SEATTLE — When you stroll into George's Sausage and Delicatessen near the corner of 9th and Madison, you might as well be in Poland. Owner Janet Lidzbarski will greet you. Fika will take your order. And Rosa the Butcher may hand you a house-smoked sausage.

"You can see a smile on the customer's face because they find products they used to have when they lived back home," Janet says, in between a stream of customers flowing in from Madison St in downtown Seattle.  Customers enjoy a variety of sausages, plum-filled chocolates or mustards, and sauerkrauts straight from Poland.

They're proud of how the sausage is made here. But the place is packed for the made-to-order sandwiches. "There are lines out the door during lunch," says Fika Velic, who works behind the counter.  Their Reuben is legendary. But Fika says you might want to try the pastrami on rye too.

Janet and her team are celebrating 40 years at the same spot. "It's run by women. There are six girls here. Everything, we do it ourselves." There are pierogi, chocolate from Warsaw, even the potato salad is renowned. "There's one ingredient probably in there that makes it so good," Fika says. Then she and Janet just stare at each other. Janet says, "You go ahead." To which Fika says, "No, we can't tell them."

So they DO have their secrets. But Seattle's spectacular sandwich shop on Madison St. is a secret no more.

George's Sausage and Delicatessen | 907 Madison St. Seattle, WA 98104

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