I recently received a great email from a reader named Garvey that had picked up on my original Patak Meats post. Apparently Garvey currently lives in Charlotte, but occasionally has to pass through Atlanta. When his travels bring him this way, he packs a cooler with him and visits Patak. The photo to the left is his receipt from a recent visit. $152! I've never gotten any higher than $60. Garvey says he "grew up near Chicago (no slouch in the sausage category) and am of Eastern European descent (Hungarian, Slovak, maybe Rusyn, too) and have even been back to the "motherland," and Patak's is by far the best I've ever had." This is such a typical thing to experience with Patak. Every time I visit there, people are wheeling boxes of meat out on carts. People stand in line with coolers in hand (it makes a nice seat when the line is long). And everyone seems to speak some Eastern European language in addition to English.
Garvey asked a interesting question about Patak's liverwurst and spoilage. Since Patak does a fresh style liverwurst, it does not hold long. In fact, I can tell a difference within just hours once you expose it to air. When I discussed this with one of the ladies at the meat counter, she explained the best method is to poke a little hole in the tube and squeeze it out. Since the iron content is so high in the liverwurst, it oxidizes and spoils very quickly. The less air exposure the better. Generally, you only have 3 days to consume their liverwurst once you have opened it. I have only found this fresh "deli" style liverwurst in one other place here in the South. I think it is much more common in the Northeast.
Thanks to Garvey for the photos and the inspiration for the post.