Café Polonez – 195 Roncesvalles Ave – (416) 532-8432

Some of my fondest memories as a child revolved around my Grandmother’s dinner table. She brought her recipes from Gdansk to Kapuskasing, and I think it’s safe to say that all sides of my extended family ate well when we visited Granny Urbas. Needless to say, the bar has always been set pretty high when it comes to Polish food. Café Polonez, a Roncesvalles standard, prepares a handful of dishes that are certainly up-to-scratch.

It’s hard to think of anything more Polish than Golabaki. These Cabbage Rolls ($13.50) are stuffed to the brim with Rice & Pork and are topped with a Garlicky Tomato Sauce. Pictured above, the Placek Po Wegiersku or Potato Pancake ($14.50) is platter-sized and absolutely jammed full of Pork and Potato Goulash. Finally the Bigos is a Hunter’s Stew full of sausage and sauerkraut. Pictured below, it’s obviously been simmered in loads of white wine.

It is worth noting that all of the aforementioned À La Carte house specialties are a ridiculous amount of food… each accompanied by Beets, Coleslaw, Fried Cabbage, Potato and Carrots. Be sure to ask about the daily specials ($15.50) that include a starter, a main, a dessert and a drink.

For those of you not looking to nap immediately after their meal, Café Polonez does offer a few “lighter” options. The Pierogis ($4.75 for 1/2 dozen; $9.00 for a dozen) are homemade boiled Dumplings served with a side of Sour Cream and Fried Onions. They’re stuffed with Cheddar & Potato, Cottage Cheese & Potato, Minced Pork or Saurkraut & Mushroom, and are available frozen for takeout. Alternately, the Zurek ($7.95) is white borscht full of dill, kielbasa and hard-boiled egg and is accompanied by a loaf of Rye Bread for dipping.

With summer now here, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine tackling a massive plate of hearty home-cooking. Good thing Café Polonez recently opened at 30-seat patio that serves-up a Polish sampler of Zyweic, Okocim, Lezajsk, Tyskie, Zubr, Lech, Warka and Tatra for $6 a bottle (500ml).

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