Susie and Andy Szymczyk opened their Polish restaurant as a way to bring the flavors of Poland to Texas. When living in New York City, they easily found Polish food, but kielbasas and pierogies are less available in the Austin metro.
After moving to Texas, they missed the Polish flavors, so they began experimenting.
“At one point, I found myself in my kitchen surrounded by 90 pounds of meat, and I didn’t know what to do with it after I smoked it,” Andy said.
Friends wanted to buy their meats, so the idea of a sausage stand or food truck outgrew itself and turned into a Polish restaurant. Ziggy’s Kielbasa House currently offers a to-go menu of sandwiches, meats, pierogies and more. Recently, they started a Polish marketplace in the space that used to be the dining room. Items are imported from Poland and are not found elsewhere in Central Texas.
Andy’s family immigrated to the United States from Poland when he was 6 years old. The family won a lottery-type system for green cards and moved to New York City.
Many recipes come from Andy’s mom and grandmother, they said. Every day, Andy’s mom cooked full dinners for his family with soups and main dishes, and his mom would send Andy to the grocery store to buy that day’s ingredients. He said he learned most about cooking during the holidays.
“I never thought I would be a restaurateur or a sausage maker one day,” he said. “Never did I imagine that.”
The Szymczyks said people have traveled across Texas to get flavors often not found outside the Northeast or Chicago. They said their customers make their work worthwhile.
The duo run the entire restaurant with the help of their three daughters. From making kielbasas to filling pierogis, they do it all. The restaurant is closed Mondays and Tuesdays for time to prepare food for the week.
“The most rewarding thing is having them tell us that these are flavors they haven’t had since their childhood,” Susie said. “It brings them back. We had a 90-year-old woman sitting at one of our tables once, practically in tears because she was brought back to her childhood and how her grandmother used to cook for her."
Ziggy's Kielbasa House
2403 US 183, Ste. 104, Leander
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., closed Mon. (These hours have been edited since the article first published.)