The hedonistic holiday of Paczki Day in Detroit is one filled with tradition and glazed with Polish heritage. When it comes time to celebrate the Christian-adjacent holiday of Fat Tuesday, we line up outside Hamtramck bakeries, which annually stuff us silly with classic plum, prune, rose, or raspberry treats. In the spirit of originality, here are a few places where you can expect the unexpected on March 5.
Honcho; 3 E. Church St., Clarkston; 248-707-3793
Gran Castor; 2950 Rochester Rd., Troy; 248-278-7777
Union General Store; 50 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-620-3800
The Union Joints crew has long been ahead of the culinary curve, so why would their paczki be any different? This year, a social media poll gave their followers a chance to vote on some rule-breaking baked goods. The field of 32 flavors was narrowed down to four winners: Raspberry Nutella (raspberry compote interior with a roof of Nutella and white chocolate raspberry pretzel bark), Cannoli Cream (filled with pistachio-orange custard and glazed with vanilla), S'more (toasted marshmallow creme filling, topped with chocolate glaze, torched marshmallow and graham crackers), and finally, Churro Toast Crunch (cinnamon custard, ginger cookie glaze, and sprinkled with Cinnamon Toast Crunch krispie treats).
Whiskey in the Jar
2741 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-873-4154
One of our favorite Hamtramck hole-in-the-wall bars also boasts one of our favorite fillings: liquor. This dive spot is the self-proclaimed "Home of the Shot-Ski," where you can take your shot and eat it too.
10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117
Some of the fun and flavorful paczki fillings at Small's include blueberry vodka, vanilla vodka, Bailey's, you name it. Stick a straw in it, and you have one of the bar's traditional "Paczki Bombs" — so you can sip your sins and fatten your chins until Fat Tuesday becomes Smashed Wednesday.
New Palace Bakery
9833 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck; 313-875-1334
Returning from last year are the Strawberry Cheesecake, Fruity Pebbles, and Cocoa Puff varieties. Rookies on the 2019 roster are Triple Chocolate and Birthday Cake (complete with rainbow sprinkles).
American Coney Island
114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-7758
American Coney Island is already a major player in the coney dog industry, and they might be onto something by merging two Motor City favorites with the coney-paczki: A sweet, pillowy pastry hugging a coney dog, complete with chili, mustard, and onion.
Nosh Pit Detroit
2995 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-486-0777
Hey, vegans want the option to fatten up their Tuesday too. Nosh Pit will be doling out raspberry and vanilla creme flavors to make vegan dreams come true. And for any gluten-free gluttons, they've got you covered as well.
27475 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-775-7427
If a typical fried paczek isn't cutting it for you, try a pork-powdered pastry out in Roseville. A creamy maple glaze topped with pig candy bacon perfectly marries the traditional Polish-inspired winter holiday with flavors of a midwestern summer barbecue.
8066 Kercheval St., Detroit; 313-447-5550
Sister Pie will serve up small batches of maple coffee and "pieraczki" — a pierogi-paczki mashup.
316 N Main St., Royal Oak; 248-268-1939
If you're vegan or gluten-free and want to avoid the hustle of Hamtramck on Paczki Day, Ale Mary's in Royal Oak will be keeping it simple and very sweet with raspberry filling in their coconut milk, gluten-free flour, and vegan sugar creations.
Street Beet Pop-Up at Bikes & Coffee
5063 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 248-212-6926 or 313-288-0201
On March 5, the vegan-vegetarian pop-up culinary artists from Street Beet will be dropping off a very limited quantity of vegan and gluten-free paczki at Bikes & Coffee in Woodbridge. On the menu are a duo of refined flavors: glazed Caramel Apple Bourbon Jam and pistachio-dusted Rose Orange & Cardamom Custard.
Tony Cannoli Sweets & Eats
16125 West Rd., Woodhaven; 734-672-6018
The crème de la crème of paczki contents might be oozing out of this delightful Downriver dessertery. Tony Cannoli is offering up pre-orders for their trademark cannoli cream-filled creation that will be available exclusively on March 4 and 5. It comes slathered in powdered sugar and flecked with chocolate chips.
Motor City Sports Bar
9122 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck; 313-875-4710
The success of American Coney Island's hot-dog-in-a-paczki has led to the next logical step: paczki burgers. It's just like it sounds: a beef patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion nestled between two sugary paczki. It will likely immobilize all who try it, but they'll be available March 2 for the Hamtramck Paczki Run in addition to the big Fat Tuesday.
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