Paczki in Phoenix – Mardi Gras, Fat Thursday and Where To Get The Polish Pastry


It’s almost time again for Fat Thursday – Tlusty Czwartek (February 27th in 2014) – a big day in the Polish community, and stuffing yourself silly with those Polish pastries called Paczki. So where can you find these: check out the listings at the bottom.  They are worth the extra few calories.

The Polish community in Phoenix which seems to be growing exponentially as people flee the cold of New Jersey, Connecticut and Chicago, to new plush homes, plenty of parking and of course the warm weather, has brought with it the paczki and every year we have several thousand people find this site because of this post. The Paczek is the king/queen of Fat Thursday. This fried dough filled with jam symbolizes this day and there are more places to get them now then ever before in Phoenix.

A pączek is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of dried orange zest. A small amount of grain alcohol (traditionally, Spiritus) is added to the dough before cooking; as it evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough.

→ From Paczki on Wikipedia.

How to say it?

  • PACZEK-say (PAWn-checK) singular
  • (PAWn-chkee) plural

polish pastry

Photo: Artur Ciesielski

My parents in law who still live in Poland speak often of this day when they hand make dozens of Paczki and eat all of them themselves: gobs of fresh made ones from local ingredients.  While dough is always specific to a location, i.e where the ingredients come from, a well crafted soft ball of filled dough will delight and thrill a prove to be extremely satisfying.

It does not sound like anything, but eating these is as unhealthy as it’s delicious.  Just thinking of fresh paczki wets my appetite. It may look like a doughnut with no hole or a doughnut filled with something, but it’s not.  It’s crispy and much different with the traditional filling, that you must try them.

Now where do you get them in Phoenix. I don’t know. There used to be a couple of places like Europa Pastry Cafe, but like many family businesses, this one closed. So I’m going to make my own.


This last weekend I made my own Paczki. It was the first time and they turned out really good. I used Canola oil for frying and no alcohol. They were moist, not oily at all and they had that distinct paczki taste. Search for how to make paczki on the internet and you’ll find lots of ways to do it.

Aside from the waiting time for them to rise, I spent a total of 20 minutes making them plus the fry time.

Well worth the effort to make them on you own.


Should You Offer More Than The Asking Price?


The answer depends on quite a few things, but primarily on the market trends and the asking price compared to the demand for this or this type of property.

The asking price for a property is an opinion of value. This opinion can come from the seller, the seller’s agent and or an appraiser: or any combination of these. These persons choose the price based on data; correct or wrong data, comparable properties and often emotion and ego.

Pricing is highly subjective and is often wrong: most of the time it is not too far off.  I should say that the simply act of pricing is suggestive. That means that buyers often assign value to a property, or at lease use it as a base to asigne some type of value based on price. This is true for any object or service, not just real estate.

So whomever chose the price could be wrong. The could have chosen a price that is too high or too low. It goes both ways. Sometimes it’s not easy to gauge market demand and sometimes pricing low is used to generate more interest.

The suggested price thus could be too low or too high and it is up to you and your agent to make up your own opinion of value before you submit an offer. It could be that you should offer less, but you may need to offer more then asking price, especially if you really want to home and others want it to.


Arcadia Lite Triplex Sold

Sold, Triplex

We recently represented a buying investor in the purchase of this wonderful triplex located in Arcadia Lite, a neighborhood in Central Phoenix near 32nd Street between Camelback and Indian Schools.

This property consists of three units, all of equal size.

  • 3 Unit.
  • Total 2,826 square feet.
  • Built well in 1962.
  • 2 bedroom and 1.5 Bathroom.
  • Private Patios
  • Inside Laundry.
  • Covered Parking
  • Update Status: Mid

The property sold for $247,000

What makes this property a great buy is that it has many features that make it and will continue to make it popular with tenants. Some of the most in demand features requested by tenants are enclosed patios, inside laundry, large rooms, lots of storage and a peaceful easily accessible central location.

This property pretty much matched all those needs and many more.



The First Things Buyers Will Do When They Buy Your Home, You As Seller Should Do Before Marketing It


When shopping for homes, buyers often look at the home and consider what they will have to do first if they purchase that particular home. That consideration can mean an offer or no offer on your house: or a lower offer.

When a buyer sees the need for a paint job, the repair of cracks in drywall, caulking, cleaning or a new front door the cost in their mind is usually much higher than the actual.

In this day when we see so many low down FHA offers it may result in you not receiving an offer since such loans are taken by persons who don’t have excess funds for too many repairs. If it’s a cash buyer the result will mean a much lower offer than if you had taken care of those items first.

The most important items to most people, unfortunately, are visual. It is these visual items that are also the easiert to repair or replace.

I mention the word ‘unfortunately’ because being green, having a new roof or high end roof, new A/C unit etc will not give you the value you should get, but a great paint job etc. will give you that value of more.

When getting ready to sell a home, ask youself, what would most buyers do to your home before they even moved in: what initial expenses will they have. Once you have a list consider what you should do first, before your home goes on the market.


Another Investment Multifamily Apartment Remodeled With Style And A Limited Budget In Mind

Fourplex, Remodeling

When long term tenants move out, it usually means there will be some work, especially in an older property build in the 50’s. In this fourplex in Central Phoenix I had already remodeled three other units and this one was left.  The tenant had been there for about 6 years when he moved out.

During his stay I had once painted the unit, replaced the flooring and put in a pedestal sink in the bathroom to give him more room for a wheelchair, but once he moved out it was time to update it with some light colors, some modern style, newer fixtures and on a budget that will make business sense.

Most of the work was cosmetic, but we did replace some plumbing, especially valves.  Valves need to be operational. To keep them operational they need to be replaced every few years because of the hard water here in Phoenix.  It’s not easy to replace them with a tenant in place, but once vacant I think it’s a must.  In addition we replaced all the light switches and electrical contacts.  These are inexpensive, but help make everything feel new.

I’ll try to go down each photo and tell you what I did and why.

phoenix fourplex

The kitchen cabinets stayed original in this unit. They were build well and in good condition, so we decided to paint them in a white flat enamel to make it easy to clean, the handles were replaced and lots of drawer bottoms.  Of course the formica countertop probably put in sometime in the 80’s was replaced with a durable one from Ikea, along with a new sink, faucet and all connecting pipes were replaced.

To tie it all together we tiled the back-splash top to bottom in a nice glass and stone tile which cost about $6 per square foot.  The light above the sink is attractive and similar in color to the handles: it cost only $20.00.

phoenix fourplex kitchen

The well made hood stayed, but with a refresh in color.


The door leading to the small backyard was replaced with one you see below.  I was going to put in a full door, but this space needed light and a little big of extra cost was worth it for the extra natural light it provided.  Instead of painting it white, at the last minute, I decided to stain the wood on the inside to a dark walnut to match some of the dark accessories in the kitchen: it’s white from the outside.  I think it looks rather nice this way, especially if the tenant puts a few accessories and plants outside.  The window can easily be covered with a multitude of choice window coverings.

fourplex remodel

The tile in the bathroom tub stayed, but the floor was redone with the same tile as in the kitchen.  The wall with the water handles was shortened about 4 inches to allow better access to the toilet and sink.  Both the sink and toilet were replaced.  This is a small bathroom so the sink had to be a small depth: it’s 18″ deep.  The toilet was a great deal: it did not cost very much, came as a complete set, had a super nice flush and uses about a quarter of the water the last toilet used.

I would have liked to replace the tub with a shower and new tile, but this was cost and time prohibitive and unnecessary.

fourplex bathroom

Except for new paint and ceiling fans the living room and bedroom are the same.  I don’t put in the cheap $25.00 white crap fans that look the cheap part.  These cost $79.00 which is not expensive, yet they look much more appealing and will last longer.  I find that potential tenant like to see ceiling fans: this helps lease the property.  I don’t use glossy or semi glossy paint. I use a flat enamel: it’s more attractive!

fourplex living room

The complete remodel took 2 weeks and we actually had it leased before it was finished so on the same day it was done the keys were handed over.  That’s not a bad turnaround and very short vacancy time.  Well cared for apartments attract better tenants that stay longer: they also have less issues which require less time spent managing the property.  A little extra effort can go a long way to make a property profitable and less management intensive.