The moment I have been waiting for, since I left Montréal in January 2016, was the time I would once again eat ‘pierogis’. These are a Polish delicacy that I haven’t yet found in the UK and definitely scored high points when I visited Michael for a week just over a year ago. (I cannot believe such a short amount of time has passed since then…!)
My recent trip to Wrocław, in south-west Poland, in mid-march has completed this particular ‘food goal’. In the 48 hours we stayed in the city, I’ve had a taste and have reviewed the local food we endeavoured to eat.
The scoring system is straight forward, F is for Flavour, A is for Appearance, and T is for Texture.
I had pierogis in two different places to compare them across different establishments in the city. The first place we visited on Friday evening was a restaurant in the town square called ‘Pierogarnia Stary Młyn’ [tripadvisor] which was traditionally decorated inside with wooden beams and painted warm orange walls. The menu was extensive with many options of baked pie-like pierogis to small dumpling shaped ones that I had previously tried. We ordered a selection and waited with hungry anticipation!
pierogi “ruskie” [filled with cottage cheese, onion and potato] and accompanied by sour cream – bottom right of the photo
F – 6/10
A – 5/10
T – 5/10
Unfortunately, these were a little underwhelming to what I had been imagining for a long time. The filling was well-cooked and tasty but it lacked the “yuuuuuum” factor and the texture was just soft. Karmen had pierogis with a meat filling accompanied with a spicy tomato sauce which she rated higher than I did for flavour.
pierogi z pieca “pierogies from the oven” – [filled with chicken and leek] – middle of the photo
F – 6/10
A – 7/10
T – 4/10
The colour of these was beautiful with crisp, fresh dough encasing the filling. However the filling was rather lack-lustre and dry. I think the other fillings such as beef or more vegetables were tastier as there was more moisture. (Bety had a variety of fillings and seemed to enjoy them!)
However, I won’t let these rather low reviews tarnish the good name of the pierogi or of Polish food! 😀
Our next stop was a burger place called Pasibus [website] to sate our hunger at lunchtime. The menu included some interesting and eclectic options for burgers and I felt my stomach rumble eagerly. Danny had a ‘Pekin’ burger that had an oriental theme. Bety had the ‘Pestardo’ with pesto, tomato, and grilled mozzarella.
I had the ‘Włoski Pastuch‘ with grilled bacon, tomato and basil sauce and parmesan.
And the rating…
F – 8.5/10
A – 9/10
T – 9/10
Five words: exactly what the doctored ordered. The bun was crispy, the beef was perfectly medium-rare, and the flavours were delicious. Sometimes, it’s almost too difficult to explain how good something tastes until you experience it. Moreover, the chips were also fantastic. I don’t normally elect for chips with skin on but I think I have been converted! They were soft and salty but not too salty as well as being thick enough. At first I was amused by the ‘polish potato chips’ on the menu however I now believe polish potatoes are sooo good. So, I recommend going to Poland just to have a burger and chips. 😀
To end our (sadly short) food adventure, we went to a local restaurant called ‘Kurna Chata’ [tripadvisor] for pierogis “take two” and other local Polish dishes.
‘Placki Ziemniaczane’ Potato Pancake [with beef goulash and side vegetables] – in the top right … This was Bety’s choice of meal. 😀
F – 9/10
A – 6/10
T – 7/10
The amount of sauce complemented the fried potatoes with the fresh cabbage and carrot. Bety is Estonian so she loves to talk about all kinds of European things and she wanted to give this dish a 10/10… however I didn’t permit it unless it was a dish that literally blew her mind. 😀
‘Smażone Pierogi’ (“ruskie”) [filled with cheese and onion served with a garlic sauce] – in the bottom right
F – 8/10
A – 9/10
T – 8/10
This pierogi was fried and delicious! The texture of the dough was chewy and the filling was well-seasoned. The addition of a garlic sauce rather than sour cream gave the dish another edge. I also ordered ‘Sauerkraut’ (which you can see in the centre of the picture) which I ordered without having a clue of what it is… I thought it was some meat or sausage [how embarrassing is that for a language student…] but Bety then informed me it was sour cabbage. WHAT? Nooooo….
Fortunately, it was actually rather tasty. Despite the ugly brown colour, the cabbage had a good flavour of vinegar and a crunch which complemented rather than dominated the rest of the food I had ordered! I’m glad I did order another Eastern european food that I hadn’t tried before. Although it could’ve been a great mistake, I feel that it’s so important to try new things wherever you travel.
I give the ‘sauerkraut’…
F – 7/10
A – 5/10
T – 8/10
Last but not least, in the top half of the picture, Karmen and Danny ordered ‘Schabowy’ which is a pork chop with fried bacon, onion and champignons with chips, shredded cabbage and carrot.
The ‘Schabowy’ scored…
F – 5/10
A – 6/10
T – 6/10
The pork chop was deep fried so it had a good crunch but the inside dry without any sauce to give a contrasting texture. This wasn’t helped by thin-cut chips however the cabbage was highly reviewed by both Karmen and Danny.
So… it seems liked a really mixed bag of opinions and experiences with the food in Wrocław, however all of this was really affordable on a student budget with all the meals costing between £5 and £6! I left Wrocław well-fed and eager to return to try other dishes, both Polish and Eastern European delicacies.
Until next time Poland,