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    Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm
    Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 1:05 pm
    Hello:

    Paczki day is fast approaching. Where is the best place to get them? I'm guessing that there would be a bakery around Belmont/Milwaukee that would have them, but does anyone have a good recommendation? Last year we had some from Ann Sather's, which were passable --- we'd like the real, buttery thing this year.

    Thanks, everyone!
  • Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 2:37 pm Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Here's a very long thread at the old board about paczki. Hope this helps. And I hope others will update this thread here with more suggestions, if any exist.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - January 29th, 2005, 3:16 pm
    Post #3 - January 29th, 2005, 3:16 pm Post #3 - January 29th, 2005, 3:16 pm
    I remember having paczki for packzi day for almost my entire life. My older brother being sent to Gladstone bakery before dawn to get them for our family and for my dad to take to work. That would be the late 50's -pre Kennedy 60's . So the gladstone ones are the ones I will always recall when talking packzi. They where pretty much your dusted jelly donut as others have mentioned on other threads. But I recall that they had many more fruit flavors, including prune ,then what they would offer the rest of the year. I also remember my non polish neighborhood people would buy them as well, but they called them "bismarks" .

    Right around the time kennedy got it we moved from St Tarcissus to St Roberts parish near lawrence and austin From then on we got paczki from what was then known as lawrence pastry shop, it may have also had a family name on it at one time. My mom always referred to it by the owners name, which I dont remember and I know it has been known by different names in our modern times. The latest name seems to be Delightful Pastries. They did offer the same entry level paczki as Gladstone did and the quality and flavors where about equal. But they also had what I would call a more ethnic upscale assortment of packzi. The sandwich style , over filled, and sometimes whipped creamed. This was the style my mom always sent us once we started our own family. Nothing but the best for her grandkids you know :-)

    Anyway, here are the 2 spots I mentioned and I recommend either. One word of advice, get there really early or you will be out of luck. Large order will need to be placed in advance.



    Delightful Pastries
    5927 W. Lawrence Ave


    Gladstone Park Bakery
    (773) 774-4210
    5744 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60646
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #4 - January 29th, 2005, 3:25 pm
    Post #4 - January 29th, 2005, 3:25 pm Post #4 - January 29th, 2005, 3:25 pm
    The Alliance Bakery on Division and Paulina has a daily special of paczki and medium coffee for $2.50. I had one the other day. I can't vouch for their authenticity, though, because it was the first time I had one.

    Having read the very long post at chowhound, I would not describe this as the same thing as a jelly donut. It was much lighter in taste and texture. It was sandwich style with powdered sugar on top. It was large. There was a long list of fruit flavors, one of them prune, which I would like to go back and try.

    The Alliance Bakery
    1736 W. Division
    773-365-0111
  • Post #5 - January 29th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    Post #5 - January 29th, 2005, 4:05 pm Post #5 - January 29th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    I'm sad to say that the paczki at Alliance were among the worst donuts I've ever tried. I did a side-by-side showdown last Fat Tuesday with the fare accross te street at Andy's. No comparison. Andy's custard paczki with chocolate icing was, in stark contrast, delicious.

    Call ahead, they are not an every day item, but the do start appearing about now. Made in the bakery/smokehouse next door to the Division store (I know, I had to wait for them to finish the 4 dozen I ordered last year.)
  • Post #6 - January 29th, 2005, 5:15 pm
    Post #6 - January 29th, 2005, 5:15 pm Post #6 - January 29th, 2005, 5:15 pm
    Chocolate icing with custard filling is a Boston Creme. The longer they've been around, the less Paczki are like Paczki.

    Read more about Paczki Day here:
    http://acweb.colum.edu/users/agunkel/ho ... tml#recipe
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #7 - January 29th, 2005, 6:17 pm
    Post #7 - January 29th, 2005, 6:17 pm Post #7 - January 29th, 2005, 6:17 pm
    Food Nut wrote:Chocolate icing with custard filling is a Boston Creme. The longer they've been around, the less Paczki are like Paczki.

    Read more about Paczki Day here:
    http://acweb.colum.edu/users/agunkel/ho ... tml#recipe


    I know this combo as a chocolate bismark.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - January 29th, 2005, 7:36 pm
    Post #8 - January 29th, 2005, 7:36 pm Post #8 - January 29th, 2005, 7:36 pm
    Archer Avenue and Loomis (about 2900 south). It's best to order a day ahead and pick them up. They run out quickly otherwise.
  • Post #9 - January 29th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    Post #9 - January 29th, 2005, 7:37 pm Post #9 - January 29th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    Oops. that's Bridgeport Bakery
  • Post #10 - January 30th, 2005, 12:13 am
    Post #10 - January 30th, 2005, 12:13 am Post #10 - January 30th, 2005, 12:13 am
    Does Andy's carry other flavors besides custard with chocolate icing? And, are packzi suppose to be the size of a hamburger bun?
  • Post #11 - January 30th, 2005, 12:26 am
    Post #11 - January 30th, 2005, 12:26 am Post #11 - January 30th, 2005, 12:26 am
    At 7055 W Archer, in an old Polish neighborhood that votes with its stomachs, Weber's Bakery has been doing them right for more than 70 years. On my way to Midway last year for an early flight, the place was packed solid with a line out the door -- at 5:45 a.m. They do several flavors, for maybe four days before Fat Tuesday. Probably best to order ahead, and BYO coffee.
  • Post #12 - January 30th, 2005, 11:06 am
    Post #12 - January 30th, 2005, 11:06 am Post #12 - January 30th, 2005, 11:06 am
    Last year on Fat Tuesday, I stopped by two palces for packzi. There is a combined Polish deli/bakery not too far from me on Harlem just north of Grand, I'm sorry the name is something long and Polish, but the place is hard to miss. East side of the street. The other place I went to, gosh, I'm of no help here, but this place was on, I believe Belmont just a bit east of Harlem. I'll try to figger out the name of this place this week.

    Well, the first place is very Polish, as in "new" Polish, as in little English spoken. The second place is a VERY popular bakery for old tim Portage Park types. And the moral of this story is, on Fat Tuesday, the Polish-Polish place, the one on Harlem was no busier than usual, and the packzi were not that special, dare we say past their prime. The Chicago-Polish place, however was a pure zoo. I liked walked in, took a number, it was like 88, and they were calling 25. The only easy thing was, you could fill out an order sheet, so that by the time you got your number called, they just filled up the box from your sheet. Like I say, a zoo.

    Anyways, being a donut-phile, I am sure I will have more for this thread as the week progresses.

    Rob
  • Post #13 - January 30th, 2005, 11:24 am
    Post #13 - January 30th, 2005, 11:24 am Post #13 - January 30th, 2005, 11:24 am
    Vital Information wrote:Last year on Fat Tuesday, I stopped by two palces for packzi. There is a combined Polish deli/bakery not too far from me on Harlem just north of Grand, I'm sorry the name is something long and Polish, but the place is hard to miss. East side of the street. The other place I went to, gosh, I'm of no help here, but this place was on, I believe Belmont just a bit east of Harlem. I'll try to figger out the name of this place this week.


    VI,

    I know it's on North, but you're not by any chance thinking of Claudio's, are you? I know this place usually as a packzi sign in the window around this time of year.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #14 - January 30th, 2005, 11:30 am
    Post #14 - January 30th, 2005, 11:30 am Post #14 - January 30th, 2005, 11:30 am
    Miara's at 7051 W. Addison? You brought it to Spoon Thai around that time last year.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - January 30th, 2005, 11:32 am
    Post #15 - January 30th, 2005, 11:32 am Post #15 - January 30th, 2005, 11:32 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Miara's at 7051 W. Addison? You brought it to Spoon Thai around that time last year.


    C2,

    I remember when VI walked into the restaurant with what I believe were two boxes of pastries that we ate as appetizers. What an excellent way to kick off a three-hour Thai food extravaganza!

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #16 - January 30th, 2005, 11:47 am
    Post #16 - January 30th, 2005, 11:47 am Post #16 - January 30th, 2005, 11:47 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Miara's at 7051 W. Addison? You brought it to Spoon Thai around that time last year.


    Thanks!!!
  • Post #17 - January 30th, 2005, 5:42 pm
    Post #17 - January 30th, 2005, 5:42 pm Post #17 - January 30th, 2005, 5:42 pm
    Courtesy of G Wiv's files, we have VI's order from last year:

    Image
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - January 30th, 2005, 6:45 pm
    Post #18 - January 30th, 2005, 6:45 pm Post #18 - January 30th, 2005, 6:45 pm
    "Chocolate icing with custard filling is a Boston Creme."

    Well, I'm not sure I caught that when the Polish ladies who made them at Andy's were selling scores of them to Polish customers. But then, the transactions were conducted in Polish.

    Perhaps it is possible that there is some middle or eastern european baking precedent for the use of custards and chocolates to embellish pastry.

    Anyway, you can keep the prune preserves. The custard and chocolate were as good as I've seen on a donut.
  • Post #19 - January 30th, 2005, 10:44 pm
    Post #19 - January 30th, 2005, 10:44 pm Post #19 - January 30th, 2005, 10:44 pm
    Traditional Polish paczki (it's "cz" which sounds like the "ch" in paunch) are either dusted with confectioner's sugar or covered with a plain powdered sugar icing. Just as now you can find Hawaiian salad with coconut and pineapple in Poland, the paczek (the singular) has been adapted to local tastes, which is where the chocolate frosting comes in.

