This is my 100th post on this food blog. And I am glad it is written on Krolewskie Jadlo, a Polish restaurant in Ridgewood, Queens. Although I rarely eat Polish food, the restaurant offers very hearty and homey food that speaks to where I am from and how food should be regarded.
With all the French restaurants reviews I have written and all the various cuisines I have tried, the best kind of food is always the kind that simply satisfies my hunger and my need to feel at home. No need for elegant plating; no need for color contrast; no need for fancy or expensive ingredients. The food just needs to be good to the core and the restaurant in a casual atmosphere. Fresh sashimi, Algerian merguez, Taiwanese stinky tofu (臭豆腐), Korean bibimbap, Ethiopian injera with shiro wat, Vietnamese Phở, and a good cup of coffee with croissant are my definitions of outstanding food for the soul.
When we arrived, there was a big party in the backroom of the restaurant. You could hear people singing, talking loudly and happily to each other. The restaurant was occupied by families, couples old and young, and groups of friends. You instantly felt comfortable.
This is the Hungarian pancake with sauerkraut. It is stewed beef enclosed in a potato pancake. For the beef stew lovers (me!), this is love wrapped in a warm blanket on a gray New York Sunday morning. Lazy, comfy, fulfilling and happy. The cut used was flank steak and the meat fell out the pancake easily. mmm. mmm. good.
The sauerkraut was excellent by the way.
Polish Plate: Stuffed cabbage, pierogies, potato pancakes, sausage, veggies. Since I am the novice to Polish food, I ordered something that covers the spectrum. Stuffed cabbage was filled with ground beef. The main character was the bland ground beef and the cabbage was over-steamed – not a fan. Pierogies tasted good but was terribly fried, greasy and hard. Reminded me of the cheap Chinese take-out fried dumplings – not a fan. Potato pancakes were the same as that from the Hungarian Pancake and were delicious. Sausages were good but a bit hard because they were over-cooked. Veggies were done well – the best way to do vegetables, cooked and with sauce. I ate all the veggies.
Due to the large party they had that night, we waited a seemingly very long time for our food (around 45 minutes) on very empty stomaches. They apologized but it was still poorly managed. Although the Hungarian pancakes were good, I would not be surprised if we were too hungry to be objective. In all fairness, the two dishes we had were limited in demonstrating the breadth of the Polish cuisine. I will have to return and try the other ones on the menu.
Regardless, the food was fulfilling and simple. Some of it was even good. I love this aspect of the experience. I felt right at home, kind of the purpose of me writing this blog, the semiotics of eating.
This experience took place at
66-21 Fresh Pond Rd and Palmetto St
Ridgewood, Queens, NY 11385
tel: 718 366 6226