Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#82 Kielbasa on a Sizzling Comal at Polonia, 1900 Blalock
Those flat, oval-shaped Mexican comals set in a wooden frame became famous when sizzling fajitas were first served on them in the 1980s, but I have seen the little frying pans adapted to a lot of culinary presentations. Polonia's kielbasa and sauerkraut on a sizzling comal, for instance. Is this the ultimate in Tex-Pole cuisine, or what?
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Beyond the excellent homemade-tasting sauerkraut and the only-in-Texas presentation, the flavor of the firm, meaty sausage itself is exceptional -- it's nothing like the crap that commercial sausage-makers in America call kielbasa. Kielbasa (pronounced "Ke-bah-see" or "Keu-bah-sah") is the generic word for sausage in Polish. But sausage is a mainstay of Polish cuisine, and they have dozens of varieties.
The kielbasa served on the comal at Polonia is a smoked pork variety called podwaleska. You can buy it at the Polish food store next door to Polonia. Better get some sauerkraut and Polish mustard too.
The list to date:
#100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87: Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli #86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms #85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan #84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina #83: El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos