Which deli is the best in any city will be a never-ending debate. There are so many styles of delis in Seattle: New York and East Coast, Polish, German, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Italian and Greek. I’m not going to say that I know or have been to the best, because it will only be contested. However, I am confident to say that George’s Sausage & Delicatessen on Madison is one of the best, if not in the top three!
George’s has been open since 1983 and is still run by its original owner, Janet Lidzbarski. She was at the shop when we arrived this afternoon and was so inviting! We talked about her hometown, Sopot, Poland, located by the Gulf of Gdansk in the Baltic Sea. We also talked about her favorite dishes from home, like pierogies and chocolate wafer candies which she kindly treated us to.
When you walk in, the first thing you see is the display case filled house-made sausages, terrines, head cheese (known is Poland as salceson, a terrine made of meat from the head of the animal including cheeks, jowls, tongue, and aspic gelee), smoked pork belly, liverwurst and popular condiments and my favorite, landjaeger, a semi-dried sausage made of beef and pork with red wine, lard, and spices. The walls are lined with shelves packed with European candies, jellies, mustards, pickles, cookies, breads, sauerkraut and more. A cook in a Polish deli is like a kid in a candy store; you get so excited you can’t decide whether to get the pierogies or the soup, pastrami on rye or corned beef on wheat?!
I walked to First Hill from Queen Anne after yoga so I was hungry! I chose the pastrami on 8 grain with everything on it, and I mean everything. Between two pieces of bread sits a half pound of pastrami layered with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard that was probably laced with crack. Yeah, it’s that addicting. Almost just as good was Janet’s mushroom soup, which we expected to be a cream base with bits of unrecognizable mushrooms. We were happily surprised when we found it was a well seasoned, thickened broth with generous slices of mushrooms with a touch of cream. While we were talking, browsing and taking pictures, Janet let me try their vegetable veloute soup with green beans, dill, and carrots. Not as good as the mushroom to us, but it was her favorite.
On the “Ginormous Sandwich Scale” this one rated, “half the size of my head”
So you can have your Tat’s for your East Coast style sandwich, I Love New York for your New York style subs and Seattle Deli for your banh mis, go to George’s for your Eastern European snack fixes. Once you go, you’ll be welcomed by Janet, hooked on the sandwiches and sweets, and invited by the smell of the smoked meats and simmering soups again and again.
George’s Sausage & Delicatessen
907 Madison Ave
Seattle, WA 98109