||[May. 23rd, 2009|11:31 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
The BF & I have been together 11 years today. We celebrated with a trip out the Red Line to Andrew Square in South Boston, where we carefully crossed the GIANT intersection and made our way to Café Polonia - http://www.cafepolonia.com.
The Café is a purveyor of "Fine Polish Cuisine" and if you think that's not possible, stop reading and go away.
We're each half-Polish on our mothers' sides, half Irish-y on our dads' (hence our improbable (read: NOT POLISH) last names) and grew up eating stuff we can't spell without a multi-lingual dictionary. This is not the first time we've been to the Café.
This time around, I had smoked salmon with Russian caviar to start (he had a bit of it; it arrived sitting on top of a rocket salad, which we both ate), followed by hot borsch (beet soup; it is sans "t" in Polish) with mushroom ravioli and sprinkled with dried parsley flakes. Both were ridiculously tasty. I'm not a big fan of mushrooms, but their ravioli is both sweet and savory and almost a little meaty/nutty.
For our entrée, he had the POLISH PLATE which consists of a stuffed cabbage, three pierogi (polish dumplings/ravioli, usually filled with meat, cheese, or potatoes), and grilled Polish sausage (kielbasa) over kapusta (which is like sauerkraut but MUCH nastier). He enjoyed it quite a bit. I had STUFFED CABBAGE, which is two cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, pork, and spices, served with homemade tomato sauce. You might say "ew" but I will say "YUMMMMMMM."
I've always pronounced the Polish word for stuffed cabbage as "gah-WUMP-key" but the word is really "Golabki" or "go-LOB-key" but you kind of swallow the "L" a bit. Whatever. I think gahWUMPkey is a cooler word.
Dessert was a lovely apple crisp which sat on a very cake-like bottom and had a soft, but very flavorful topping (nothing crisp about it, really; it's actually a traditional Polish apple cake called "Szarlotka"). Delicious and nicely satisfying.
I've previously had their bacon wrapped sea scallops, which are sinfully delicious, and their potato pancakes, which were OK, but are made with the more expensive potato flour (which used to be affordable only by the upper class), rather than the (cheaper) cooked, shredded potatoes. I guess I have a peasant's palate, cuz I like shredded potato pancakes.
Oh, and they always serve their bread basket with a little crock of butter mixed with bacon grease and bits of bacon. Yikes! Evil is so rarely this tasty.
If you groove on Polish eats or this sort of dinner sounds delish to you, check out the Café. We recommend them highly. Also they're staffed by actual (very nice) Polish people, which is pretty cool; they play Polish music, some of which sounded very familiar to us; and their furniture looks like the same sort of heavy, hand-made pine stuff you find in many Slavic cafés in Europe. Plus, they decorate with lots of ceramic chickens, kudos from around the world, and random Polish-lookin' tsotchke.