Update: One of the saddest restaurant updates I have had to make to date…Cafe Polonia in Salem closed its doors in January 2013. The Boston location remains open,
You thought you had heard the last of it, but no…the weekend of gluttony continues…Debbie and I are at it again. Eating. Yup.
Our quest for food is really about finding unique things. Because we are the product of an international home, are taste buds are constantly yearning for something different, they want to be challenged. They often also just want that down home, warm feeling they get from German flavored foods. And we got pretty darn close when we stumbled upon Cafe Polonia in Salem, MA.
Even if we hadn’t already been drooling over the menu, we would have known we wanted to eat here just from the interior. It was so light and breezy and clean inside, I felt like I needed to have brunch there….but what we had would certainly work as well! We wanted one of everything, so that is kind of how we ordered! Luckily, the staff at Cafe Polonia is so amazing, they let you order everything as side dishes! It was like Polish Tapas!
We started with the cabbage soup which was a chicken base, and somewhat more mild than I had expected. I think I was thinking of more a sweet & sour cabbage soup. But once I adjusted against what I was expecting, this was a delicious, light way to start the meal.
The Polish Salad Platter changes daily depending on what is in season and what they have prepared. Our contained a delicious pickled red cabbage, and of course polish pickles and onions. These were perfectly executed, and exactly the right condiment for every bite I put in my mouth!
Because you can never have enough condiments, we also ordered a side of the house-made horseradish. I don’t think you need me to say more than that, house-made horseradish!
We saw on the menu that the German Wursteplatte had a chicken brat in addition to other delightful sounding morsels. Being a non-red meat, non-pork person, Debbie’s face lit up at the thought of Chicken Brats! But, with so much to order, we didn’t think we could handle the entire “platte”. So, we went out on a limb and asked are server if it was possible to get just one to sample. Her response….”sure, would you like sauerkraut and onions on that?” I. Love. This. Place. And the chicken brats, sauerkraut and onions were every bit as delicious as we wanted them to be.
Debbie had her ideal dish, and now it was time for mine. Goulash. Hungarian Goulash. To me, nothing says the taste of childhood more than hungarian goulash…and yet again they offered it in a “side” portion!!! But don’t kid yourself, the side was easily enough to be a meal. The flavors were perfect, the large chunks of meat were fork tender, I was smiling.
We needed something to pull it all together. The decision between pierogi and dumplings was a tough one, but with everything else we ordered, we felt the less involved dumplings would be a better choice. This is the only place that Cafe Polonia fell a little flat for me. The dumplings were perfectly fine, they just didn’t blow my taste buds away like the rest of the meal did. I blame them for making everything else so delicious.Honestly, I think this may be my favorite meal out I have had in a long, long time. But which item was my favorite? Well, why make a difficult decision like that when you can, instead, create the perfect bite with a little bit of everything (minus soup & sausage).And that, my friends, was my favorite.
Cafe Polonia 118 Washington Street, Salem, MA 978-745-0045