S&D Polish Deli and Other Quality Meats in Pittsburgh

“Follow me.” Past the shelves of poppy seed rolls and cold cases of pierogis, Agnieszka Sornek leads me towards shelves stacked to the ceiling with the finest jarred goods Poland has to offer –right here in Pittsburgh. I just placed an order at the deli counter for kiełbasa (smoked sausage) and biala (fresh sausage). Now, I’m looking for the perfect embellishments. Pittsburgh is, after all, a center for Polish life in the U.S., a city turned obsessed with the pierogi after approximately 200 years of Poles settling in Western PA.

Delicatessen Delicacies

One settler arrived on the relatively recent side: Sornek arrived at S&D’s Polish Deli 13 years ago from Katowice, Poland and now manages the delikatesy. Referred to as “the show runner” by her culinary and front-of-house team, Sornek was excited to share her beloved home cuisine with me.

It’s summer, and one of Sornek’s favorite times of year for Polish cuisine. She tells me that for her, there is nothing quite like being outside and making food with friends and family, and what better way to do it than with S&D’s freshly prepared assortment of grillable offerings sourced from Polish butchers in Chicago and New York. Sornek adds that some of her kiełbasa comes from a couple of butchers just outside of Pittsburgh, and while they aren’t Polish, their stuff is just as good.

The Best Mustard Ever

Sornek hands to me what she calls the best mustard ever. It says so on a sign her husband placed next to the gleaming, golden jars. I imagine that this musztarda is how they met, reaching for the same jar of the sweet and spicy condiment, only to knock hands and leave the deli with more than mustard. Apparently, it went down some other way. It turns out, the real love-story happened later, when I finally got to prepare my Polish grill dinner.

As I loaded my grilled, juniper smoked kiełbasa into a nothing-fancy bun with sliced pickles and S&D’s house-made kraut, I smeared on a thick layer of the seedy mustard Sornek so adores. After just one bite into the crisp and juicy, briny and smoky, sweet and savory, handheld delight, I realized that S&D’s has everything I need to satisfy my tastebuds on a hot summer evening, and maybe all evenings that follow.

S&D Polish Deli is located at 2204 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District and is open every day except Tuesdays. Orders can be placed ahead by phone or online, but for the full experience in-store browsing is also available.

Other Delis and Butchers in Pittsburgh

Tom Friday’s Meat Market

Brighton Heights

Fresh slabs of beef, stuffed chicken breast, and homemade sausages line the cases at Tom Friday’s Meat Market. Their meats are cut to order right behind the counter plus their flavorful ground chuck is a customer favorite.

Groceria Merante

Oakland

This family-owned, traditional Italian grocery store houses imported meats and other products. Stop in and pick up a string of hot or mild sausages plus plump tomatoes to make your own sauce for a delicious dinner.

Strip District Meats

Strip District

Sausages and beyond at Strip District Meats are unlike anything else out there, partly from their flavor choices. With a constantly changing seasonal menu, you can try sausage types like Apple Bourbon Pork, Red Wine and Garlic Pork, Buffalo with Blue Cheese Chicken, and more.

Weiss Meats

Pleasant Hills

How about cooking up Weiss’ Kolbassi Patties the next time you’re craving a day on the grill? Or you can opt for their Natural Casing Franks if you’re more of a hot dog fan. Either way you’re sure to leave with quality meats at great prices.

Fat Butcher

Lawrenceville

Locally-sourced, pasture-raised beef, lamb, chicken and pork is what you’ll find at Fat Butcher. This shop makes the most of their meat with nose-to-tail butchering. Choose from different cuts of sirloin, pork hocks, lamb shank, and many other options.

Sausage Recipes

Put your freshly bought meats to use by cooking up a dish that lets the sausage be the star.

Sausage Sauce

A simple pasta sauce featuring just six ingredients that can accompany pasta, sandwiches or other dishes.

Easy Sausage and Feta Sheet Pan Dinner

Let the saltiness of feta cheese compliment your favorite flavor of sausage in this easy dinner option

Roasted Sausage Board

Prepare a selection for your guests of decadent roasted sausages, whole grain mustard, your favorite pickles, and sourdough baguette chunks to cleanse the palette.

Spicy Sausage and Greens Soup

Let the heat of your selection of sausage come through in a soup with a tomato base and full of greens.

Story and Styling by Nina Katz / Photography by Dave Bryce

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