Saturday, January 8, 2011


I was on my drive home, and, as usual, what's for dinner popped into my mind. I wanted something homey/substantial comfort food. I finally came up with Polka for some Polish food.

If I haven't already shared, I lived in a Polish neighborhood when I moved to NYC: Greenpoint in Brooklyn. This was pre-gentrification, and the three Hoosier transplants really stuck out. It was immediately clear that we weren't in Indiana anymore. However, we eventually joked about our abilities to get cash from the ATM in Polish and made the best of the big new world at our fingertips.

Back to Polka, the tiny restaurant in a random strip mall on Verdugo and York was packed. I counted six booths and 16 chairs, all filled. It was going to be about an hour for a seat, so I went with the take-out plan. Here you see the evidence of my inability to decide. I went with the Royal Plate which includes pierogi (potato and cheese dumpling), golabki (stuffed cabbage) and gulasz (beef stew) - all scored on the comfort food barometer! - with more mashed potatoes and veggies. Also in the stash was delish cabbage/carrot/potato soup, and custardy-pudding with cherries and cinnamon on top. I'll admit I only went as far as the cucumbers on the salad.

The interior is kitschy, with random tchotchkes, beer steins, and burned wood signs with "better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it" kinds of slogans scattered about. This is lingering food, and I'm sure I missed so many details in my quick in and out. But that just means I'll need to go back!

So, what other ethnic foods have I missed? Reply with your favorite!

Click here to go to Polka's Web site.

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