Fat Tuesday Tradition Reigns in RhinelanderSubmitted: 02/12/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

RHINELANDER - Thanks to one sweet treat, Fat Tuesday can be a good day to be Polish or at least pretend you're Polish.

You can do it right here in the Northwoods.

Traditionally, devout Polish Catholics looked to use up their lard and sugar before heading into Lent.

That's where a pastry called a paczki comes from.

Manager Randy Zadnik of the new Zadnik's Bistro in downtown Rhinelander will make between 2,000 and 3,000 of them Tuesday.

"Oh, yes. We've got fresh strawberry, blueberry, apricot. We've got custard. We also have cream cheese. There's one I'm missing, I'm sure, but there's seven flavors," he says.

By 6:30 Tuesday morning, customers were streaming in and out of Zadnik's to get their own paczki.

Zadnik's has been open three weeks where the old Zippy's restaurant used to be in Rhinelander.

Zadnik carried a few things over from Zippy's, but is starting fresh as well.

"We're going back to the basics. We're taking all the original things that people have done in the past, and making them work again, like going back to slicing your own cheese, slicing your own meat, my Italian sausage is imported, our sausage is fresh ground," he says.

Whether it's paczki or pizza, Zadnik knows what feeling he wants to give his customers when they eat his food.

"A wow. Wow, look at that sandwich on fresh-baked bread. All the products are fresh, everything in it is fresh, it was assembled to order, and it was cooked to order. So fresh, and outstanding," he says.

Today's the only day of the year Zadnik's makes paczki.

Our expert food critics here at Newswatch 12 give them a thumbs-up.

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