Let’s get one thing straight: it’s a Kielbasa Festival, not a Sausage Fest. Kramarczuk’s third annual meat-beer-music celebration kicks off tonight at 5 p.m. and returns on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The event takes place in Kramarczuk’s parking lot (215 E. Hennepin) and a $10 admission gets you a commemorative beer stein and one free beer. The website lists the band schedule—everything from the Brass Barn Polka Band to Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles—but there’s also a Potato Pyrohy Eating Contest at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and, perhaps most importantly, the Minnesota Sausage Proclamation at 8:30 tonight!
Three years in a row, Kramarczuk’s has held a contest seeking new flavor ideas for their famous housemade sausages. This time they focused the contest on a Minnesota theme, and received all sorts of creative entries—including one that suggested the sausage be studded with chunks of sautéed SPAM!
I dropped by Kramarczuk’s yesterday to get an advance taste of the winning sausage and, while I promised not the let the cat out of the bag, I will say that it features a native ingredient that adds a delightful texture to the pork base and a very nostalgic—and unexpectedly delicious—garnish. Winners from the previous two years, buffalo chicken and bacon/jalapeño/cream cheese, have become beloved members of the Kramarczuk’s sausage rotation, and I suspect this one will be even more successful.
Taste one for yourself at the festival for $6 a pop. And consider entering the contest next year: the winner gets $500, with which to presumably buy a year’s supply of their sausage!