes were only $1 because some of them were worse for wear. They were a fine salad with the two or three bad bits cut off. I am totally fine with culled local produce. It’s less waste overall, too.

Okay, so I am in LURVE with Mr. Olde Polish Deli guy. We got about a half pound of the smoked swiss (because it is irresistably good), and he cut it perfectly thin, then GAVE US THE END PIECE FOR FREE. FREE.

It was about another half pound. I can see why he did it – who wants to buy an end piece? And it creates so much goodwill to your existing kinda new customers. I was like “WAAAHHHH??!!” It was just so. freaking. nice. Yeah, I think I’m a customer for life now.

They also had potato pancakes. $0.85 each, or three for $2.10. I’ve never really had good potato pancakes, but figured I’d give these a shot. SO GOOD, I’m glad I did. They were smooth all the way through, and mostly potato. They were really good cold (which is almost unheard of for fried things), but excellent reheated on a skillet at home to crisp them up.

The potato pancakes weren’t tiny trifling things either – they were large ovals. Definitely worth the money.


HAM, GLORIOUS HAM! If I ever wonder why I’m not as skinny as my little sister, places like The Olde Polish Deli are why. And I am totally fine with that. How could I ever think of not eating this amazingly good double thick bacon? I will wear my double-digit sized clothes with pride. And I could probably wedge myself into them with a little bacon grease, too. See? It’s a MULTITASKER!


I don’t think I ever put this in a pan – it was just… so good cold. Like the best ham you’ve ever had. It was fully cured, it’s not like I was eating raw bacon. And if I was, I DON’T CARE. POLISH BACON SASHIMI FOR ALBANY JANE!

I forget how much this cost exactly, but I want to say something like $7.89 per pound. I don’t know – max $8/lb. It’s great as a sandwich, it’s great as a snack, I think I even heard it’s working on stem cell research to cure cancer.

The Olde Polish Deli – Pierogies

Last night was something like night 3 without my dear husbear Albany John. I ended up staying in and cooking, and thought that it would be a good time to try out the 6 pierogies I got from the Olde Polish Deli in Watervliet, NY (600 3rd Ave, Watervliet, NY).

Also, here’s a scan of the menu (above). It is a little crumpled and covered in stains, as anything that spends some time in my kitchen will end up. But hey, at least you have a copy.
Hours:
Wed: 12-6, Thurs: 10-6, Fri: 10-6, Sat: 9-5, Sun: 12-5 and they are also closed on the 1st Wednesday of the month.

I got six of the mushroom and sauerkraut pierogies. Six pirogies sounded like the best thing to eat when “single” since I’m a carb whore and having to share only six pierogies with someone else who also likes pierogies is bound to end up in fork stabbings over the last one.

They were all individually frozen and came out of the freezer bag with no problem. None were stuck together or anything.

I tossed them in some boiling water until they floated, then topped them with some butter.

The skins weren’t the chewy variety, but fairly delicate as far a pierogie dough goes. However, I say this having only had my own and mass-produced pirogies as comparison. And my pierogies tend to be freakin’ huge doorstops of dumplings, not these lovely normal-sized ones. I have never known the joy of a pierogie made by someone’s Polish grandmother with a family recipe passed down from generation to generation. But if anyone wants to hook a chicky up… well, I’d be much obliged.

Here’s a dumpling cut in half. A good ratio of filling:dough.

The two primary flavors I noticed were 1) sour (from the sauerkraut) and 2)black pepper. Albany John loves all things sour and peppery, so I suspect I’ll have to make a return trip to buy a few dozen of these for him.

I thought they were okay as-is, but they tasted vegetarian to me and would have benefitted from some meat for a little back bone.

Luckily, I had some bacon fat in the fridge and put just a schmear of it over the dumplings. Oh, heaven. So good – just that little bit of smoky meat really punched up the flavors. I’d say these pierogies would go really well with a kielbasa or other meaty dish.


Meanwhile, since I was kicking it single, here’s what I ate. I’d like to think of it as the United Nations of dinners, and not much different from the variety I normally eat at dinner. Pierogies, some kind of hominy tex-mex stirfry, and crispy fish patties.

The fish patties were just something kicking in the freezer along with the pierogies, so I baked them up, and they are way better than the fish patties I ate as a kid. These weren’t too greasy and crisped up well. I think I got ’em from Hannaford.

The hominy thing was just chopped onions, canned hominy, a few canned tomatoes, a dash of chipotle tabasco, and ton of adobo. But I figured it counted as a vegetable. I had, like, 2 more bowls of it after that first go. To me, hominy tastes like corn tortillas, but has the texture of puffed out but hard corn, if that makes any sense. Either way, way better than corn.

Golumbki from Old Polish Deli

After hitting up the markets of farmers on Saturday, I decided to drive around Watervliet, NY. It’s across the Hudson River opposite downtown Troy, and just a wee bit north of Menands.

I’ve been in the area a few times at night, and noticed Tri-City Food (616 3rd Ave, Watervliet, NY), with signange about discount food. I was luckily there when they were open on Saturday. I found the whole place to be a bit underwhelming. It was a deli on one side, and an order form in an office for other foods plus a few specials on a board on the other side. For the most part the foods were bulk, processed, or both. There were some veggies, but overall it seemed kind of like a Deli Warehouse, only smaller, with less fresh produce, and in Watervliet. To their credit, their items were incredibly cheap, just not something I would find myself buying – pork spareribs, 6 packs of frozen pizza, hot pockets, stuff like that.

But I also saw the Old Polish Deli (600 3rd Ave, Watervliet, NY. 518-326-0943) and was pleasantly surprised with what they had to offer. It was a small store, and had about the space of a small convenience store. There was a deli case with a few meats and cheeses in it, some dry goods, pickles and jarred goods, and a small fridge section.

The owner working was very friendly, and I overherd him talking about his golumbki to two other customers with such pride. He said that he made them himself, with good all natural beef, rice, cabbage leaves, and his own tomato sauce. I know all natural is kind of a toss-out word now, but hey, it made me think that he wasn’t buying from the Tri-City Foods down the road. And besides, when I hear someone with so much pride about something they make and describe it so lovingly, well… I have to try it. I got two for $5 ($2.50 each), and they were quite large.

I also got some smoked swiss ($7.95 per lb) which is super awesome. I think Swiss cheese is kind of bland normally, but oh man does smoking up the flavor profile. Oh, and some pierogies that I haven’t tried yet.

Albany John has made golumbki (golumpki?) before, and… well, I was not a fan of this food before. But I figured that he would like trying them, which is why I got two. And dudes, they were so good that even I liked them. (Sorry Albany John, but your golumbki were no match for these)

They were very large, and just the right texture. The cabbage was soft and pliable without getting that gross farty, soggy cabbage thing going on when they get cooked too much, which is only a little better than when they aren’t cooked enough and are too crunchy. But this cabbage was great. The rice and beef were also tender. I think Albany John didn’t cook his rice long enough, because these were fat little grains of rice, not too much or too little, and full of flavor. Not just white rice mixed in with some ground beef. Overall, it was lots of beefy, meaty flavor, and the grind was just coarse enough that rice and beef melded together.

The sauce was also a knock-out, too. Tart and tangy, it went so well to offset the heaviness of the golumbki itself. What might look like a lot of sauce in a container turns out to be just the right amount to have each bite slathered with tomato sauce.

They are closed Monday and Tuesday, but open Wednesday through Sunday. I forget the hours, but if I can remember to scan their menu in, I will. There was some crazy awesome looking plate deal that was $7.50 for 2 golumbki, pierogies, some meat, and rye bread.