Allegheny Ave, Philly
I had the fortune of spending some time with friends on Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia yesterday. There is a really small Polish section in that area including bakeries, cafes, restaurants, gift shops, etc. It's a lower income area, so the food was super inexpensive, and very authentic.
First, we stopped in at the New World Cafe for lunch. It is a very small restaurant/bar, that turns into a disco at night. There was Polish satelite TV playing in the background, and about a dozen booth-style tables along the one side of the wall. My friend and I ordered the kopytka with a side of cucumber sour cream salad. The kopytka were a little too big for my taste, but they were very tender and the meat sauce was delicious. My husband ordered the hungarian potato pancakes with an order of the pickle soup. He enjoyed both dishes a lot. He commented that the potato pancakes were not spicy, but very flavorful. The lunch was very affordable and tasty--so I would suggest this to anyone who is looking to try Polish food, or who really enjoys Polish food.
After the lunch, we decided to take a walk down the street a few blocks to Julia's Cafe. It is a very small bakery/cafe, but it is beautifully decorated inside. The walls are painted a very warm mixture of lighter and darker purple shades, and the tables have little cushioned benches. It's very cozy and inviting. The cafe is very new, from what I can tell, but they offer more than a dozen different pastries, cakes, and cookies that are baked on premises daily. They also offer a very interesting lunch menu, which includes beautiful looking salads, sandwiches, etc. After looking at the lunch menu, we decided that we probably should have had lunch there. But, we settled for dessert. We tried the chocolate cake, chocolate cake with whipped cream in the center, the raisin cheesecake, and the cappuccino-cream filled meringue. Everything was great--and I was sad that I didn't get to try everything in the case! I would highly recommend this bakery/cafe. When we walked in, there was a woman enjoying their crepes, which smelled and looked amazing. This was very affordable--and it appears that they also make many cakes to order. There were a number of customers that came in to pick up cake orders while we were enjoying our desserts.