YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fat Tuesday is a popular celebration in Youngstown, especially within the Polish community.
Paczki, polka and Polish beer — it’s all a part of the Polish Fat Tuesday celebration at Kravitz Deli in Youngstown.
The deli has 3,000 paczki — or Polish donuts — waiting to be eaten at its three locations.
“It is our second busiest day of the year next to St. Patrick’s Day, which, of course, is a corned beef holiday,” Jack Kravitz said.
Stacks of paczki boxes got higher and higher in the back of the store Monday night. The deli employees packed the store’s pastry preorders for Fat Tuesday.
“I would say we have 20 dozen preorders and we weren’t pushing the preorders. We want people to come in and really do it,” Kravitz said.
Kravitz Deli is selling a new sandwich it created with kielbasa and the donut as the bread.
“There was a bakery in Detroit — actually a deli, I think — and they came up with the paczki dog,” Kravitz said.
Polish Youngstown, the group that partners with Kravitz Deli to host Fat Tuesday, was inspired by an event in Detroit.
“About eight years ago, we started selling paczki donuts in town as the thing here in town to raise money for our youth programs,” Aundrea Cika-Heschmeyer said. “About five years ago, I approached Jack after visiting Detroit and said, ‘Come on, we know we can do this here.'”
Kravitz said the deli will also be serving other Polish favorites, like stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes.
It opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday but Kravitz said customers start lining up around 7:30.