Nothing says cold weather quite like homemade pierogi, bigos and gołąbki and there’s no better place to get it than Taste of Poland. … Except for Poland.
Taste of Poland is definitely a Plano institution and one of its most unique little restaurants. For over 15 years, Taste of Poland has been the go-to for Eastern European food, all entirely homemade. It’ll make you feel nostalgic even if you’ve never had Polish food before.
One side of the place is a market stocked with European drinks, candy and groceries. A little deli counter hides in the very back where customer can purchase Kielbasa (Polish sausage) and pork cutlets. It’s Polish paradise.
To be fair, Taste of Poland is a little place, leaving cozy and bordering on cramped. At full capacity there wouldn’t be much elbow room. But if there’s a wait for your food, it’s only because everything is made fresh.
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Everyone knows that on a first visit, it’s best to opt for a cup of borscht and the Taste of Poland Sampler which is easily big enough for two. The borscht is very hot and sweeter than I expected, with a touch more black pepper and less vinegar. Unless you add dumplings, Taste of Poland serves borscht as a broth which throws people off who expect bits of beets and hearty pink hunks of cabbage and a dollop of cream. But it smells delicious, the perfect rooty mix of savory and sweet. Near the end of the meal, someone at my table—not me—actually picked it up again—again, not me—and downed the remains of it like a cooling cup of coffee.
As for the Taste of Poland sampler, this sturdy plate holds a piece of basically everything else on the Taste of Poland menu. The smell of meat and buttery potatoes rises up from the plate.
Bigos: a flavorful peasant stew with bits of meat, sauerkraut, onions and dried mushrooms. Kielbasa: surprisingly coarse-ground sausage with rich flavor and just a hint of smoke, topped with sauteed onions. Pierogi, two dumplings stuffed with minced beef and two with potatoes and cheese so creamy the consistency resembles ravioli. Polish-style potato dumplings filled with pork and topped with a little sauerkraut and bacon. Gołąbki: meat and rice stuffed cabbage rolls, smothered in mushroom sauce. The starchy potato dumplings, sauerkraut salad and potato pancakes are as good as I’ve ever had them.
Finish with an order of cheese blintzes, crepe-thin pancakes filled with mild cheese and topped with raspberry sauce. They’re the perfect ending note.