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Podhalanka Polish Restaurant [Pictures]

Podhalanka Polish Restaurant [Pictures]
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  • Podhalanka Polish Restaurant [Pictures]

    Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 12:48 pm
    Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 12:48 pm Post #1 - January 29th, 2005, 12:48 pm
    LTH,

    Had lunch at Podhalanka, which was the first stop on the Milwaukee-a-thon, the street, not the city, last week with m'th'su. Mike suggested Podhalanka which I had never been, a real oversight on my part. We started with Zurek / White Borscht soup, which contained sausage, dill weed, small pieces of garlic and, what seemed like, little bits of dill stem.

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    I particularly liked the slightly sour flavor. We asked Helena what caused the sour flavor, I thought sauerkraut juice, but she said it was flour/water/salt/garlic left to ferment for a few days, not sauerkraut juice as I thought. In reading past posts about Podhalanka, I notice Rob asked about the sour flavor in the borscht as well, receiving the exact same answer.

    In my perusal of past Podhalanka posts I also realized Mike and I missed the killer dish, Ann Fisher's favorite potato pancakes. Next time!

    We split an order of mixed pierogi w/sour cream and bits of sauerkraut on the plate. Good, but I prefer my pierogi to spend a few minutes crisping in a saute pan, as opposed to directly from the water.
    Image

    Cucumber salad seemed just sour cream and cucumber, simple, but nice flavor.
    Image

    Mike had Zrazy Wieprzowe Zawijane / Pork rolled with bacon and mushroom, which I thought the weakest dish of the day. Good flavor, but the pork was ever so slightly stringy.
    [Image

    My order of Zeberka / Spare ribs with sauerkraut, made with fresh, not smoked spare ribs, was very good. Quite tender with the sauerkraut nicely flavored by the pork.
    Image

    Lunches were served with potatoes and gravy, I thought the potatoes a wee bit salty, but I have a much lower salt tolerance than most.
    Image

    We chatted a bit with Helena, who said Podhalanka had been a Polish restaurant for a 'long time' and before that a Polish bar. Helena was friendly, in a subdued fashion, and the people at the counter/stools were friendly as well. Podhalanka is comfortable with both counter seating and tables, and seems the type of place one only need go a couple of times before becoming a regular.
    Image

    Podhalanka reminded me of eating at an Aunt's house, an aunt that you like and knows how to cook. All in all, while not a perfect meal, I intend to return soon and not just to try Ann's potato pancakes. As an added bonus, Podhalanka has Polish greeting and birthday cards for sale. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Podhalanka
    1549 W. Division St.
    773-486-6655
    Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 1:14 pm
    Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 1:14 pm Post #2 - January 29th, 2005, 1:14 pm
    Gary:

    Thanks for the photo-exposition on this place. Amata and I have been intending to go there for some time now but seem to think about it only when we're passing by on our way to somewhere else. From the name of the place, it sounds like they're "Highlanders", from the southern part of Poland.

    Do they serve beer? All that pork and sauerkraut screams out for piwo.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #3 - January 30th, 2005, 11:20 pm
    Post #3 - January 30th, 2005, 11:20 pm Post #3 - January 30th, 2005, 11:20 pm
    Do they serve beer? I sure thought it was a tavern, but now I find no photographic evidence of the fact.

    My question would be, are they still talking about that morning that 25 total strangers came in and ate them out of potato pancakes in 15 minutes?

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  • Post #4 - January 31st, 2005, 3:50 am
    Post #4 - January 31st, 2005, 3:50 am Post #4 - January 31st, 2005, 3:50 am
    Antonius wrote:Do they serve beer? All that pork and sauerkraut screams out for piwo.

    Antonious,

    Podhalanka does not serve beer, though I don't imagine BYOB would be a problem.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - January 31st, 2005, 9:11 am
    Post #5 - January 31st, 2005, 9:11 am Post #5 - January 31st, 2005, 9:11 am
    There used to be a bar next door to the east, which could be accessed through a back passage from the restaurant. My personal favorite there, of the dinners, is the boiled beef.
  • Post #6 - February 6th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Post #6 - February 6th, 2005, 9:07 pm Post #6 - February 6th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Hi,

    After a solid four hours at the Field Museum seeing the Jacqueline Kennedy and Machupichu exhibits, we were ready to eat. My camera wasn't with me, so I wasn't in the mood to hunt down the Kennedy White House style dinner (or is it lunch), which some establishment is offering during this exhibit period. If someone knows the place I am referring to, please PM or e-mail me because I know it exists, I haven't found it quite yet.

