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The Polish Club. A pork knuckle review

By johnboy - 17 September 2011 18

pork knuckle

So you think that schnitty is the bomb?

With a lot more live music coming up at O’Connor’s Polish Club (and with me living just a couple of blocks away) I chanced the restaurant last night.

The White Eagle Polish Club (or “The Polo” to the hip) is a strange building. Completed on the 500th birthday of Copernicus, the 70’s era building manages to be grand and claustrophobic at the same time. (Perhaps most notably the men’s bogs with the 30 foot high ceiling).

The restaurant appears to have been transplanted from an older building still.

The menus are encased in vinyl and stacked neatly next to the ordering window.

Orders are taken slowly and inscribed with pencil into a book.

There are no numbers, or pagers. You, and your order, are remembered.

And then you wait.

And hope.

Fortunately the bar is stocked with an astounding array of Polish beers and (for the truly brave) vodka. From the bar area one can hear the music from the function room quite comfortably.

Having heard hushed tales of the legendary pork knuckle I decided to give that a go for $23.

As it’s brought out of the kitchen on a silverish platter your heart might sink, thoughts might go through your head like “Am I really going to eat all that?”

It is tasty though. And served with lashings of mustard, horseradish, and some sort of beetroot relish.

As a display of bravado it stands proudly with the dangerous polish beers the bar serves.

In a world of ever more homogenised bistro fare it’s great to see something truly out of the ordinary.

(As a note on scale in the picture the beer bottle is a 600ml, not a 330.)


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18 Responses to
The Polish Club. A pork knuckle review
poetix 8:31 am 19 Sep 11

I asked about vego meals here exactly because I understand that the club is largely for the Polish community and therefore I didn’t want to go in and demand a vegetarian meal; it might be rude. Although I agree that traditionally, many peasants didn’t get that much meat! Also, it seem to be a little strange to argue that because half a pig is traditional Polish fare, the restaurant can’t serve anything else. That’s almost suggesting that they’re poor simple people, without the ability to adapt, which is obviously offensive. Some traditionally very meaty places, such as Germany, probably have more vego establishments than many other countries.

As to the person who said you’d be shot in France for requesting a vegetarian meal, at bistros at least, they often have salads. And snails are half mushroom, I understand.

milkman 7:08 am 19 Sep 11

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

There are two vegetarian options: make do or f*** off.

chewy14 11:18 pm 18 Sep 11

poisonivy said :

It’s a *struggling* Polish restaurant in a struggling club, which just happens to be in an area close to the ANU and populated by young professionals. They’re not in the old country anymore, they’re running a business. Some slight adjustments to the treatment of the vegetable items on the menu would deliver a loyal local clientele in the long term.

LOL.
yeah catering to that massive vegetarian market is going to have them rolling in cash.

Hosinator 11:14 pm 18 Sep 11

poisonivy said :

It’s a Polish Restaurant FFS. As is common in most European cuisines, meat is central to the meal.
If you don’t like meat, don’t go. Also, I think you’ll find most soups are based on stock…

It’s a *struggling* Polish restaurant in a struggling club, which just happens to be in an area close to the ANU and populated by young professionals. They’re not in the old country anymore, they’re running a business. Some slight adjustments to the treatment of the vegetable items on the menu would deliver a loyal local clientele in the long term.

You’re lucky we even tolerate vegetarians in this country, in France and Argentina you’re either deported or shot.

On

yellowsnow said :

poisonivy said :

Just like in the old country, where we call this sort of thing ‘hamstwo’!! Maybe they’re doing intentionally it to make the people nostalgic.

You hit the nail on the head yellowsnow.

Jethro 11:07 pm 18 Sep 11

imarty said :

poisonivy said :

yellowsnow said :

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

Pierogi (dumplings). The ones with potato and farm cheese stuffing. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried them

If you like your ‘vegetarian’ dumplings garnished with lard and bacon bits, go right ahead. My vegetarian friend and I had a long conversation with the staff about our needs and understanding appeared to reign on all sides, until the meals came out, complete with animal fats and bits.

Soup I never touch in restaurants – in a Polish restaurant you can just about guarantee it’s been made on some sort of stock.

The management knows that this is a problem, and given their local demographic they really need to do more to pull in ALL sorts of diners, not just the carnivores. Stayed tuned, and should you venture there, be VERY specific about what is not acceptable on the plate.

