Midwest Living Review
The neighborhood family-run grocery store Gene's Sausage Shop sure challenges Whole Foods when it comes to claiming local roots and spanning global flavors. The Luszcz family (owners of 40-year old Gene's Sausage Shop on Belmont Avenue) opened their Lincoln Square gourmet grocery store carrying affordable imported international foods in the original Meyer's Delicatessen space in November 2009. A Meyer's giant neon sign hangs between to two spiraling staircases leading up to the 4,000-bottle wine cellar. It's easy to get hungry the moment you walk into Gene's. Appetizing aromas wafting about smell like a hearty roast Sunday dinner at Grandma's house. Young families, hipsters and cute elderly couples shopping arm-in-arm crowd around the 64-foot-long deli counter filled with homemade sausages, meats, cheeses, salads and pastries. Traditional German specialties include sweet cheese pierogies ($3.99 a pound), potato pancakes, blintzes, pretzels (.70), kolaches and Black Forest cake ($2.70 a slice). You can also pick up fresh produce and a loaf of bread, but it's likely you'll walk out with more tasty temptations. During the holidays, Gene's caters traditional German dinners ($14 a person) and sells spiced gluewien ($7.99 a bottle).