    Remembering Gary extolling on the wonderful tasting soups at Podhalanka, I steered my Moms there. Mom2 is a first generation American of Polish extraction, who long ago introduced me to the Busy Bee, which closed some years ago. Gary's pictures of Podhalanka instantly reminded me of the Busy Bee, so I was really pleased to finally make it.

    For first course, we ordered three different soups: Mom1 had cabbage soup, Mom2 had Ukrainian Beet Soup and I ordered Sour Borscht. The Ukrainian Beet soup was sweet with a surprise ingredient of cooked lima beans where Mom2 expected potatoes. Mom1's cabbage soup had a sauerkraut twang and was surprisingly more sour than my Sour Borscht. I really don't know much about the composition of my Sour Borscht, beyond seeing slices of Polish sausage in it. It was white, it was sour, and though Mom1 (of Cabbage Soup) pronounced it tasteless; I liked it thank you very much. It reminded me, again, I want to go back to a restaurant on Deep Lake for a Polish pickle soup.

    For the balance, we ate family style from an array of one-dish meals: We had Nalesniki (blintzes) which were applesauce filled and folded with sour cream and applesauce on the side. I might repeat this if they offer a filling which interests me, because the presence of applesauce twice in the same dish was just too repetitive.

    We ordered a plate of mixed Pierogies (meat, cabbage and potato & cheese), which came sour cream. When we order these again, we will dispense with the meat (it was a dry, very finely shreaded pork) to concentrate on the other fillings. We would also ask them to drown them in melted butter, which we recall fondly from the Busy Bee.

    The Ann Fisher recommended potato pancakes were divine. All thumbs up.

    The pair of Golabki (stuffed cabbage) with fresh mashed potatoes, who needed more mashing, was a thud. Mom2 makes her Golabki with beef, I make mine with a mixture of pork and beef, while Podhalanka made it with pork only. We were collectively not enthusiastic about Golabka.

    I inquired about dessert, which the waitress said they had "A cake of cheese." I hoped they had something with poppy seeds, really hoping for a jelly roll type cake heavy with poppy seed filling. Instead, she brought out a plastic clamshell from a bakery, showing us a cake whose bottom was poundcake, then a 1/2 inch layer of poppy seeds, 2-inches of dry looking farmers cheese-type cheesecake and a thin layer of chocolate. I ordered one piece, which I shared with Mom1 as I really wanted my poppy seed fix.

    There was a young Polish couple who came after us at a neighboring table. They ordered $10.75 dinners which included soup and salad. The salad alone was very attractive. It was an oblong plate with a white pickled cabbage salad, cucumbers with sour cream and a beet salad; be still my beating heart. So next time we're heading for the plate dinners with a side order of pierogi and/or potato pancakes.

    We will also order the beverage 'Kompot,' which is a compote made from rehydrating dried fruits. Mom2 makes a very good variant with dried cherries prominately featured, which for some reason wasn't made this last holiday season. Next time...
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - February 6th, 2005, 9:15 pm
    Post #7 - February 6th, 2005, 9:15 pm Post #7 - February 6th, 2005, 9:15 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:We will also order the beverage 'Kompot,' which is a compote made from rehydrating dried fruits.


    During the Milwalkathon our waitress put pitchers of the kompot down on all our tables as soon as we sat down, telling us it was no charge. It looked like Hawaiian Punch but was wonderfully refreshing--not too sweet, not too heavy, like a good cranberry juice cocktail only with more interesting flavors. She'd managed to convey that it was made from mixed berries, but I'd missed that they were dried. I'm glad to know more about it. Thanks for the reminder and the lesson. And I'm glad you enjoyed the pancakes.
  • Post #8 - February 7th, 2005, 10:23 am
    Post #8 - February 7th, 2005, 10:23 am Post #8 - February 7th, 2005, 10:23 am
    Hi--kompot is the beverage that accompanies meals in Poland. It's either made of fresh seasonal fruit (plums, apples, various berries, rhubarb, etc.) which is boiled and then diluted with water, or with preserved or dried fruit. When we were in Poland for a month this summer, it was there, in many permutations, with every lunch and dinner. Anna
  • Post #9 - February 7th, 2005, 10:41 am
    Post #9 - February 7th, 2005, 10:41 am Post #9 - February 7th, 2005, 10:41 am
    Anna Z. Sobor wrote:Hi--kompot is the beverage that accompanies meals in Poland. It's either made of fresh seasonal fruit (plums, apples, various berries, rhubarb, etc.) which is boiled and then diluted with water, or with preserved or dried fruit. When we were in Poland for a month this summer, it was there, in many permutations, with every lunch and dinner. Anna


