Preparing for Paczki Day
In Hamtramck, Fat Tuesday is known as Pączki Day. It’s the last day before Lent starts, so it’s a good time to stuff yourself with glazed and powdered Polish pastries washed down with pints of Okocim, Żywiec and other Polish beers.
Long lines of people picking up their pączki are quite usual at New Palace Bakery and New Martha Washington Bakery in the heart of the city on Jos Campau. Those lines are usually very orderly, though. The real madness is in the bars.
Many watering holes are open by 10 a.m. with booze flowing and the polka music cranked up to 11. Here’s a list of some of the bigger parties taking place Tuesday:
Hamtramck Moose Lodge #1670: Pączki Day breakfast with egg souffle, kielbasa and a paczek for $6, which benefits the Hamtramck Goodfellows. Chuck E. Fuller provides entertainment and karaoke. 7 a.m. 9421 Conant, Hamtramck. (313) 871-9115.
New Dodge Lounge: Pączki Palooza with DJs, Polish Muslims, Polish food and beer and shot specials. Opens at 7 a.m. 8850 Jos Campau, Hamtramck. (313) 874-5963.
Metro Pub: Complimentary breakfast and free pączki for the first 75 guests. 7 a.m.-2 a.m. 11667 Jos Campau, Hamtramck. (313) 334-5261.
Polish League of American Veterans Post #10: Live bands, a pączki-eating contest (at noon), Polish food from Strodek’s and a fundraiser for the Detroit VA hospital. Popular pop/polka band the Polish Muslims play at 6:30 p.m. Open 10 a.m.-2 a.m. 11824 Jos Campau, Hamtramck. (313) 893-1355.
Whiskey in the Jar: Heated tent, music with Polish Muslims and Kielbasa Kings starting at 11 a.m., Polish food and more. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. 2741 Yemans, Hamtramck. (313) 873-4154
Small’s Bar: Pączki bombs (booze inside a paczek), live music from Polka Floyd and more starting at 4 p.m. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. 10339 Conant, Hamtramck. (313) 873-1117.
Bumbo’s: One of the newer bars in the neighborhood, Bumbo’s will open at 10 a.m. with beer specials, including Old Style on draft. 3001 Holbrook, Hamtramck. (313) 285-8239.
Also: Kelly’s Bar (2403 Holbrook), Suzy’s (2942 Evaline), Painted Lady Lounge (2930 Jacob), Baker’s Streetcar Bar (9817 Jos Campau) and others will also be open during the day for Fat Tuesday fun.
Pączki Day Trivia
■Before you embarrass yourself, know that Pączki is usually pronounced “PUNCH-ki,” PAWNCH-ki” or “POONCH-ki.”
■Pączki is plural. Pączek is singular.
■Depending on the baker, pączki can have anywhere from 300-500 calories.
■Television journalist Mo Rocca came to Hamtramck on Pączki Day in 2008 for a report that aired on “Sunday Morning.” Rocca called pączki “fried, super sized mounds of dough-y goodness.”
■Hamtramck bakery New Palace comes out with a new pączki flavor each year. The 2016 flavor is peaches and cream. Last year there were two signature flavors: chocolate/marshmallow and chocolate/hazelnut.