Best Place to Parlay a $1 Polish Home Association Membership into a Meal That Will Thrill You and Repulse Everyone Else

A word about PB Kitchen's pork hock: Not since Babe has a pig made me so happy. The atmosphere of the "restaurant"—a weekends-only dining hall in Capitol Hill's Polish Home blessed with all the charms of a nursing-home cafeteria—had me searching my memory for synonyms for "bland" and "salty" before the food even came out. I should've been prepping my body instead with a couple of laps around the block, for the $10 Brobdingnagian hock that showed up at my table was as luscious and creamy as a bucket of warm lard. Actually, that's kind of what it was: The thick sheath of gelatin that draped over the leg bones tore away as easily as butter and tasted quite similar. The revulsion displayed by my dining partner was evident as I alternated between bites of bread and opulent pig fat, and I'm quite happy to report that grossing out somebody actually makes food taste better. (I get you now, weird kid who ate cicadas at my elementary school.) Not everything on the menu is designed to strangle your heart: There's kielbasa, cabbage rolls, breaded pork chops, cheese crepes, and three types of pierogi. A rustic wooden bar serves up Okocim and other Polish beers as well as grass-infused vodka, all for much cheaper than you'd think fair. All that's required to eat at PB Kitchen is the ability to arrive early and a $1 daylong membership per person to the Polish Home Association, available at the door. (They're open 7–11 p.m. on Fridays beginning Sept. 7).—John Metcalfe 1714 18th Ave., 322-3020, www.polishhome.org.

 
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