Last night a friend who recently moved here from Vancouver was waxing nostalgic about Pierogie. Seems her mother used to make it for her when she was sick, plus it's widely available in Vancouver as bar food, but she's been unable to find it here. And she was feeling sick...
"Fear not, I'll find you the best Pierogie in SF using Chowhound.com!" I boasted. What an embarrassment. Next, I figured I'd call East Coast West. No, they admitted sheepishly, and they added that didn't have Kreplach either just in case I was thinking of asking. Hungarian Sausage Factory? -- closed Mondays. By this time Gabrielle was muttering about moving back to Vancouver, and I started doing some research. OK, this stuff is primarily East European, and particularly Polish, so out comes the phone book and Voila (or the Polish equivalent)!
Old Krakow Restaurant and Art Cafe, at West Portal and 15th -- all the Polish style Pierogie you can eat. Not knowing much about this stuff, I defer to Gabrielle who pronounced it "Good -- not as good as Mom's, but good." We started the meal with a rather pleasant Kielbasa (steamed I think) with mustard -- skin not obtrusive, lots of flavor; and some marinated mushrooms that looked like they came out of a children's picture book. Gabrielle didn't like her Borscht, but I did so she stole my barley soup. Both soups were excellent I thought -- the Borscht not at all like the Russian version, but rather a very thin sweet Beet broth with a few very garlicky dumplings floating in it. She had the Pierogie, naturally, and I had the Polish Gulash. Be warned, this place is not for anyone with heart or arterial problems! Everything is heavy and comes with even heavier accompaniments. The thick, buttery Gulash came with potato and cheese dumplings. The Pierogie seem to be primarily potato, cheese and onions, and came with plenty of sour cream.
In all, a good experience. Some things are inexpensive, others pricey. A plate full of Pierogie was $9.95, and the Gulash was $14.95. Wine by the glass was $6.50 a pop. At first I thought the Gulash looked skimpy, but it would appear density is more important than mass in Polish food... The place is pleasant, family run, and could be a good venue for either a dressy date or a casual drop in.