Paczki love. It’s real. And hopefully will help this guy on his first date

Daniel Dabros walked out of a Northwest Side Polish bakery with six types of paczki, hopefully increasing the odds of success that his first date will go well.

SHARE Paczki love. It’s real. And hopefully will help this guy on his first date
Daniel Dabros with the box full of pazcki he bought Tuesday at Forest View Bakery. He bought them to give to a young lady he’s taking on a first date Tuesday evening.

Daniel Dabros with the box full of pazcki he bought Tuesday at Forest View Bakery. He bought them to give to a young lady he’s taking on a first date Tuesday evening.

Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

With a box full of paczki in his hands and hope in his heart, Daniel Dabros walked out of a Polish deli on the Northwest Side Tuesday morning.

A Fat Tuesday love affair with the Polish pastry is a long tradition for Chicagoans — Polish or not — but Dabros, 25, was extra rosy about the batch he was carrying.

“This year actually I’m going on a first date today with a half Polish and half Italian girl and she really wanted me to get her something from an authentic Polish bakery. So I got her six different types of paczki. I think she’s going to be really happy,” Dabros said as he exited Forest View Bakery on Milwaukee Avenue just north of Devon Avenue.

“She’s a fifth grade teacher and I’m a nurse working the night shift so it’s been hard to get together,” said Dabros, who grew up in Chicago and Niles, the son of parents who were born in Poland.

Dabros saw her in a photo a college friend from the University of Illinois Chicago posted to Instagram. He followed her. She followed him. And his friend put in a good word.

Chester Pilat, owner of the Forest View Bakery, and his daughter, Patrycia.

Chester Pilat, owner of the Forest View Bakery, and his daughter, Patrycia.

Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Chester Pilat, owner of the bakery, will surely be rooting for a love connection.

He stayed up all night baking 8,000 paczki and served nearly 300 customers by 9 a.m.

“We celebrated our 30th year in business in December,” he said.

Pilat’s daughter, Patrycja, 17, helped fill paczki orders Tuesday morning.

“We’ve had a lot of people with Polish backgrounds and others who have friends who are Polish. They call them Polish doughnuts,” she said.

Chester Pilat shyly admitted he ate one.

“I had to try. I had the raspberry. It was good,” he said.

At Polish Paczki Cafe, near Foster and Harlem avenues, Ryan Ramey stood in a line that snaked out the door Tuesday morning.

“I’m not Polish, but my girlfriend is Polish, and she knows I like doughnuts and so she got them for me once,” said Ramey, 28.

“It’s kind of a nickname I have for her, too, so that’s how it is. Now it’s a day we spend together and do stuff.”

Jenna Jurewicz, 26, a therapist, said paczki make “you feel like your home.”

“It just feels right,” she said. “It’s a very Chicago thing and just reminds me that we’re special.”

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