With Fat Tuesday bearing down upon us, Warren and I spent a rare sunny Saturday in Hamtramck, Detroit's Polish district. According to the all-knowing source that is Wikipedia, Hamtramck was originally founded by German farmers. Polish immigrants flooded the area when Dodge opened a local plant in 1910. Today, Hamtramck is known for its lavish feast for gluttons, Pączki Day. Pączki are essentially enormous, delicious donuts filled with all manner of cream or fruit goodness. What could be wrong with that?
In Poland's days of yore, pączki were made the day before Lent because it allowed the household to use up all the stuff you couldn't eat during Lent--lard/butter, sugar, eggs, fruit (pretty much all the delicious things in life). Hence, donuts! I am so behind any day that allows, nay, encourages, hearty consumption of fried sweets. Count me in, Hamtramck! While we celebrated Pączki Day a tad early, we were able to revel in style at the Polish Village Cafe. Um, hello, charming basement restaurant with all sorts of cozy things going on? This includes the kitschy Valentine's decor and its strong collection of vintage accordions.
Okay, so Polish food is not my favorite (nor the healthiest) in the world--one only needs to view the Polish Plate below to understand my misgivings--but it does have a few high points. Like, for instance, pierogi, addictive stuffed dumplings. I could eat these by the hundred. Also, I will never ever turn up my nose at a good sausage. And the Polish Village Cafe does a very fine kielbasa.
1. Pierogi 2. Kielbasa Sausage 3. Mashed Potatoes & Gravy 4. Sauerkraut 5. Stuffed Cabbage
The Polish Village Cafe was all well and good but the best thing about Hamtramck (at least for a roadside attraction fanatic like myself) lies just a few blocks away in an old Ukranian man's backyard. Since it is so unbelievably amazing, I am devoting an entire post to it for next week's Michigan Monday. Stay tuned!