If you're ever looking for a legit spot to buy Eastern European inspired sausages and other delicacies, then your best bet is to head over to Kramarzcuk's in Northeast Minneapolis. I've enjoyed several of their awesome sausage sandwiches, but felt like trying something outside of their sweet-spot (likely a result of over-indulging on Chicago-Style dogs while watching the Twins take it to the Cubs last weekend).
After rolling several of their hot bar options around in my head, I decided to go with something that was still authentic, but a little different from anything I'd had there before: the krakowska sandwich. I'll admit that I had no idea what krakowska was, but a friendly staff member quickly informed me that it was a house-made ham spiked with a bit of garlic - works for me.
I chose the rye roll over the basic white and selected Swiss after a short battle with havarti for my cheese option. Before they started constructing the sandwich I was asked if I wanted it warmed up, so of course I pulled the trigger on that and patiently observed as they built my lunch.
They really stack on the krakowska and melted a thick piece of Swiss over the hill of ham before asking me if I wanted any fresh veggies on top. I went for thin slices of green pepper, tomato, and some lettuce. I held off on the red onion because it looked like it was thick enough to dominate the sandwich, and I knew the onions would make my breath smell like hot garbage - I wanted to spare my coworkers.
The karowska was really good, with an authentic pork flavor that was not overwhelmed, but rather enhanced by the light garlic accent. The Swiss melted nicely offering a good balance of tang and creaminess in contrast to the salty pork - these two elements alone would have made a really nice sandwich. The karowska was easily the best part of the meal as the rye left much to be desired and the fresh toppings seemed to only offer a distraction to the awesome meat and cheese. Finally, their honey mustard pulls off the perfect sweet-to-tang ratio that added a needed spark to the finish on each bite.
Sandwich rating: Tasty. The Krakowska was a winner and the Swiss a perfect partner, but I would have expected slightly bigger flavors based on previous experiences. It's a shame to see so many people jamming the sidewalk seats at the neighboring Chipotle and Panera when they have access to such a unique Minneapolis institution just right down the block. Thankfully, it leaves more for us!
Epic Sandwich copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins