Anthony Brancaleone

As you know, we at The Metropolitan have been appealing for Anthony Bourdain’s return to Detroit, to experience a little more of what this city has to offer than his show, No Reservations, let on during its one and only visit. Having said that, we must agree with Tony’s choice of Polonia Polish Restaurant, located in Hamtramck and featured on his program.

A favourite amongst Metropolitan’s since 1986, Polonia offers no nonsense, stick to your ribs, traditional Polish fare, in a setting that is always lively, and at a surprisingly affordable rate. For this trip, we brought our little polka, Izabela, along as our “official Polish food taster”.

She did not disappoint.

Polish princess Izabela | AB

On this particular evening, we arrived at Polonia only to see a long line of diners waiting in the rain for their turn to be seated. No velvet ropes, no scensters explaining who they think they know, just hungry neighborhood people anticipating an enjoyable time. Like my Nan always said, “a long line outside means good things inside.”

Once again, Nan was right. Inside, we were greeted by our friendly server, Ava, and immediately directed toward shots of cherry liquor that were currently on special ($1.50).

“And, that’s how the poles get it started”, Izabela assures us. “You should see when someone gets married – we just drink and drink all weekend long (laughs).”

Another round, Ava – Na Zdrowie!

Feeling warm and tipsy, we placed our order consisting of Stuffed Cabbage, with mashed potatoes and vegetables ($7.95), the Polish Combination Plate – stuffed cabbage, sausage, pierogies, mashed potatoes and kraut ($8.95), and an order of Hungarian Potato Pancake ($7.95) for the Polish Princess.

All hearty, delicious, satisfying plates, filled with flavor and history – but why did we bring an official “Polish food taster” only to have her order a Hungarian dish?

“Because, it’s sooo good!” Izabela says.

And, it was.

Bardzo Dobrze, Smaczne Jedzenie! Very good, tasty food!

And Tony [Bourdain], if I haven’t said it before I’ll say it now; Dziekuje – If any restaurant in Detroit deserves to be recognized nationally, Polonia  is certainly one of them.

Polonia Restaurant 2934 Yemans Street Hamtramck Mi 48212 313  873.8432