Where everyone knows your name
if you’re of Eastern European descent
|The Polish Village Café|
We wanted to visit an Eastern European neighborhood in the Detroit region and Neil had read about The Polish VIllage Café. Located in Hamtramck, which is a city within the greater city (sort of like how Norwood is to Cincinnati), The Polish Village Café is one of a number of restaurants in the area that reflect that cultural background, but it’s considered the best. Not only the food press feels this way, but other diners that stood and waited for over an hour also assured us it was worth it.
|The Lively Dining Room|
It’s a long, narrow crowded basement dining room festooned with lights and lots of laughing – also shouting, but that’s a by-product like it or not. It’s very much a neighborhood restaurant where the patrons and the staff have known each other for generations. I had a challenging time getting the bartender’s attention, but he made an excellent Moscow Mule. The staff was run off its collective feet, but the place kept moving. The hostess and servers were friendly in a reserved fashion, although our server was bright and effervescent.
We asked the patrons at the next table, who were obvious regulars, for recommendations since we could tell the staff wouldn’t have time for such niceties. We followed their cues and both ordered the Polish Platter. They came with Dill
|Dill Pickle Soup|
Pickle soup, which was light and cream based with shredded carrot and diced pickle. It was both sweet and slightly sour because of the brine. We really liked it. The platter of food was large with a stuffed cabbage roll covered in a thick paprika sauce, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, sausage, homemade sauerkraut, and a cheese pierogi. Neil wasn’t too impressed by the pierogi, but the rest of it was good, especially the sauerkraut. It was lighter and sweeter than I expected. Though I thought everything tasted good, Neil used quite a bit of salt, which is unusual for him.
A variety of crepes was offered for dessert – two to an order. We shared a cherry and a prune crepe; both were freshly made and very tasty. Again, they were also lighter than I expected. The prices are very reasonable and the bubbly atmosphere are major selling points, but I don’t know if I would’ve stayed if I’d known it was really a seventy minute, rather than thirty minute wait.