Friday, June 5, 2009
Rolf's Pork Store (Corner of Lexington and Sheridan in Albany, NY)
Surely anyone with even a passing interest in good food who hails from the Capital Region has heard of Rolf's Pork Store (they don't have their own web page, word of mouth surrounding the establishment is mighty). Rolf's is located on the corner of Lexington and Sheridan in downtown Albany and it has been there since time immemorial. That is something that I love about the place, it stubbornly refuses to budge from its location as so many other businesses have. Lets just say that Lexington Ave. is not one of the areas safest neighborhoods. Boarded up houses and shuddered shops abound in the midst of the urban plight that is so common place in the Empire State's capital. Rolf's lives on like a porky oasis.
Rolf's makes a plethora of German wurst's and cold cuts in-house. Prices are extrordanarily reasonable and the quality of their products is unimpeachable. Here is a shot of the wurst bearing side of their cold case. A work of art worthy of a museum.
Here is the cold cut side.
If you are anything like me, you are in heaven in this store. The establishment is run by family and you can tell. The staff is friendly and engaging, besides being absolute experts in the arts of old time German-American butchery (a rare and dying breed in our present era of processed and mass produced grocery store crud in a tube). On this trip I picked up some whitewursts, knackwusts, and tiny frankfurters (see Capital District Hot Dog Micro-Region for more on Capital Region mini hot dogs).
I also picked up some of my favorite Dusseldorf mustard. It has kind of a whipped consistency and comes in a tiny beer mug. I love this stuff and can never find it since I left the full time Army, I used to grab it in the small German section of most commissaries on posts.
As you can see, I also got some curry ketchup. I have been interested in trying to recreate the ubiquitous German fast food snack Currywurst for quite some time. This condiment is an essential part of the dish.
I am going to share these delicacies with some friends tomorrow at a cook out. If you have never been, I encourage you to drop in. I challenge you to leave the place without dropping at least 50 bucks. If you are rolling out the old grill for a get together, throwing some Rolf's product on there will definitely impress your guests. It is also, in my humble opinion, imperative that us locals support one of our last true neighborhood butcher shops (BTW, see here for another of my favorite local butchers, Greulich's in Guilderland).