Looking for sausage links? Look no further than Kramarczuk’s. The James Beard Award-winning Kramarczuk’s has been a staple in Northeast Minneapolis since 1954. Founded by Wasyl Kramarczuk and his wife Anna over sixty years ago, Kramarczuk’s has represented the quality and taste of Eastern European foods for decades. The same standards of quality and authenticity Wasyl and Anna implemented years ago are still woven into every product created at Kramarczuk’s. Although known for their delicious deli, don’t look pass the beer selection. With over 30 offerings of imports and local brews to choose from, there is no shortage of beer options to wash it all down and pair wonderfully with the food.
To start this Hump Day Lunch Day, we placed an order for a cabbage role from the variety of ethnic food on the menu. The cabbage roll consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of beef, pork and rice and served with a tomato cream or tomato onion sauce. We paired this dish with the classic Pilsner Urquell. While most lagers give away most of their taste profile in the front of the mouth, Pilsner Urquell only hints at its flavor there. Instead, it develops in the middle, followed by a refreshing, clean finish and balanced aftertaste, practically inviting you to have another. Paired with the cabbage roll, the Beer brings out the tomato character of the cream sauce and the earthy herbal qualities of the pork filling. The crisp, light qualities of the beer cuts through the richness of the dish and cleanses your palate after each bite leaving you desiring more.
Salty, creamy, herbal, a little sweet, and all tasty. Straight from Kramarczuk’s delicatessen, this next dish is the krakowska and havarti with caraway and the house made pretzel plate. As Kramarczuk’s describes their delicatessen, “No, this isn’t Europe, but you will certainly feel as if you are there once you enter our deli. Stop by today to see why we truly are “Minnesota’s most authentic European culinary experience.’” We paired this dish with Schneider Weiss Original. This shiny golden wheat beer with a delicate white head will remind you of blooming nature in summer. The aroma of fresh spices and aromatic flower meadows lead to refreshing citrus and hoppy notes as you take a sip. The light fruitiness of the beer combined with the salty, smokiness of the meat and rich, creaminess of the cheese makes you feel like you’re on the farm with the grandparents having a light snack before dinner picnic. Try it and you’ll understand.
This next pairing was certainly a treat! The cossack paired with Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lager is a gift to your taste buds. You really get a sense of what noble hops really can do. The subtle smokiness of the beer without using smoke malt makes “Helles Schlenkerla Lager” a unique representative of the classic lager beer style “Bavarian Helles”. Right off the bat, your senses welcome the floral aroma of the beer. As you take the first sip, you’ll taste the earthy herbal peppery notes. Now comes the Cossack. A Ukranian Smoked sausage placed on top of a pile of house-made sauerkraut and caramelized onions all topped with melted Swiss cheese. At first the sweetness of the onions and richness of the sausage cuts right through with the beer balancing out the sweetness and showcasing the bitterness of the Noble Hops. Just take a look. You can’t go wrong with this pairing.
Now on to the encore. Chocolate and blackberry? This is a no brainer. For dessert, we paired Kramarczuk’s torte with Crispin Blackberry Pear. The rich, chocolaty goodness is complemented by the sweet-sharp blackberry tang and mouthwatering juicy complexity of Crispin Blackberry Pear. It brings it out the subtle raspberry flavor of the torte. A perfect ending to a wonderful lunch.
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