Best Polish Sandwich Ladies

The sight of a refrigerator case packed with charcuterie may have first lured me into George's Sausage and Delicatessen, but Janet Lidzbarski and her assistants have made me a devotee of this 25-year-old Polish deli. Neatly stacked jars of pickles and packets of noodles with Polish labels reach from floor to ceiling, and Lidzbarski says a dozen of the cured meats in her case are smoked, cured, or jellied in-house (the frozen pierogi, however, are flown in from Chicago). A trio of women with sweet smiles and hearty accents work the counter every day, doling out pastrami sandwiches on rye and paper cups of sausage-mushroom soup. The only time I had to wait for a chicken panini at a high-volume hour, Lidzbarski handed me a smoked sausage to gnaw on until she'd finished grilling my sandwich. Who wouldn't fall head over heels for a woman who offers to ease your troubles with pork? Weekends, the deli primarily serves the staff of First Hill's hospitals and clinics, but weekends draw a different crowd. "On Saturdays," Lidzbarski says, "We speak Polish all day."—Jonathan Kauffman 907 Madison St., 622-1491.

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