Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: seven days
Big, cheap, starchy Polish home-style meals.
It isnt just the knickknacks and portraits of the pope in this former tavern, a remnant of Division Street's days as the great Polish Broadway, that remind me of my grandmother; Ill be damned if I dont sense her presence in the pungent whiff of cabbage that floats from the kitchen or the gentle tang of fermented rye flour in the zurek. Thats white borscht, a smooth, creamy dill-specked soup with chunks of garlic and slices of kielbasa that has been fortifying Hunky peasants and steelworkers for generations. At Podhalanka youll still see old-timers at the bar, warming their bones with cabbage or barley soup or fat pierogi stuffed with piquant ground pork, cabbage, or potato and cheese, but also younger folks who may or may not speak Polish working down bowls of caraway-flecked sauerkraut and heaps of smashed potatoes in gravy, accompanied by something big and meaty: a pork roll, perhaps, stuffed with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, bacon, paprika, and a few allspice berries, or uncured spareribs cooked in sauerkraut until tender. These meals are almost entirely drained of color, but theyre big, inexpensive, and preceded by baskets of fresh bread and butter.
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