Not so long ago, most city neighborhoods had small grocery stores, where residents could pop in for various staples like milk, bread or an urgently needed can of tomato sauce. In the otherwise grocery-deprived Polish Hill, such a shop, Alfred's Deli and Market, has been recently renovated. Owned by Anna Misiaszek, the shop is now being run by a new generation, including Misiaszek's daughter, Natalie.
Leia Nachele, who also helps manage the shop, explains that Alfred's is trying to bridge the neighborhood's demographic gap, serving both longtime residents and the influx of younger folks with different tastes and needs. Thus Velveeta dressing sits alongside soy milk, and the freezer is shared by Amy's veggie meals and bags of homemade pierogies (in nine classic varieties). There's a small selection of produce (including veggies supplied by neighborhood gardeners), Breadworks bread, bulk granola and gluten-free baked goods supplied by Gluuteny, in Squirrel Hill.
If your needs run toward celery salad or fried white cabbage, Alfred's has jars of such specialties, imported from Poland. And if opening a jar of "Hunter's Stew" is too much work, stop by the deli counter for a made-to-order sandwich. The deli also stocks Polish-style meats including ham and kielbasa.
Bottles of agave aside, Alfred's still has plenty of old-school charm, with Polish falcons and vintage neighborhood photographs gracing the walls, and a big pile of packages in the corner awaiting pickup for a voyage to Poland.