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Few Cafe Polonia questions

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I've an appointment very close and thanks to another recent thread looks like that's my best bet for a not just basic fuel lunch in the immediate area (open to other ideas, but no car and really limited walking ability), even if Polish isn't exactly what I crave for summertime food.

1) What are the cold salads like that come with some dishes on the menu that have those as a side (vs just the salad part of the menu). Can't see where they specify anywhere.

2) The potato pancakes seem to be one of the gotta have it things and I'd love to try them, but I'd also like some kielbasa - haven't had the real thing since I left my heavily Polish hometown. I've a healthy appetite, but is ordering both together going to be so much heavy food I'll be singing roll out the barrel to get me out of the chair and home?

3) Also, I see a lot of references elsewhere to needing reservations, long wait for seats, etc. because the place is fairly small. Is that likely to be a problem at lunch, since I'm not sure when I'll be free which makes reservations problematic, or is that mostly a dinnertime (and maybe more cold weather) phenomenon.

Also, if I have a chance to hit the deli across the street, any beyond the obvious (like more kielbasa) can't miss things? Not really a strong sweet tooth, but anything else?
Thanks

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Cafe Polonia
611 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

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  1. When I've gone it's generally been around 4:00. It's never been real busy at that time. I would assume that lunch would be similar. I've enjoyed the cold salads, and think they're a nice addition. You could always order an appetizer of kielbasa and go with some potato pancakes. My favorite though is the Gypsy Pancake with the hungarian goulash sandwiched in between. They generally have a few good specials as well.

    1. The salads tend to be beet/cabbage based kinda like slaws. The potato pancakes are killer (get the side of Goulash) and if you ant to sneak in some kielbasa, the "kielbasa twists" app (deep fried, not battered) is probably the way to go.

      I don't know about the lunch crowd, I've only been for dinner, but I've gotten lucky and never experienced more than a 10 minute wait.

      As far as the sister deli across the street...frozen soups (one of their very strong points), home made sauerkraut (to the right of the deli counter in 5 Gal buckets) and in the refrigerated cases lots of herring options and cheeses. Also great rye bread (the one they serve at the restaurant) is available too.

      1 Reply
      1. One block from Andrew Square Red line stop. Lunch on a weekday should not be crowded. Agree with Pegmeister on the gypsy pancake, very good goulash sandwiched between two crisp potato pancakes. I also like the Polish sampler if you can't make up your mind what to order. Baltic Market (across the street) is good though I prefer Euromart and DJ's but these are further away. In addition to the kielbasa and soups mentioned, Polish Bacon is a treat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gourmaniac

          Thanks to everyone for the very helpful replies BTW. Yeah, I saw the goulash / pancake on the menu, just seemed awfully heavy for a summer lunch, although looks like I may have to re-think that. Anyway, I'll bite, what's special about the Polish bacon? And Food4Thought thanks especially for the sauerkraut suggestion. Kind of an uh duh thing to look for but it hadn't actually occurred to me and I love good sauerkraut.

          1. re: psora

            The bacon (at Euromart) was more like whole smoked pork belly and sold still warm. Not so salty and nice with sauerkraut as a dinner (not sliced for breakfast). I'm not Polish so not sure if this is the way it is served.

            1. re: gourmaniac

              Gently drools.
              Polish bacon goes on the shopping list.

        2. I'm a big fan of the stuffed cabbage. Maybe that will be a lighter summer meal? Also, ditto on the kielbasa appetizer. Delicious and a fun shape.

          1 Reply
          1. re: beetlebug

            I forgot about the stuffed cabbage. That's a great suggestion, especially the version with the mushroom sauce.

          2. Not to rain on the Polonia parade, but it made me think about a restaurant someone might know about since you're thinking about that neck of the woods. I don't remember how close it was to Polonia that it'd qualify as another recommendation and can't look it up because I can't find a thing on google or in back threads. It was Potbellies and then Alphonsus? I was there once a couple years ago and liked it, but that's all I've got. Any help?

            2 Replies
            1. re: katrinkala

              Okay, apparently my effective search skills fell out of my head for about ten minutes, but I found, it, so nevermind. I spelled it wrong, and it's Broadway, not Andrew, but if you're interested, Psora, if you have another appointment and want to ride the T for a stop or walk some extra blocks, I remember *St. Alphonzo's Kitchen* was good! Sorry for disrupting this thread with my brain fart.

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              St. Alphonzo's Kitchen
              87 A Street South, Boston, MA

              1. re: katrinkala

                Don't apologize for a good suggestion and I definitely saw some things I'd like to try on the lunch menu). Just wish it was closer to where I'm going as the pre-lunch appointment involves doing painful things to already problematic feet so dealing with T and / or much extra walking just not an option. But I'll definitely keep it in mind as a place to try when I'm over that way for less painful reasons. Thanks for sorting it out.