One vibrant ethnic community in Cleveland has that was not really present in Chicago is Slovenian! You can even get a Cleveland Slovenian pride T-shirt! However, where Slovenians apparently make their presence known in Cleveland in sausage-making. There are several places in Cleveland to get traditional Slovenian sausage, as well as at an annual Slovenian sausage fest.
The most famous Slovenian sausage is called Klobasa and is similar to the more familiar Kielbasa. Klobasa is a smoked sausage made primarily made of pork, garlic and sometimes a bit of bacon. Some varieties of klobasa may even contain cheese. We sampled some Slovenian sausage for the first time at J & J Czuchraj Meats in the venerable West Side Market (1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113). This stand in particular has gotten a lot of accolades and outside notice for its smoked sausages, and we were impressed by the quality when we stopped by.
However, J & J Czuchraj Meats is not the only game in town, another fine purveyor of local Slovenian sausage is Raddell’s (klobasa pictured above) on the far east side of Cleveland (478 E 152nd St., Cleveland, OH 44110) in North Collinwood. You can even purchase the smoked sausages to ship right to your door! Another benefit of Raddell’s is that they serve amazing Potica/Povitica, Eastern European nut bread. Azman’s (6501 Saint Claire Ave. Cleveland Ohio 44103) is another purveyor of Klobasa, and they walked away with the 2015 title at the Slovenian sausage festival. Where is your favorite Slovenian sausage made in Cleveland?
Okay, vegetarian and vegan readers, now is the time to look away. So you probably already have, given the leading picture on this post. If you were wondering about that pictures, yes, the entire ceiling covered with meat, spicy Calabrian dried and cured salami, soppressata, to be exact. The Calabria Pork Store (2338 Arthur Ave., The Bronx) in the heart of the Bronx’ Little Italy, is a real throwback, and is one of the only places you can see meat hanging up at a butcher (a practice that used to be common). The soppressata, for which the shop is rightly famous, comes in mild and spicy varieties, and you can buy a whole or half link. However, the soppressata is only half the story, you can buy all manner of other fresh sausage and cuts of meat behind the counter, by unit or weight. To make a meal of it you can also buy provolone, olives and other cold deli items. M got a tub of sliced, cured Calabrian sausage to eat throughout the day in the manner of potato chips. It’s worth it to visit for the atmosphere alone, but the soppressata is the real deal, and is a must-try for any lover of cured meats.
Being a major carnivore, M is always on the lookout for the best meats around. Though we are no longer close by, we wanted to highlight what we think is one of the best butchers in Chicago and on the North Shore: Homestead Meats (1305 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL). Homestead Meats, ever since it opened in the summer of 2014, quickly became our go-to butcher shop. Homestead meats is a small family butcher run by Ehran Ostrreicher, who comes from an Austrian-Israeli family with extensive butchery experience.