In spirit of this gloomy, rainy Boston weather, and my gloomy mood, I decided to seek something Chowhoundish and fun for lunch. My search took me (pretty much down the street from my office) to Cafe Polonia, 611 Dorchester Ave, near Andrews Square.
Everything about this place is so charming - something just very 'cute' about it,
including the sign, decor and waitress. I sat down at the window table, so I could admire this awesome Boston weather, as well as my trusty 1986 Volvo 245 Wagon. The waitress recommended me a Polish beer, Zywiec, which turned out to be a tasty pilsner.
I started with the beet soup ($4). It came in a big clay bowl dusted with dried herbs. It was absolutely delicious - piping hot, translucent maroon broth, with a wonderful herby aftertaste. At the bottom were three plump mushroom-filled dumplings. It almost reminded me of a Polish version of Shanghai dumpling soup found at Houndish eateries such as Hong Kong Cafe.
Boy, that beet soup was delicious - so lovely and rich, without an ounce of cream. I then ordered the Polish Plate ($11), which I had read was a good way to sample what the place has to offer. It, too, arrived piping hot. An oblong plate dominated by a fist-sized stuffed cabbage, doused with a standard seasoned tomato gravy. Quite delicious and moist. Next on the plate was a nice, plump kielbasa, halved and scored. It had a nice snap in the casing, kind of like Nathans dogs in Coney Island, or hell, even sort of like the Sully Dog at Sullivans on Castle Island. There was a small cup of piquant mustard. The sausage was served up on a bed of somewhat uninspiring, but tasty, stir fried cabbage with bits of pork.
The real stand-out was the handmade pierogi. Fluffy, irregular and not gigantic, you could tell these things weren't mass produced. They were topped with chopped bacon, and were stuffed with either ground meat or cabbage. Lip-smacking delicious.
I really had a great impression of this place, and hope to try it again, this time with friends. I think I liked the Borscht and pierogies so much I'd order just those next time. I want to try the pork chop dishes, hopefully soon.
Anyway, time to hit the gym, to work off a pierogi.