It was my Mother-in-law’s birthday this past weekend and she asked, no, DEMANDED that we go to Cafe Polonia. Located in Andrew Square in South Boston, Cafe Polonia opened up in 2003 and is touted as the ONLY Polish restaurant in Boston. Being married to a Polish boy, this is quite a sad thing for him. We had been to Cafe Polonia before and were very happy to come back.
Cafe Polonia is VERY small. It reminds me of the original Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain because it pretty much has the same amount of tables. Reservations are a MUST, especially if you have a big group. We had reservations for 2PM on a Sunday and there were a few occupied tables.
I ordered their coffee ($3) which was strong and very tasty. Hubby ordered the Okocim beer upon the recommendation of the server. I managed to steel a sip and I enjoyed it. A slightly darker lager, hubby said it reminded him of a good Munich style lager.
For an appetizer we ordered the Kishka (Blood Sausage, $8) and the Keilbasa Twists ($8). Teri, my mother in law, was terrified of trying the Blood Sausage, but hubby and I gladly ate the rest.
They serve their blood sausage ground up, not in the casing, unlike most English/Irish places. I can only describe their blood sausage as very meaty with subtle spices and carmelized onions on top. The gherkins served with the sausage had a nice punch and crisp to it. And in case you were wondering just how Polish my husband is, we played Who Stole the Kishka at our wedding.
I really enjoyed their kielbasa twists. They were extremely crispy and served with a good mustard. Those were eaten up pretty fast. Definitely a must at any Polish restaurant.
My mother-in-law ordered the Borsch (Beet soup, $6) and hidden in the depths of the very purple broth were delicious mushroom and meat ravioli. The broth was very flavorful, but I wouldn’t recommend wearing white, since even the smallest drop will get on your clothes.
She also ordered the Stuffed Cabbage ($12), which were stuffed to the brim with rice, pork, and other assorted spices, served with a mild tomato sauce. The tomato sauce didnt’ impress me, but the cabbage was very good, although I was surprised the dish wasn’t warmer.
Three of us ordered one of the specials of the day, which was a big Potato Pancake stuffed with ham, bacon, and topped with sour cream and a sunny side up egg ($16). You can tell from the picture that there was no lack of crispiness. The outside was perfectly crispy, and the inside was like an explosion in my mouth. The 2 different kinds of pork plus the egg and sour cream was just amazing. And I didn’t feel like I was going to explode after this meal.
Mr. Kitchen Misfit ordered the Potato Dumplings with Goulash ($14) and it was served with a pickle salad and a pickled beet salad. The meat was tender, the dumplings were very good, and I liked the pickle salad as a nice contrast to the rest of the meal.
And of course, we couldn’t leave without sampling the dessert. My mother in law ordered the chocolate babka ($7) which wasn’t what I was expecting. I was hoping for a traditional babka cake, and this was more like a regular chocolate cake with ganache in the center. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, moist and spongy and the ice cream was very good, but I expected a traditional babka.
By the end of the meal we were happy and pleasantly full. If you like Eastern European cuisine, you must put Cafe Polonia on your list of must places to eat! Cafe Polonia has also opened a new location in Salem, MA. Now if Boston would just get more Polish restaurants!