    VI mentioned that the Polish-Polish bakery was not mobbed on Fat Tuesday last year. That's because in Poland it is celebrated on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday--tlusty czwartek (fat Thursday). When I was at Vienna Pastry last week, they had a postcard printed up advertising their 2 paczki days--Feb. 3 and Feb. 8. In Poland, Fat Tuesday is "Ostatki"--meaning the last day you can eat, dance, drink, etc. Cooks used up the last of their butter, preserves, oil, etc. before the Lenten fast.

    Some other suggestions as to where to get paczki, some already suggested by previous posters:

    any of the Andy's locations--Division; Milwaukee near Pulaski; Milwaukee west of Foster/Central
    Forest View Bakery, on Milwaukee just west of Devon
    Delightful Pastries, formerly Lawrence Bakery
    Vienna Pastry, Addison & Long
    Oak Mill Bakery--Belmont/Central and Niles
    Laramie Bakery--on Laramie between Diversey and Belmont

    The larger markets such as Wally's and Montrose Deli will probably also have them. Follow the lines!

    Each bakery's paczki seem to taste a little different, so you'll have to do a little eating to find your favorite. Smacznego! Anna
  • Post #20 - January 31st, 2005, 11:46 pm
    Post #20 - January 31st, 2005, 11:46 pm Post #20 - January 31st, 2005, 11:46 pm
    I had a prune paczki today from the Alliance Bakery and enjoyed it very much, much more than the cherry I had the other day. Andy's looked boarded up? I read that black raspberry paczki is very popular in western New York. Most of the recipes I read included rum in the dough and fruit fillings, usually prune, although I saw one with rose marmalade, which sounded very interesting. Anyways, a most informative post, Anna, thank you, and something new for me!
  • Post #21 - February 1st, 2005, 8:06 am
    Post #21 - February 1st, 2005, 8:06 am Post #21 - February 1st, 2005, 8:06 am
    Apple wrote: Andy's looked boarded up?


    There is a new Andy's down a little bit from the boarded up old Andy's.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #22 - February 3rd, 2005, 12:51 pm
    Post #22 - February 3rd, 2005, 12:51 pm Post #22 - February 3rd, 2005, 12:51 pm
    I tried Alliance today. Let me just say that that was one of the worst Paczki I have ever had. We had an assorted box and none of them were any good, let alone even close to authentic. Out of the dozen we got, 6 of them were custard. We asked repeatedly for a couple of rose (one of the most traditional fillings) which they told us was already in the box. Get back, guess what? No rose. The closest one to decent and traditional was the prune. Time to chalk this one up to experience and try a different one on Tuesday.
  • Post #23 - February 3rd, 2005, 1:29 pm
    Post #23 - February 3rd, 2005, 1:29 pm Post #23 - February 3rd, 2005, 1:29 pm
    Damn. I told you that the Alliance paczki stink to high heaven (IME).

    Meanwhile, kitty corner from hipster-cool Alliance, the mean girls at Andy's were cooking up some of the best I have had. Consistent with Anna's note about "Polish-Polish" versus Polish-American paczki, the varieties offered today were: rose, orange, madarin, and madarin-orange, with the choice of dusted or glazed. Interesting how Northern and Eastern European confections tend toward orientalism more so than most of the savory stuff.

    I especially enjoyed the rose. These gems are not much like filled donuts. There is more bread in the bread-to-filling ratio. They are not sickly sweet, and the delicate air pockets of the dough are not squished into white-bread oblivion.

    I was the only gringo buying, but lots of dirty-blonde, blue-eyed construction guys were in the place loading up. Notably, the only advertising in the window related to paczki is in Polish.
    Last edited by JeffB on February 3rd, 2005, 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #24 - February 3rd, 2005, 3:23 pm
    Post #24 - February 3rd, 2005, 3:23 pm Post #24 - February 3rd, 2005, 3:23 pm
    Coming back from Gene and Judes, paczki day dawned on me. I did not want to schlep too far, so I went to the closest Polish Bakery near me, Koplatek's Bakery & Deli* ("Chemical Free Baking [sic!]"). It was the same Polish-Polish place I went to last year, but on the "wrong day".

    The packi's were in high demand, and like JeffB, we were the only people not ordering in Polish. Still, I was not so impressed with the thing. I'm a well-known donut freak, and I enjoy even the rather banal yet traditional things served weekly at the Oak Park Farmer's Market, so give me a donut yes. But these donuts? They were just too austere, neither crisp nor sweet or fatty or airy or any of the other things that make donuts fun to eat. They are just something eaten on a certain day I suppose.

