If you missed it, I am on a mission to eat authentic food from every country in the world, right here in Toronto! You can find all past recaps here.
Mmm, Polish food. I have been looking forward to an Eastern European country since I started this mission. Polish cuisine is very similar to Ukrainian cuisine, which I grew up eating thanks to my Ukrainian Nana. My Nana’s Ukrainian pierogies (recipe there!) are probably my favourite food of all time, and I also love Borscht and cabbage rolls, two other very common dishes in Poland (and Ukraine). Polish food is also heavily influenced by Russia, Germany, Belarus, etc. so I am excited I have all those countries left to eat!
For my Polish eating experience I went to Cafe Polonez, in the heart of Toronto’s Polish community on Roncesvalles, with my blog friends Michelle, Casey and Shanondoah (aka the bloggers and lagers). Toronto has quite a few authentic Polish restaurants, but all my research told me Cafe Polonez was the best.
I started with a Zywiec, a popular Polish beer.
I quite liked it, and it’s available at our local LCBO, so I may have to buy that in the future…
Cafe Polonez has an extensive menu. Almost too extensive! I wanted to eat everything but I went in there knowing that there were several things I needed to try. Borscht was one of those things. It actually originated in the Ukraine (I will be eating it again when I do Ukraine, for sure) and both my Nana and my aunt make a delicious borscht. I was looking forward to the Polish version, and it was definitely not a let down.
Borscht is basically beet soup with other vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, parsley root,onions, and sometimes potatoes and tomatoes. That picture is not doing it justice at all but it was seriously good. I felt like I could have gone on eating it forever.
Since Cafe Polonez has such a big menu, we decided to get the platter for four, as it included all the things we wanted to try. Like kopytka…
Little Polish potato dumplings similar to gnocchi, covered with gravy. Deeeelicious.
A traditional Polish dish of cooked sauerkraut with slices of sausage (kielbasa) and pork. It was pretty good, and I especially loved the little bits of meat in there.
And a giant platter with all the Polish things.
Cabbage rolls (golabki), Polish sausage (kielbasa), schnitzel (under the mushrooms), pierogies, fresh beets, coleslaw, carrots, and fried cabbage. Everything was delicious, especially the pierogies.
My only complaint is that there weren’t more pierogies. They were so good that I bought 12 additional pierogies (you can buy their fresh pierogies frozen for takeout) to bring home and we ate them the next night. My favourite kind were the ones filled with pork and the cheddar and potato. So good! The other highlights for me were the kopytka, schnitzel (though I would have been okay if it was slightly smaller) and the cabbage roll. Those were very similar to my Nana’s.
It was quite an amazing evening of eating and I think I am going to start having dreams about that Cafe Polonez, specifically the borscht and the pierogies.