Hamtramck Michigan 48212United States
Since 1976, a former boarding house in Detroit's Polish neighborhood of Hamtramck has served authentic regional cuisine in a cozy cellar.
Hamtramck, an actual town within Detroit's city limits, has long claimed ownership of the largest Polish population in the United States (Chicago residents disagree). Though small, economically downtrodden and somewhat aesthetically dog-eared, Hamtramck is also home to some outstanding Polish food. Polish Village, located on a modest residential street in Hamtramck, first appears to be one in a group of 1920s two-story homes, until one notices the tiny sign, which is a faint indication of the wonders inside. Not only are delights such as boiled chicken and stuffed cabbage delicately seasoned and presented attractively, they are also served with soup, salad, cucumber salad, sauerkraut and real mashed potatoes. The regally named Czarina, or duck blood soup, relies on none other than fresh duck blood and is a spicy poultry and fruit blend beloved of most Hamtramck residents, who consider it a delicacy. Equally famous, though, and perhaps more palatable, is the dill pickle soup, a subtle marriage of chicken stock, dill, vinegar and shredded vegetables including, of course, local dill pickles. Selective diners might enjoy the pierogi sampler, especially the sweet ricotta filled dumpling. It's a challenge to spend more than $15 here for a multicourse, meticulously prepared love letter to Eastern European cuisine. Sandwiches from $4; main courses from $7.