The Polish Boy is beloved in its hometown of Cleveland. The sandwich has such a cult following there that "Iron Chef's" Michael Symon, a Cleveland native, picked a Polish Boy as his choice for the Food Network show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." But despite its popularity two hours to the north, Columbus didn't have a reliable source for the sausage sandwich until this year.
Story by Bethia Woolf // Photos by Jodi Miller
The Polish Boy is beloved in its hometown of Cleveland. The sandwich has such a cult following there that "Iron Chef's" Michael Symon, a Cleveland native, picked a Polish Boy as his choice for the Food Network show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
But despite its popularity two hours to the north, Columbus didn't have a reliable source for the sausage sandwich until this year.
Marcus Spivey, owner of the new Yellow Boy's food cart, is a Clevelander who spent much of his time at Ohio State wishing he could find a decent Polish Boy in Columbus. After years of hoping someone else would open a Polish Boy restaurant, Spivey decided to take the plunge himself earlier this year.
Now, thanks to Spivey, transplanted Clevelanders (and anyone else) craving kielbasa can get their fix on the streets of Columbus.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Yellow Boy's moves around town and can be found on Campus, in the Short North and at special events and festivals. Keep track of Spivey on Twitter or Facebook--these sandwiches are worth hunting down.
WHEN TO GO
Yellow Boy's is usually out and about on weekends and late nights. This is great after-the-bar--or between-rounds-of-beer--food, and it's not surprising that Spivey regularly sells out of sausages.
WHAT TO GET
A Polish Boy, of course! Here's what it is: a juicy grilled kielbasa sausage served in a hot dog bun topped with french fries, coleslaw and barbecue or hot sauce. They're $5 apiece.
Spivey drives up to Cleveland to get his kielbasas, and splits and grills them himself. He makes his own sweet coleslaw and uses pre-cooked oven fries.
The soft bun and thick-cut fries soak up the juices from that coleslaw and--the highlight of the sandwich--Spivey's secret-recipe barbecue sauce. We wish we could tell you what's in it, but Spivey's not spilling. It's tangy, a little vinegary and packs some heat, and it pulls the sandwich together quite nicely.
ON THE SIDE
No side orders here unless you want a soda. This is a compact, all-in-one sandwich--the fries are served on top rather than on the side.
DON'T FORGET TO
Grab some napkins. You'll need them. It's good--but it's very messy.
And spend some time chatting with Spivey. This friendly and charming guy has managed to perfect the difficult art of conversing with drunken customers.
Bethia Woolf, owner of the tour company Columbus Food Adventures, blogs at streeteatscolumbus.com.
Yellow Boy's Polish Boys