Pierogi in DC/Balto
- Jeff Plungis Sep 8, 2001 10:57 AM
I am a Lithuanian-American desperately in search of pierogi. This has been an on again-off again quest since moving to Washington six years ago. Given Washington's complete lack of Eastern European heritage, I've pretty much written off any hope of finding pierogi here. But surely, there must be some in Baltimore, given the Polish heritage there.
A few years ago, I made my wife and kids take a 45-minute drive after hearing about Ze Mean Bean cafe. I was disappointed. The pierogi seemed frozen or just a little too much like Mrs. Ts for comfort. Plus, it was way too trendy and fragile to comfortably take small children on a Sunday morning. A long wait and a table right in front of the band did not help.
I'm really looking for something I have craved since leaving New York City: a Ukranian coffee shop like the ones in the East Village. I really, really miss Sunday brunch at Kiev, Veselka and Theresa's.
Is there anything like that in Highland Town or anymore else in Baltimore?
I've recently heard about something called the Lithuanian Hall and a Ukranian place called Lisa's Coffee House on Charles Street. Does anyone know anything about them?
wow, good q. Now I have a mission..... Highlandtown is prolly a good bet, but I will see if I can rustle up a hard contact...
Up to now, I have kept silent (don't know why) about Ze Mean Bean cafe. When it first opened, I thought the food was good; however, each subsequent visit over the years (3) has yielded very disappointing results that I won't even consider the place anymore (too many other restaurants to try).
I wish I could offer a suggestion for you...
Perhaps you'd like to come to Baltimore's Ukranian Festival, which is this weekend (September 14 through 17th) in Patterson Park. For more info, see http://entertainment.sunspot.net/top/...
I've not eaten there, but Baltimore's City Paper recommends Lisa's Coffee House (2110 N. Charles St.,  727-7081). See http://www.citypaper.com/2000-02-23/e....
It has been 5+ years since I've lived in Baltimore, but back then you could get a pierogie meal on Friday nights at the Lithuanian Hall which is west of MLK off of Lombard - you'll have to ascertain the address from a phone book. We used to go hang out there frequently to play $.50 pool, drink $.25 beer and listen to quarter a play polkas on the jukebox. I don't know how it's changed in 5 years, but I always thought their pierogies were good, but then I was a student, they weren't too expensive and etc. etc.
I don't know of any place in D.C. that does pierogies. Sorry.
I'm not a pierogi connosseur by any means, but they serve some tasty ones at the Brickskellar in DuPont Circle. Plus, there's a thousand some beers to wash them down with, so you pretty much can't go wrong there.
I know how you feel--I'm from Cleveland, where homemade pierogi can be found at every corner bar, restaurant, and Orthodox church in town. Unfortunately, besides Ze Mean Bean, the only pierogi outlet I know of is our local Giant, where they sell them in a plastic-wrapped styrofoam tray. Have heard of Lisa's, but don't know anything about it. They also serve pierogi as a special at Planet on the Corner in Fells Point, but I haven't tried them. It's a nice place, though, so you might call ahead and give it a try. Calling a local Russian Orthodox church may be your best bet. Good luck--Baltimore is a vast wasteland when it comes to ethnic food. I simply go back home to Cleveland for my pierogi jones.
Best Pierogis are available at St. Mark's Orthodox Church on River Rd. in Bethesda at their annual Bazar coming on november 2-4. One can also buying frozen Pierogi packages to take out.