Dish of the Week: Cleveland’s Signature Sandwich, The Polish Boy

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re bringing you a dish that will most definitely up your summer grill out game: The Polish Boy.

A Polish Boy is a sausage sandwich, typically made with smoked kielbasa, that is native to Cleveland, Ohio. A char-grilled kielbasa gets stuffed into a giant roll and smothered with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, hot and fresh fries, and creamy coleslaw.

The gluttonous sandwich gained national recognition at places like the now defunct Freddie’s Rib House in Cleveland – where Esquire magazine dubbed it “soul on white” – and Seti’s – which was featured on Food Network’s "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and Food & Wine’s list of “America’s Best Hot Dogs.”

Grab plenty of napkins (or some forks and knives) if you plan on serving up this jaw-stretcher. You may even want to wrap each sandwich in tin foil to help with the mess.

Polish Boy Sandwiches

makes 4 sandwiches
For the fries: 
2 lbs potatoes, washed and peeled
Canola oil

For the sandwich:
4 smoked kielbasa links
4 good-quality hoagie rolls, split
Coleslaw (store-bought or homemade)
BBQ Sauce (store-bought or homemade)
Hot sauce, optional


To make the fries: Cut peeled potatoes into long 1/4 inch thick matchsticks, placing them in a bowl of cold water. Pour 3-4 inches of oil into a cast iron pot and heat to 275 to 300 degrees. Drain the fries and pat dry. Working in small batches, fry the potatoes until they are soft and pale, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and increase the oil to 350 to 375 degrees. Again working in small batches, add the fries and cook until crisp and golden, about 1-3 minutes. Drain on paper towel and season with salt to taste.

To make the sandwiches: Grill the kielbasa for 5-10 minutes per side until done. Place inside rolls and top with coleslaw, fries, and BBQ sauce. Add a few dashes of hot sauce if desired.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano