Not to be confused with the Big Easy’s po-boy, the Polish Boy is a uniquely Cleveland invention, and its praises have been sung by notable magazines and celebrity foodies like Anthony Bourdain, Adam Richman, and, naturally, rabid Clevelander Michael Symon.
So you might be wondering, what the hell is a Polish Boy, and what does it have to do with Cleveland?
At its heart is kielbasa, which is a general term for a Polish smoked sausage made with beef, pork, or a combination thereof. The sausage is grilled or griddled, tucked into a sturdy hot dog bun, and topped with coleslaw, French fries, and barbecue sauce. Finishing one is a feat; polishing off two is the stuff of legend. Proper attire for eating a Polish Boy is an apron, or anything you don’t mind tossing into the trash.
For a sandwich that is rightly celebrated and roundly trumpeted, there is a paucity of facts on its origin. Compounding the problem is the fact that "Polish Boy" was once a general term for any large kielbasa on a bun.