I may have slightly misspelled the name. It's a Polish restaurant on Richmond just south of Alleghany that I've passed by several times. A few weeks ago, the stars were finally aligned for a visit.
It's open from 11am to 7pm. It's cafeteria style, which is a sort of weird thing to be greeted by as you enter if you aren't expecting it. Decorwise it's locked in time from the 50s or 60s, which of course is a good thing.
The food is all homemade and very authentic. Between us we had the meat patty, cheese perogies, stuffed cabbage and green stuff that I think was spinach. With two sodas it came to about $20, which seemed sort of high for cafeteria service in Port Richmond.
My friend Shawn was really jazzed by the food. She's already planning to go back and get take out for various family members. I thought the food was very good but was short of exceptional. My first attempt at crockpot stuffed cabbage a few weeks earlier was equally as good. Shawn really liked the sweetness of the gravy on the meat patty but it seemed bland to me. The perogies were very good, but it's a dish that has never wowwed me. The green veg was quite tasty; it held up on the steam table quite well.
The youngish woman behind the counter was humorless but pleasant. Just as one can gage the quality of a Chinese restaurant, by the number of Asian looking customers, Syrenka has plenty of Polish accents. The clientel was comprised mostly of locals, all of whom seemed to be regulars. They seem to be used to strangers coming through though and merely glanced us with mild polite curiousity.
It seems actor/comedian Robin Williams ate there once, which is interesting as it is quite definitely off the downtown tourist circuit. If you really like Polish food, then you probably won't find better (Shawn as I said was quite jazzed by it). If you want to impress someone with your ability to find totally quirkly, improbable places to eat (and who of us on this board doesn't?), then this definitely is a must visit.
When I go back, I'm going to try the potato pancakes and some polish sausage.
What a great city to live in to have places like this around.
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