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Friday, October 31, 2008

POLONIA RESTAURANT

With a Polish (and good looking I might add) staff, murals of scenes from old world Poland, and authentic Polish food, the dining experience at Polonia is as good a way as any to experience Polish culture in the historically Polish enclave Hamtramck. Hamtramck was founded by Germans, but Poles began to flood the area when the Dodge Brothers opened a plant nearby.

Located in "Poletown," the premises of Polonia began as a Workmen's Cooperative in 1927 to offer home cooking to Polish immigrants who had just arrived in this country. With that in mind, the tradition of familiar Polish dishes has continued as Polonia offers a wide range of Polish dishes at cheap prices.

You cannot eat at Polonia without trying the dill pickle soup as a first course. I hadn't tasted it before, but after getting a recommendation from a friend, I had my first experience. The soup was extremely tasty. I believe it has a chicken broth base which is thickened with either ketchup or sour cream. There are little specks of dill throughout, which adds the perfect touch. I didn't need to add anything to it, and I finished it in about a minute and a half as I voraciously ate it as if someone was chasing me.

For my meal, I ordered the Polish Combination plate so I could get a taste of everything. At $8.50, the combination plate is delicious and cheap. It came with stuffed cabbage and tomato sauce, sausage, two pierogies, and mashed potatoes with brown gravy and kraut. Everything was outstanding. It's hard to go wrong with mashed potatoes, but these were better than usual as they were covered with brown gravy and kraut. The stuffed cabbage was just as I would imagine it to be, stuffed with beef and covered in a perfectly concocted tomato sauce.

If you eat sausage, Hamtramck, and Polonia in particular, is the place to get it. In its natural casing, the sausage hit the spot. I could've eaten more of the sausage if I had chosen to go that route, but I thought better of it. I'll have to get my fill on my next visit.

Next it was on to the pierogies. There are multiple choices available including potato, cheese, kraut, or beef. I went for the traditional potato. I'm not a pierogi expert, but if I never ate a pierogi from anywhere else, I wouldn't mind. The potato pierogies came out hot and the filling was made just right. On a future visit I will no doubt try a different variation, but the potato pierogi was more than sufficient.

Everything on my plate was delicious. By the end of the meal I was eating everything on my plate at the same time. I was scooping up parts of pierogi with kraut and then variations of stuffed cabbage or sausage with mashed potatoes.

I have a feeling that there is more traditional Polish fare that I have yet to try, but next time I might just get a plate of only pierogies and sausage. Both are favorites of mine and Polonia does them more than justice.

I've heard rumors that Polonia may move locations or even be sold in opposition to a proposed Aldi which will take up much of Polonia's parking spaces. I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I wouldn't take any chances. Although Polish Village Restaurant is right down the street, Polonia is too good to miss.

Below are some photos from my meal at Polonia. To see the entire flickr set click here.





Polonia Restaurant
2934 Yemans Street
Hamtramck, MI 48212
Tel: (313) 873-8432
Website: Polonia

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1 comment:

Shelby said...

I would venture to guess that the soup was probably not thickened with ketchup. Just a hunch.