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Fresh pierogi?

Anyone have tips on finding pierogi that aren't factory-bagged and frozen? I am pining for the fresh, doughy, thick-skinned kind we used to get from our favorite Polish deli in New Jersey. I've been to Seakor (I adore their smoked kielbasa) but the pierogi didn't quite do it for me.

I see Cinderella Bakery has something called "pirogi" on their website menu, but it's described as "puff pastry dough with filling," which is not the pierogi I'm looking for. Maybe vareniki are the closest Russian equivalent? Other suggestions in SF or nearby?

Thanks!

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  1. I haven't tried them yet, but the Mission location of Giordano brothers has them on their menu, but not for takeout. Follow also @oldworldtruck on twitter. They're a popup with very good vareniki/pelmeni/pierogi.

    My recipe for pierogi dough uses massive amounts of butter, but sour cream is more common. If you don't see either off those ingredients on the dough ingredients, chances are you're not going to like what you're buying. In terms of ones you can purchase, I've tried a few at the Russian markets along Geary with little success. They're mostly awful.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      I didn't try them, but the ones at European Market in Castro Valley looked good, and what I did get was great:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4003...

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thanks, Robert; were these the ones you saw? (This picture is from the European Market website, on the "Polish food" page.) www.europeanfoodbayarea.com/wp-conten...
        The label is familiar -- I believe these are the same ones they sell at Seakor.

        hyperbowler, thanks for the tip; it looks like Old World Truck is popping up this very night, by the way!

        1. re: goldbouillon

          Too early in the morning, "doughy" made me think of piroshki. There's nothing special about the Polish selection at European Market.

          Euromix in Oakland has some frozen pierogi or valenki I like a lot though I couldn't swear it's not that same brand. Also some great house-made sour cream.

    2. Ode to pierogi, maybe.
      http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/californ...
      And when you can't get what you want.
      http://andapiroshki.com/

      3 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        holy cow they have whole wheat piroshki at Anda Piroshki. and they bake them..yowzah! I will be eager to check 'em out.
        thanks for the tip, wolfie.

        1. re: wolfe

          The funny thing is that Cinderella Bakery is the first place this article names for "the doughy, stuffed charms of pierogi," but from my look at their menu, they don't actually have them. Maybe I'll have to go and confirm for myself. Certainly piroshki would not be a bad consolation prize... they just won't do for Easter. :)

          1. re: goldbouillon

            That article seems to be confounding piroshki ("hand-held") and pierogi (shown in the photo), which are closer to Russian pelmeni or valenki.

        2. I love pierogi, and make them every Easter (along with a butter lamb), but I honestly haven't tried any great ones in San Francisco. I think there just aren't enough Poles here.

          I've had some at Chopin in Walnut Creek that were good, but when I want them, I make them at home. My mom has on occasion shipped some out from the East Coast, and there are several delis that'll do that.

          1. "Delikateski" in Concord sell pierogi that, while frozen, are packed by a dozen in ziploc bags with hand written descriptions on labels. They look and taste home made and quite likely are made by some extra income seeking Polish grandma. You can get sauercraut with mushrooms, potatoes (ruskie) and meat filling.
            I know it's a bit far from SF, but they used to deliver purchases over 100 bucks and perhaps still do. And if you combine pierogi with some sausages, it shouldn't be too difficult to reach the required $100. They don't make sausages themselves, like Seakor does, rather they have them sent from Chicago or other places where lots of Poles live and make sausages :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bigos

              Interesting. About a month ago, they had told me at Delikateski that the bagged one were just bulk versions of the mass-produced packaged ones they have (forgot the manufacturer but it is one I don't like). Did I misunderstand?

              Agree that the ones at Chopin in Walnut Creek are very good. They said there is a Polish grandma who makes them for the restaurant, as it should be. The best take-home equivalent I've had are at Babushka, the russian place in Walnut Creek, where their made-in-house potato vereniki are a very good approximation of pirogi ruskie. The cherry ones are phenomenal as well. But no sauerkraut/mushroom, which to me are the very best.

              1. re: jmarek

                That's what I thought, that Delikateski gets them in bulk from a supplier in Chicago and breaks them up into smaller bags.

                1. re: jmarek

                  Well, there goes my idea about this overachieving Polish grandma ... ;)

              2. Try Bona Restaurant in Menlo Park. Nice Polish food. The pierogi look good, but I always get the cabbage rolls...

                http://www.bonasrestaurant.com/

                1. The closest I've found were at Old Krakow which is now closed.

                  One of the Geary St. markets specializing in similar items had frozen versions, but they looked smaller, more like vareniki.

                  The Old World Truck pop up was attempting to fill the void, but they looked pretty thin in filling, at least in photos.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Bona in Menlo Park is the reincarnation of Old Krakow. I much prefer Chopin but if you were a fan, you'll recognize the owners.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Thank you! I knew they were talking about reopening somewhere. I prefer fried pirogies, which Old Krakow never sold to begin with...still good to know it's out there.

                  2. Thanks for all the tips! I think I'll make my own pierogi for Easter this year. However, it's worth noting that I got a chance to try the Old World Truck pop-up yesterday, and did enjoy their version (cabbage and mushroom). They were not the thick-skinned doughy ones of my family, but they were very nice -- interestingly, I think they used red cabbage. Also enjoyed: the "Jewish bahn mi" (a delicious schnitzel sandwich with liver "schmear") and the corned beef.