    I will see how the Amer-Polish compares next week.

    Rob

    Kolatek's Bakery & Deli
    2445-47 N. Harlem
    Chicago, IL
    773-637-3772

    *Since last year, Kolatek's moved one storefront over, into a larger space. It is much more than a bakery now, almost a Polish Caputo's (absent fresh fruit and vegetable). The display cases feature all sorts of delicious looking prepared foods, which we bought several of, there's meats and sausaes, and there is a huge supply of canned and jarred goods and even a greatl looking butter from Poland. The only other disappointing thing, they had these Amish eggs from Wisconsin, cool no? But they were VERY old.
  • Post #25 - February 3rd, 2005, 4:52 pm
    Post #25 - February 3rd, 2005, 4:52 pm Post #25 - February 3rd, 2005, 4:52 pm
    Any Northshore or Northwest suburb recs appreciated.I checked the Bennison Bakery website and did not see them.IIRC Pick'n'save carried them last year.
  • Post #26 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:30 pm
    Post #26 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:30 pm Post #26 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:30 pm
    GAF suggested the Oak Mill Bakery in Niles as a possible source.But call first.
  • Post #27 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:50 pm
    Post #27 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:50 pm Post #27 - February 3rd, 2005, 6:50 pm
    Oak Mill is my go to place. They always have rose in stock 365 days/year. But for this special day, call ahead and reserve.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #28 - February 3rd, 2005, 8:32 pm
    Post #28 - February 3rd, 2005, 8:32 pm Post #28 - February 3rd, 2005, 8:32 pm
    I second the Oak Mill recommendation for paczki. They do enormous business on both "paczki days", and donate part of the proceeds to charity. Oak Mill has 4 locations; Niles is the actual bakery, the other 3 are retail outlets only. Location details at www.oakmillbakery.com.

    Niles: 8012 N. Milwaukee, 847-318-6400

    Harlem/Lawrence: 4747 N. Harlem, Harwood Heights, 708-867-9400

    They also have a store at Belmont/Central (in a mini-mall at Parkside, one block west of Central) across from the incredible expanded A&G Market and one on the SW side. All details on web site.

    Sorry to hear about the bad experience at Kolatek's. As I wrote earlier, bakeries make many different kinds of paczki, some good, some bad. The best are airy, chewy, with a discernible flavor to the dough, but not dry. They are totally unlike American donuts or bismarcks. Hard to explain. I've eaten many a bad paczek in my day.

    My aunts made their own rose filling for paczki. The other traditional choice is "powidla", a term for a cooked down fruit, such as plums, with no sugar added. My husband just called that's he's bringing a half dozen from work. Our stomachs await. Anna
  • Post #29 - February 4th, 2005, 12:55 pm
    Post #29 - February 4th, 2005, 12:55 pm Post #29 - February 4th, 2005, 12:55 pm
    Was driving by Kay's bakery in Forest Park, and spotted a sign in the window for paczki, with a long list of "flavors." I don't believe Kay's has offered these items before, and because Kay's is close (and Forest Park my continuing cause celebre), I will stop by and report.

    Pastries By Kay
    7332 W. Madison
    Forest Park IL 60130
    (708)366-3669
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #30 - February 4th, 2005, 4:03 pm
    Post #30 - February 4th, 2005, 4:03 pm Post #30 - February 4th, 2005, 4:03 pm
    Paczki appear before Ash Wednesday every year, for the same reason that Mardi Gras is always a big blowout the day before Ash Wednesday. In countries, such as Poland and France, with large Roman Catholic populations, Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent.

    Before the 2nd Vatican Council convened by Pope John XXIII, Lent meant 40 days of fasting, until Easter arrived. Fasting, as you know, means no or little food (used to be only one meal a day for healthy adults as a Lenten requirement). As a result, perishable items such as eggs, lard, butter, etc. would go to waste if they couldn't be eaten for 40 days. So, in an effort not to let food go to waste, people found a way to use up these items before they had to begin their fast. The result in Poland? Paczki!

    Today, as a result of the rulings of Vatican II, Roman Catholics can choose to fast, and the only Lenten requirement is no meat on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday (I can't speak for other Catholics, like the Greek Orthodox). But Fat Tuesday is still Fat Tuesday, and that means paczki!

    Having said that, paczki are not simply glorified donuts. They're supposed to be richer (all those extra eggs and butter to use up!), not that sweet (that's what the fillings, glazes and powdered sugar are for), and definitely more plump than regular jelly donuts or bismarks. Those things you find in supermarkets aren't paczki but simply a crass attempt to cash in on the real thing. Stick with your favorite corner bakery for best results!

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