Close to a decade ago, I landed a cushy job on Cumberland Parkway (my first real job after graduation). My hours were so great that I could go on 2-hour lunches. I worked with Eastern European software developers who used to go to this meat shop religiously. So I tagged along one day and discovered meat heaven. It was a mere 20-minute drive from work so going there on my lunch hour became a regular habit. It also meant I didn’t have to wait for that first Saturday each month to get my meat fix. I’ve been a regular customer ever since, still visiting at least once or twice a month.
Patak Meat makes a wide variety of European meats on the premises. The store is literally meat heaven. They have fresh and processed sausages, fresh cuts of beef, pork and chicken, smoked meat and sausages, dry-cured products, cheeses, and Eastern European grocery and food items such as biscuits, cookies, candies, chocolates, sauces, and the like.
Patak’s products are almost all natural. Almost, because there’s this one, single ingredient that they use that prevents them from being classified as such. This is the reason why you will never find their products at Whole Foods. People flock to Patak’s daily. My last visit was a week ago on a Thursday. As usual, they had a line out the door. But the line moves fast.
My regular purchases have always included bacon, Boston butt, garlic beef bacon, and Czech salami. These are my staples and I get them at least once a month. This visit, I added a few things to my essentials: turkey, black forest ham, fresh sausages, a pound of Polish sausage, and smoked pork chops.
The meats keep really well (refrigerated in air tight containers) and I’ve found that they will last up to two weeks (the salami lasts far longer). I really, really love their bacon. It is mild tasting and comes in wide strips. My family has a unique way of serving bacon (my dad always made it this way for us) — the strips are fried lightly in a skillet (without oil) just long enough until the edges curl and brown lightly. The strips are then drained on paper towels then sprinkled with sugar. I thought bacon was always eaten this way until I was maybe 5 or 6 years old when I was astounded to find bacon served crispy in restaurants. I refuse to eat crispy bacon to this day.
The Boston butt makes for fantastic sandwiches. The taste is just amazing and I highly recommend getting this cut. Although, the turkey and black forest ham are quite as good. The fresh sausages are best grilled, and served with grilled onions and green peppers.
My mom, a devotee of Murphy’s, is a huge fan of their smoked pork chops which are only available on their spring/summer menu (they are replaced by the pork shank in the fall/winter). Murphy’s gets these pork chops from Patak’s. The 18 pieces I got for her totaled a little over $72 so they were roughly $4 apiece. Give it a good re-heating on a charcoal grill and you have a fantastic main dish.
You must try this place. Once you have, you’ll never buy grocery deli products ever again. The high quality (and taste) of their meats is just unbelievable and prices are so inexpensive (cured, and smoked deli meats average $2.50 a pound). Also a must-try are their fresh ribeye steaks, baby back ribs (fresh and smoked), fresh bratwurst, salami (they have tons of different kinds), fresh porkchops, and the assorted sauces. Don’t go when you’re hungry or you’ll end up buying the entire place.
Patak Meat Products
4107 Ewing Rd
Austell, GA 30106
Monday: 10-5, Tuesday: 9-6, Wednesday: 9-6, Thursday:9-6:30, Friday: 9-6:30
First Saturday of each month: 9-4
Technorati Tags: Patak Meats, Czech, Polish, cured meat, deli meat, meat processor, Austell