Culinary Explorer: Polonez Meat & Deli

Polonez Meat and Deli
25 Facer Street
St. Catharines, ON L2M 5H4

Every time I visit my brother Ed and his family in Niagara, we must… and I do mean must… go to the Polonez Deli – a wonderful little slice of the old country. Walking through the door is indeed like entering another world, all Polish goodness and aromas conjuring up memories of not only childhood, but my own adventures of a trip to Poland just a few years ago.

Nondescript from the outside, it gives no indication to the world of goodness within. A tiny haven of all things Polish, of course including many choices of kiełbasa, chleb, ogórki – sausage, bread, pickles… but also bakery goods such as poppy seed strudel and pączek, plum preserve stuffed donuts. In addition you’ll find a variety of imported products such as pickled beets, sauerkraut, mustards and mayonnaise, as well as a selection of jams, chocolate and candies. The hot food table includes cabbage rolls and there’s also a freezer section with homemade pierogi and kluski, little potato dumplings – very similar to gnocchi.

The last time we went, it was my sister in law, the kids and myself. While my 15 year old niece, who will pull out her Polish to say thank you and good bye had been before, I believe it was the first time for my 6 year old twin nephews. When the boys started losing interest and getting somewhat rowdy as boys will do, they were quickly silenced when one of the lovely Polish ladies behind the counter produced suckers for them. How kind! How clever!!

Whatever you do, when entering don’t forget to take a numbered ticket if you want anything from the deli or hot food table (if I didn’t make my own cabbage rolls, I would be buying theirs). If you do forget, you’ll have plenty of extra time to contemplate the selection of kielbassa!

HEAVEN!! This photo shows just the variety of sausage in the deli and hot food counter – it runs almost the entire length of the store.


Fave candy from childhood…. we still call them ‘cow candies!’

When we do get home and if it’s anywhere near a meal time, we set out what is affectionately called “Polish lunch.” While my niece is not fond of it, my nephews cannot get enough. We sit around the table, with the Polish bounty… some small cutting boards and paring knives… and dig in. My nephews always like to hear stories of how their dad, myself and their other aunts and uncles grew up. They usually get a big laugh out of hearing them, mostly because they can’t imagine growing up on a farm and what type of life that would be. Amidst the laughter and teasing, sausage is sliced, cheese and pâté are spread on rye bread or crackers, dill pickles are being munched on…. memories are being made. This IS what it’s all about. There is no better way to form bonds and strengthen relationships, than sitting down together at the table. Smacznego. Pleasant appetite.