On this most recent trip, I decided I ought to have at least one authentic Polish meal. After all, my sister-in-law is of Polish heritage, and I'm a big fan of pierogies. An assortment of locals and one Polish immigrant all pointed me in the direction of one place: Babushka's Kitchen in Macedonia, Ohio, south of Cleveland.
I strode in around opening time and although I wasn't starving, I went for the Hunter's Feast so that I could try a bit of everything. Apparently it's not a commonly ordered dish; the proprietor came out and asked me, "Hey, are you that guy from Toledo?" Apparently I have a doppelgänger who comes by once a week for this particular menu item.
Let me break it down for you:
- one stuffed cabbage (gołąbek): cabbage leaves wrapped around ground beef, rice, and other aromatics, all doused in tomato sauce. Hearty and piquant, reminded me a lot of stuffed green peppers from Picadilly.
- a link of smoked kiełbasa: awesome, good quality sausage here.
- roasted pork loin with sauerkraut and dumplings: slight disappointment, if only because of the great things done with pork in the South. Enjoyed the slow-roasted sauerkraut.
- one jumbo potato and cheese pierogi with grilled onion and sour cream: probably my favorite of the bunch, this was a huge, quarter-pound stuffed dumpling of pure carbohydrate joy.
- and two sides: I tried to talk the waitress out of the side dishes, as I had no intention of clearing the main course, but she wouldn't take no for an answer and suggested that I take the leftovers home since it was supposed to snow that night. I demurred and accepted her "lighter" recommendations of a cucumber salad (really quite refreshing and delicious, almost like pickles) and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy (couldn't quite stomach it given everything else on the plate).
Crest of Poland image via Wikipedia article on Poland, released into public domain by the author.