136 Greenpoint Ave
(between Franklin St & Manhattan Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 349-1744 www.karczmabrooklyn.com

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I have never really been to a authentic Polish restaurant. I have had perogies, I have had a few plates of food that my Polish doorman gave me, I have drank many a bottle of zubrowka, however, never a really authentic restuarant. The authenticity of this restaurant was made clear that night when our waitress commented how, they get American customers from time to time. I am assuming the other customers they get would be Polish. By the way, all the waitresses are dressed in traditional Polish dresses.

The food that we ate that night reminded me of a combination of German and Russian Food. Perhaps it was my remedial knowledge of Polish History which influenced me. But, how could Polish Cuisine not be influenced by it’s neighbors and sometimes captures.

The food we that last night was heavy. Heavy and for lack of a better word, shmaltzy. It was certainly undeniably Eastern European.

We started with Perogies. When asking if we should have fried or boiled our waitress said “I find the fried more delicious”. How could we argue.

Though fried on the outside, the inside remained room temp. It was ground meat with not much seasoning bound together with a lot of fat. THe amount of fat coated your tongue. It was topped with fried onions. Everything needed a lot of salt.

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I could not help but, think of my father in-law and his sister. In Jewish Eastern Europe, chicken fat is king. Chicken fat spread thick across rye bread or some dark yeasty bread. Here, they chunks of pork belly suspended in pork fat spread across bread. The pickles helped break things up a little. This would give Mario’s lardo at Del Posto a run for it’s money. And, win in my book.

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Missie K, ordered the salmon. She often orders the salmon. Here the salmon came with a pretty bold spice rub. It was accompanied by red bliss potatoes that seemed to be just dunked into a deep fryer. I don’t think there was much thought put into the potato preparation. It just seemed to be a means to an end. “We have these potatoes, how do we make them edible. ” They were fried right to the point where they could be chewed. Side sauce of butter dill.  A great deal at $8 or $9 bucks.

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Miss A ordered the sample platter. Here you had cabbage stuffed with the same thing that was in the perogi. Two potato pancakes, kelbasa, some sort of hunters stew, and instead of perogis, they let us sub blood sausage. Everything was good. The potato pancakes were my favorite thing on the plate. It all needed salt. A huge plate of food for eight or nine bucks.

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I ordred the grilled fresh ham. Having no idea what this would be, I was a little let down. It was a pork steak that was liberally spiced with what I assume was on the salmon. It was ok. The crinkle fries let out cold oil when bitten into. I was clinging to the grilled vegetables out of instinct. They have a nice grill there obviously. They have kebabs and a few other grilled items. Pork was cooked well but, not exciting.

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We drank a few large Polish beers for $3.50 each as it was Happy Hour.

The place is a tavern serving Polish Food. It’s very homey, the prices are good, the portions are large, the food is heavy. Not a gourmet experience but, a peak into a different culture. If I lived in the neighborhood and was in college or younger, I would eat and drink here on the cheap and have left overs for days.

Instead, I ate and drank on the cheap and felt groggy and fat for days.

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