By Ellen Garnett
It is only the first few weeks of college and I am already finding myself sick of Bartol food. If you are feeling the same way, you should keep reading this article. And if you aren’t feeling the same way, you should still keep reading this article and I will tell you why.
I recently discovered why it is so important to expand our taste buds. We grow up eating mostly the same types of meals and rarely do we get a chance to try something that is not ethnically traditional to our region.
We do not realize what we are missing out on by not trying meals that seem foreign to us. College is all about (forgive me for this cliché) expanding our horizons so that we become well-informed about not just the culture we are a part of but also about the cultures that exist beyond the United States. Trying out new foods is a great way to begin to immerse yourself in another culture.
For this reason (and because of the aforementioned Bartol predicament), a couple of my friends and I decided to take a chance on a Polish restaurant called Café Polonia in South Boston.
When we walked into the restaurant, I immediately felt soothed by the soft ambiance created by the dim-lighting and friendly waiter. The restaurant was fairly small but it did not feel cramped. After we were seated, we could fully appreciate the cozy atmosphere by admiring the restaurant’s decorum. It featured various vases, pictures of a woman in traditional Polish attire and a reasonable number of simple-looking knick-knacks. My favorite one was a hanging tile with the phrase “Kiss the chef, she is Polish!” on it. Just from the decorum, we could gauge that the Polish culture is modest.
Our food came and it was delightful. I ordered the cheese and potato pierogies, which is one of my grandmother’s favorite Polish dishes. To those of you who aren’t familiar with pierogies, they are similar to raviolis. They are semicircular dumplings that are boiled and fried or baked in butter with caramelized onions and are usually filled with any variation of mashed potatoes and cheese, just cheese, cabbage or mushroom.
Café Polonia also offers meat-filled pierogies with caramelized onions and bacon bits. My dish came with a side of sour cream to dab on the pierogies, which did enhance the flavors of the cheese and potato filling, but was not necessary to fill enjoy the dish. To put it simply, pierogies are delicious.
One of my friends ordered the stuffed cabbage, which consisted of two cabbage leaves stuffed with pork and rice with your choice of either their own homemade tomato or mushroom sauce drizzled on top. My other friend had the grilled kielbasa sandwich, which is a must-have for all you sauerkraut-lovers. Hey, I know you’re out there!
Although the prices were a little high, we were all very pleased with the quality of the food. Sometimes it is important to splurge and try something outside your comfort zone to discover new things and indulge in things we know we like, such as leftovers!