Rolf's Pork Store

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Yum. Weiners!

By Jessica Pasko

It's barbeque season -- but the Troy Pork Store is gone. No more locally made hot dogs and sausages -- what will you do?

Wait -- before you go into full out weiner withdrawal check out Rolf's in Albany.

This German shop has been selling over 50 kinds of handmade meats and sausages for decades.

Oh, and they've got a whole bunch of other stuff too -- from pork bellies to German romance novels.

This little shop off of Central is in a funny location near, well, pretty much nothing. And while the neighborhood around it has clearly changed a lot in the past several years, you kind of get the feeling that Rolf's itself hasn't. They're still serving up the same bockwurst, knockwurst, and everyotherwurst they've been making -- and how! -- for years. They'll sell you meat in store or provide catering services for all your wurst needs.

But Rolf's also seems to fill a niche few other places in the Capital Region have covered --the German-American and Hungarian-American community. I love you Wolff's (I really kind of do) but Rolf's is German from a different generation. While I was there, a Mr. Wedemeyer came in -- a delightful little old man with a thick German accent -- and was immediately greeted as only regulars can be.

Yes, that's what I'm talking about.

There's also a large selection of mustards, jams and other condiments along with boxed mixes for schnitzel and spaetzl and various desserts. Spices abound, along with cheeses, prepared foods like goulash and stew and mixes for sauces up the wazoo. The candy selection is occupied largely by Haribo gummy products mixed in with some various chocolates and other sweets.

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They've also got some stuff you -- well-- don't expect to see in a pork store. Like the small selection of German toiletries -- shampoos and lotions. You'll even find a few German magazines and newspapers. I couldn't stop scouring the basket of used romance novels for 50 cents and $1 a piece.

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My favorite thing at Rolf's? The liverwurst. I know, I know, not everyone's a fan of liverwurst. But if you like it-- you should try it here. I can't praise it enough. Not only is it very affordable at $5.49, but it's perfectly velvety and goes wonderful in a sandwich with a few thick slabs of onion and the condiment of your choice. I just wouldn't advise breathing in anyone's direction immediately after eating.

Find It

Rolf's Pork Store
70 Lexington Ave
Albany, , NY 12206

(518) 463-0185

Comments

Hannaford's is carrying local italian sausage from Schenectady and Parillo's in Saratoga, too.

Awesome peek into Rolf's. I've really got to get over there at some point.

I am so there it's not even funny.

"pretty much near nothing" in the neighborhood..? why, it's right down the street from the Historic Albany Foundation's Architectural Parts Warehouse...always worth a visit.

Pork products and old house parts? Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me...

At last, knowledge of a new source for my delicious German sausage! Perhaps now my paralyzing grief from the sudden closing of the Troy Pork Store will begin to fade.

Rolf's is the most wonderful German pork store you can imagine. It is like being at Schaller and Weber or Karl Ehmer in Yorkville or Ridgewood, Queens. It is family owned and operated. I've been going there for years. Try the bratwurst, weisswurst, knockwurst, the yaeger sausage. They also have real kraut and real German potato salad, not to mention head cheese, bloodwurst and Tilsit. Go at Christmas time and get Advent calendars and lebkucken imported from Germany. It is heaven in there!

I couldn't make my famous Red Beans & Rice for Mardi Gras without their smoked pork hocks and andouille sausage. And if you're cooking a fancy meal, Glen will wrap your beef tenderloin in caul fat for you. Who does THAT anymore?

I less than three Rolf's. Best meats in Albany, its the only spot to get your bacon explosion goods.
@rebecca...I've defo stopped by Rolf's on the way home from HAF. Millwork and Sausage go together better than one would think.

@JVG and Rebecca, when My Favorite Things was next to HAF and across the street from Rolf's, that was a true trifecta. Old house parts, gorgeous and exotic floral arrangements and sausages? Um, could life even get any better?

Is Hembolts still open?

While I love Rolf's....don't forget Bilinski's Sausage Manufacturing is a local company (Cohoes) that has been dishing up tasty hotdogs and sausages for the better part of a century!

If I'm not mistaken, Rolf's too has a long history in that neighborhood - a half century or more.

@jh - Yep! http://www.helmbolds.com/

I've only been there once, but they made a great impression. I was looking for limburger, which I found. It's one of those "remembering my childhood" foods of my fathers, along with liederkranz (an American version of limburger which isn't made anymore) and crumb cake.
I'll definitely be back to try more German specialties, I love little shops and international food.

Great store, but I can't believe they haven't moved. While Lexington and Orange was once a solid German/Irish neighborhood, now it's a really rough neighborhood with obvious "commercial activity" going on like two doors down.

I wouldn't advise a woman to go there alone unless there's parking right out front.

that's a racist comment. if it wasn't for attitudes like that, the "rough sections" you talk about wouldn't be nearly as bad. as soon as poor minorities move in, all the people with any money whatsoever (WHO SHOULD BE SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY) simple leave. and "once a solid german/irish neighborhood..." you're not as subtle as you think.

I come from a German family and can tell you Rolf's is the real deal. My Omi would have fit right in. I hated weisswurst and blutwurst when I was a kid. And headcheese. I wonder if that's why I became a vegetarian.
fyi--you can also get limburger in the Cheese Dept. of the Honest Weight Food Coop.

My Czech mother-in-law insists on hiking over to Rolf's for the main ingredients in her meat loaf. I have to admit, it's delicious!

There is actually parking right out front for those who are concerned. Also, Rolf's closes at 5:30 p.m. so it's not like you'd be trying to buy wurst at 3 a.m.

Anyone know where to find good brochen to accompany this cuisine? Great rolls are for sale all over Germany and Austria. Hard Rolls are too spongey here in Albany.

Dave, while I agree that "white flight" is a huge problem stemming frm ignorance, that area was for a very long time the "German district" of Albany. Every city of a certain age has enclaves where, historically, immigrants from one culture or another settled as successive waves came from different areas of the world. Check out O Albany! by William Kennedy for a great history.

@Dave -

I say "solid german/irish neighborhood" because old ethnic neighborhoods had a tight social cohesion, centered around the local churches that dissuaded the type of street crime that you commonly see today in that area. Regardless of the racial makeup of the area (which isn't 100% black, by the way), it's an area whose residents are transient to a large degree and largely isolated.

Drop your knee-jerk PC ignorance and read the book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" to understand the mechanics of what happened to that neighborhood.

I shop at Rolf's frequently, and I'm not being dramatic when I say that I've seen drug deals go on from a house a couple of doors down the block. The area is not a safe place to hang out.

Rolf's now has a web page : www.rolfsporkstore.com
You can check out most everything they have to offer including there venison list, their meats (fresh and smoked) and coming soon they will have lists with pictures of their dry food such as chocolates, spetzles, potato pankcake and dumpling mix, saurkraut, red cabbage and so on. Check it out and spread the word!

I'm a regular customer there since 1989, and indeed, the meats are top quality and without nitrates.

I would like to know if Rolf's Pork store was located off North Pearl street before Lexington Avenue thank you

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