PNH of Hartford’s First-Ever
Festival Begins Tradition
HARTFORD, CT – On the evening of August 11th, the grounds of the Polish National Home of Hartford took on all the wonderful character of a European beer garden: long tables under the shade of trees, flickering candles and polka music, plenty of frosty beer on tap and a seemingly-endless supply of delicious Polish barbecue!
Longtime members of this hundred-year-old Polish-American club mixed with curious new neighbors and guests from across the state for this first-ever outdoor barbecue event at the Polish National Home. The bonds of a growing neighborhood community were to be found everywhere one looked: easy camaraderie with young and old, excited new residents drawn in by the promise of a unique experience; even a fire engine from the Hartford Fire Department rolled past to get a closer look, honking a greeting to the waving PNH guests!
The event was the culmination of a flourishing partnership between the PNH and another longtime fixture in Hartford’s Polish-American community, Adolf’s Meat and Sausage Kitchen in Hartford’s South End, and with an exciting new startup, Back East Brewery in Bloomfield. Polish-born owner Joe Gorski of Adolf’s and engineer-turned-brewer Tony Karlowicz of Back East Brewery were both on hand to drink in the sight of so many people gathered to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The PNH’s Chef Jeff was the star of the evening, turning out five delicious and unique courses for the gathered guests, while Tony served the brand-new PNH-exclusive craft beer, the PNH Hussar Ale. The PNH’s director of events and marketing, Asha Lassen, proudly thanked their partners for making the event happen, and introduced each course to the hungry crowd.
The five courses served were:
1. Thick-cut bacon “steaks” grilled with sauce, and served with cool corn & barley salad.
2. Lamb & beef “slider” mini-burgers topped with dill sauce and fresh cucumbers.
3. Grilled hunters kielbasa, topped with fresh ale mustard and served with potato salad.
4. Spicy grilled bratwurst, with fresh caraway sauerkraut and topped with mustard.
5. Traditional Polish pork karkowka, grilled and glazed with sauce, with chopped beets.
In addition to the newly-unveiled PNH Hussar Ale served at the event, Chef Jeff was proud to introduce a new recipe that became the hit of the evening. The PNH-exclusive Hussar Ale House Mustard, made by Chef Jeff with the Hussar Ale and fresh ground mustard seed, was ladled onto the grilled kielbasa and bratwurst, and the crowds quickly came back for more! Next time you come to the PNH, ask for Chef Jeff’s Hussar Ale Mustard!
Ms. Lassen was thrilled at the reception to this new PNH summer tradition, and plans are already being hatched for next summer’s Meatstravaganza.
About the Polish National Home of Hartford:
In 1917, Hartford’s Polish immigrant community incorporated the Polish National Home in order to build a center for family and culture in the New World. After twelve years of hard work, these first-generation laborers had saved the funds to build what would become the city’s grand Art Deco venue. Ground was broken one day after the start of the Great Depression; the four-story masonry building was completed in 1930. The Polish National Home’s Chopin Ballroom has been a center for jazz concerts, swing dances and movie double features, a stage for political rallies and theater performances, a gathering place for countless weddings and baptisms – a home where all are welcome to join the family, and countless memories have been made. Now celebrating its 100th year since this member-controlled nonprofit’s founding, the Polish National Home continues to serve as the heart of a community, and a proud partner in Hartford’s revival.
PNH Press Release