It’s a Polish Restaurant FFS. As is common in most European cuisines, meat is central to the meal.
If you don’t like meat, don’t go. Also, I think you’ll find most soups are based on stock…

Unless it is the 1980s and you live in Central/Eastern Europe…. then cabbage and beets are central to the meal and meat is a distant capitalist fantasy.

gentoopenguin 9:30 pm 18 Sep 11

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

You’re kidding, right?

yellowsnow 9:09 pm 18 Sep 11

poisonivy said :

It’s a *struggling* Polish restaurant in a struggling club, which just happens to be in an area close to the ANU and populated by young professionals. They’re not in the old country anymore, they’re running a business. Some slight adjustments to the treatment of the vegetable items on the menu would deliver a loyal local clientele in the long term.

True, the operators seem to approach it as if they were begrudgingly serving the club members out of obligation to the Polish community, rather than to make a profit or attract outsiders. I once went there at lunch on a Saturday, ordered a pork schnitzel and chips, but they wouldn’t give me the chips because the deep frier was turned off, and then when i asked for potatoes they couldn’t do those either because peeling them would be too difficult. In the end they gave me a piece of stale-ish bread to go with the meat, and it was served with dollops of attitude. Just like in the old country, where we call this sort of thing ‘hamstwo’!! Maybe they’re doing intentionally it to make the people nostalgic.

Nevertheless, it was a great meal, and the beer made me forget their transgressions. When you go, just don’t expect good service. Or — on a Saturday — potatoes.

poisonivy 6:47 pm 18 Sep 11

It’s a Polish Restaurant FFS. As is common in most European cuisines, meat is central to the meal.
If you don’t like meat, don’t go. Also, I think you’ll find most soups are based on stock…

It’s a *struggling* Polish restaurant in a struggling club, which just happens to be in an area close to the ANU and populated by young professionals. They’re not in the old country anymore, they’re running a business. Some slight adjustments to the treatment of the vegetable items on the menu would deliver a loyal local clientele in the long term.

imarty 1:14 pm 18 Sep 11

poisonivy said :

yellowsnow said :

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

Pierogi (dumplings). The ones with potato and farm cheese stuffing. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried them

If you like your ‘vegetarian’ dumplings garnished with lard and bacon bits, go right ahead. My vegetarian friend and I had a long conversation with the staff about our needs and understanding appeared to reign on all sides, until the meals came out, complete with animal fats and bits.

Soup I never touch in restaurants – in a Polish restaurant you can just about guarantee it’s been made on some sort of stock.

The management knows that this is a problem, and given their local demographic they really need to do more to pull in ALL sorts of diners, not just the carnivores. Stayed tuned, and should you venture there, be VERY specific about what is not acceptable on the plate.

It’s a Polish Restaurant FFS. As is common in most European cuisines, meat is central to the meal.
If you don’t like meat, don’t go. Also, I think you’ll find most soups are based on stock…

poisonivy 8:15 am 18 Sep 11

yellowsnow said :

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

Pierogi (dumplings). The ones with potato and farm cheese stuffing. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried them

If you like your ‘vegetarian’ dumplings garnished with lard and bacon bits, go right ahead. My vegetarian friend and I had a long conversation with the staff about our needs and understanding appeared to reign on all sides, until the meals came out, complete with animal fats and bits.

Soup I never touch in restaurants – in a Polish restaurant you can just about guarantee it’s been made on some sort of stock.

The management knows that this is a problem, and given their local demographic they really need to do more to pull in ALL sorts of diners, not just the carnivores. Stayed tuned, and should you venture there, be VERY specific about what is not acceptable on the plate.

Pandy 10:17 pm 17 Sep 11

Hey notice how the sign above the door in street view is blanked out?

Move down the street and then the blanking goes away.

Strange

Pandy 10:10 pm 17 Sep 11

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

How many traditional Polish vego options are there?

Cold beetroot soup and cabbage.

yellowsnow 9:53 pm 17 Sep 11

poetix said :

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

Pierogi (dumplings). The ones with potato and farm cheese stuffing. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried them

poetix 8:41 pm 17 Sep 11

Are there any vego options? Apart from the vodka?

bigfeet 6:46 pm 17 Sep 11

Damn that sounds good….I wish I could convince my wife to go to this place.

Would it be sad and pathetic if I snuck out one night on a fabricated and flimsy work related excuse and went and had one by myself?

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