Ever since I read the review linked below (as well as an earlier one entitled "sweet merciful crap" IIRC), I've been wanting to go to Cafe Polonia. Last night we went. It was great!!
It is a pretty though very small space with a total of 27 seats. They do take reservations though. Very pleasant waitress was happy to recommend a Polish beer and answer questions. We caught a glimpse of a grandmotherly type cooking in the back and it seemed as though the food was plated 2 plates at a time, but even though there was a pause between the first 2 plates' and the subsequent plates' arrival at each table, it was not so long that the food on the first plates cooled off.
The 4 of us shared the Forest Mushroom Soup (delicious, smooth, mushroomy with very light homemade wide noodles floating on top) and Country Fries to start. Fries were delicious but we agreed we wouldn't "waste the space" on them next time. We boringly all ordered the Polish Plate out of fear that we'd miss out on something if we didn't, even though there were some interesting looking specials. We were in absolute heaven when it arrived! A huge bed of cabbage stew (sort of like mild sauerkraut with chunks of roast pork and a few juniper berries) supported a large piece of grilled kielbasa (mild but moist and delicious). Three pierogis were decorated with small pieces of bacon -- 2 filled with cabbage and one with potato -- they were like nothing I'd ever had before, very tender and yummy. But the undeniable star was the stuffed cabbage -- it absolutely melted in the mouth and had just the right amount of fabulous tomato sauce to support but not overwhelm it. One of us had 2 Polish grandmothers and said she had not tasted anything like this since she lost her grandmothers -- she was absolutely thrilled and demanded to go back before she returns to Virginia on Friday. A heated discussion ensued about whether we'd get the same thing or branch out and try the specials when we go back! One thing about how good the food is -- we showed not the slightest trace of self-restraint in eating everything before us and suffered tight waistbands as a result.
We shared a bottle of Croatian wine (worked very well with the food) and a Polish beer (Helevia or something similar) that was pronounced delicious. We also shared 2 orders of cheese crepes for dessert that wowed even this confirmed non-dessert eater. Total for 4 including generous tip: $92.
We'll be back soon and often!
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