We arrive at the culinary heart of Parma, an Eastern European enclave where sausage is king, especially the finest of all, Kielbasa. The art of Kielbasa making is passed down from one generation to the next. The actual product varies about as much as different brands of beer. Always lots of garlic. Perhaps a touch of pepper. Smoked, it comes out pink; fresh, it comes out gray after being boiled and perhaps fried. If it is any good, it passes the Kielbasa Refrigerator Test. One hour after getting it into the refrigerator, if anything else inside tastes like anything *but* Kielbasa, you have an anemic variety. It goes extremely well with nice bland Pierogis (puffy little potato-filled pasta dumplings approximately fist-sized). Though I believe the best Kielbasa to be made in Garfield Heights (an adjoining suburb), many around here will huzzah at the mention of State Road Meats:
One small store in Parma, one giant assortment of sausages!
We continue northward to Downtown Cleveland via West 25th Street/Pearl Road. As Cleveland developed, people moved further and further south, most often along West 25th street, like a vine, families placing offshoots ever further from downtown, until (if they were Ukranian or Polish) they all coalesced in Parma. To rid themselves of the "big city" cachet that goes with a name like "West 25th", a line was drawn in the sand; north of this line, the road would be called West 25th; south, Pearl Road. Whatever. Owing to the diverse nature of economic stratae which this boulevard crosses, the northbound 20B bus ride is one of the most interesting rides one can ever take. And here are some of the reasons why:
Isn't this an attractive sight?
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