Residents of New York’s Capital District are fortunate to have access to several eastern European-style delis. Two of the best-known are Rolf’s Pork Store in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood and Chester’s Smokehouse near Honest Weight. I generally stop at the latter because of my traffic patterns, but for a Father’s Day sausage treat I decided to put together a deli platter with meats from both. I also got comparative tubs of German Potato Salad to serve with the Vincent’s Cole Slaw and KFC Three-Bean Salad we were making at home.
A taste test of the potato salads gave a slight edge to Rolf’s because of the extra amount of gravy to slurp up. The flavors were very close and the main difference was the house-cured bacon used by each. That’s the only head-to-head comparison. At Rolf’s I got teawurst, smoked liverwurst, head cheese and tongue sausage; Chester contributed his veal loaf, Westphalian ham and a couple of cheeses. The flavor profile of Chester’s gravitates to warm pickling spices like mace, clove and bay leaves; at Rolf’s it’s paprika.
The winner was definitely our stomachs, till the post meal lethargy set in. Fortunately it was a perfect day for a hike in Spa Park to work it off, followed by a swim. Summer is good in Saratoga, at least until the next deluge hits.