Saturday, December 31, 2011

Skinnytato


I was quite excited when I visited this little Polish restaurant in Victoria, as I was completely ignorant on the subject of traditional Polish cuisine. The place is run by a friendly middle-aged couple, a rather talkative husband and an amiable wife who cooks up delicious home-style meals for her guests. The store is small, but feels very cozy and comfortable.


I really liked the uneven stone wall with snowflake decorations plastered all over it.


The menu was rather limited and consisted of different combinations of potato pancakes, perogies and salads. We ordered a couple of mains to share, one of them being the light plate ($12.50). It came with 3 potato pancakes, 3 perogies and a choice of salad. We decided on "nature's gift", a salad of shredded red cabbage recommended by the owner himself. Carrots, apples, sunflower seeds, raisins and green onion could also be found in this salad, but I thought the most predominant flavour came from the raspberry vinaigrette. The potato pancakes had the texture of fish cake — dense and slightly bouncy. They were delicious and even my mom, who doesn't like the flavour of potatoes, commented that she enjoyed them.


Each of the perogies had different fillings. One was potato, one was cheese, and the other was marinated mushroom bits (probably mixed with something else as well). I enjoyed all of them, but the mushroom was the most unique and savoury.


All of the mains came with a small cup of soup. The soup of the day was tomato, celery and apple. I've never heard of that combination before, but it was so very tasty! The soup was slightly grainy and tart from the blended tomato, and the fresh apple bits on top rounded out the flavour perfectly.


The other main we ordered was the potato pancake stuffed with sauerkraut and Polish sausage ($13.85). It was the same potato pancake as before, except it was larger and folded to accommodate the fillings. Sauerkraut went quite well with sausage as the subtle sourness helped balance out the heavy meat. This main came with a choice of 2 salads, so we tried the "Skinnytato" and the "Polish". The "Skinnytato" was similar to the "nature's gift" in that it was also a salad of shredded cabbage, but of the white variety instead of the red. I preferred the "nature's gift" because I enjoyed the raspberry vinaigrette which the "Skinnytato" lacked. The "Polish" beet salad with carrots, chopped apples, sunflower oil and lemon juice was also quite refreshing, but I still found the "nature's gift" a notch above the rest.


We also ordered cabbage rolls (+$3.35) as a side. The tomato sauce was very creamy and tasty, but I found the cabbage a bit too thin and the filling a bit bland and boring. The filling consisted mostly of rice and barley, so it lacked contrasting flavours and textures.


Pretty much the only items on the menu are potato pancakes and perogies. There are a handful of sides like cabbage rolls, salad and soup as well as a couple of dessert options, but don't come here if you are looking for variety. If you are up for some delicious unpretentious homestyle cooking, however, look no further! You will definitely be impressed by the comforting foods here.

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