The Polish American Citizens Club was founded in 1922 and appears to have hosted Sunday brunches for the public for nearly as long.
Recently, the mother of a friend died—she and her husband had breakfasted every Sunday “at the Polish Club” for the length of their marriage: 62 years.
With that longevity in mind, I bundled up my family (husband and cousin Ed) and we walked across the low bridge and around High Street to the square building just a stone’s throw from Franklin Avenue.
You enter the building in the front, walk through a foyer and seat yourself in the dining area which has tables of different lengths scattered around the room. The bar takes up the entire wall on the right side and has a television by the door, but the room is so large that it’s not distracting.
The minute you’ve sat down at a table, a waitress appears and offers you coffee or tea. The first carafe of coffee is included with your meal; additional carafes cost 50 cents each. Menus are on the table and the waitress will give you a few minutes to read it over.
My cousin Ed selected the Creamed Chipped Beef ($6) over toast (he could have also chosen home fries) with orange juice. It’s his favorite breakfast and he felt the dish was just as salty as it should have been. He’s looking forward to trying it again with the home fries.
I ordered the French Toast ($6), which came with juice (I chose cranberry) and my choice of breakfast meat (ham, bacon, scrapple or kielbasa). Although I was in a Polish restaurant, my Pennsylvania Dutch roots won out and I ordered the scrapple.
My three slices of French toast were expertly grilled with the right balance of egg, bread and butter. The scrapple was crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, exactly how my PA Dutch grandfather used to fry it.
My husband ordered a Pepper and Onion Omelet ($6.50) which came with juice (he chose orange), toast (rye) and home fries. Omelets are made to order with either breakfast meats, cheese and/or the day’s vegetable selections. The home fries were sliced from real potatoes, rather than from a box, and were well-fried. The omelet was light with an ample vegetable filling.
Service was friendly, efficient and fast—these waitresses are experienced, know the menu and are dedicated to getting your meal to you quickly. The wood-paneled room is dark and the décor is what one would expect from such a long-running social club, but the people are very friendly and the tables are full of families of various sizes who are genuinely enjoying their breakfasts and each other’s company.
We walked over the Veterans Memorial Gay Street Bridge toward home, well-fueled to take on the rest of our day. Whether you’ve been a patron for a single Sunday or 62 years’ worth of married Sundays, the Polish American Citizens Club will start your week off with an honest breakfast you’ll be glad you stopped in for.
If You Go:
Location: 328 High St., Phoenixville
Cost: Breakfast: $6 - $7
Hours: Sunday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Payments accepted: Cash
Parking: Free lot