    That's interesting. I notice at Halina's, kompot is nearly always on everyone else's table. I thought (or maybe heard) that it was a seasonal/holiday thing. Guess not.

    Anna, what about vodka and beer, are these served at all with meals or reserved for outside the meals?

    Rob
  • Post #10 - February 7th, 2005, 11:03 am
    Post #10 - February 7th, 2005, 11:03 am Post #10 - February 7th, 2005, 11:03 am
    Dear Rob--good question regarding the alcohol. At home parties and at restaurant celebrations, vodka is usually drunk in shots, not as part of mixed drinks. Someone pours a round for everyone, makes a toast, and it's bottoms up. This is done throughout the entire party, starting with appetizers. Women usually demure, or say "just a little", or ask for the sweet stuff, i.e. usually home made fruit flavored vodka or liquer. Beer is considered more of a thirst quencher after a hard day at the office or at work--just like happy hour here.

    In restaurants, people do order beer or wine with meals, but more so with dinner, just like here. There are also tons of outdoor and indoor cafes and bars--sitting on the square in the late afternoon, nursing a beer and listening to all the languages around us was one of my favorite things to do in Krakow.

    In the U.S., it's assumed you'll drink soda with your meal. In Poland, it's kompot. A kompot made of dried fruit is also one of the traditional components of a meatless Christmas Eve dinner. Take care--Anna
  • Post #11 - May 17th, 2006, 4:39 am
    Post #11 - May 17th, 2006, 4:39 am Post #11 - May 17th, 2006, 4:39 am
    G Wiv wrote:In my perusal of past Podhalanka posts I also realized Mike and I missed the killer dish, Ann Fisher's favorite potato pancakes. Next time!

    Ann,

    Since I wrote the above I've been back to Podhalanka any number of times, but not until yesterday did I have the Ann Fisher recommended potato pancakes. Boy-o-boy have I been remiss in not taking your advice sooner, Podhalanka's potato pancakes are terrific!

    Huge portion of crisp, meaty, in a starchy sort of way, potato pancakes with just a hint of onion, complimented by sour cream, and lots of it, and applesauce. Cabbage rolls with a mound of potato for Ellen along with thick cabbage soup loaded with tender cabbage, for both of us, and basket of Polish rye rounded out a hearty, and inexpensive, lunch.

    Thanks again Ann, you sure know how to pick em. I guess this means I best get over to the Berwyn Farmers market in the next few weeks or I might find myself writing virtually the same thing in 2-3 months. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - May 17th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    Post #12 - May 17th, 2006, 8:10 pm Post #12 - May 17th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I particularly liked the slightly sour flavor. We asked Helena what caused the sour flavor, I thought sauerkraut juice, but she said it was flour/water/salt/garlic left to ferment for a few days, not sauerkraut juice as I thought. In reading past posts about Podhalanka, I notice Rob asked about the sour flavor in the borscht as well, receiving the exact same answer.


    I wanted to expound on this, since zur/zurek/bialy barszcz/white borscht is one of my favorite soups and, so far as I have been able to ascertain, unique to Polish cuisine.

    Making zurek is similar to making lactic-fermented pickles (like "sun pickles" and the such) except without the cucumbers. It's also similar to making homemade sourdough starter. You first make a kwas ("acid") by mixing together rye flour, warm water, and some garlic. My mother used to make it in a large gallon jar we would reserve just for this purpose. Mix your ingredients together, float a slice of rye bread on top, and put the jar some place warm (next to a radiator will do) for 3-5 days. Oh yeah, and cover it with a dish or a cheesecloth. When you're done, you should have a nicely fermented, rather sour, lactic-flavored liquid.

    You then combine this kwas with stock, marjoram, potatoes, smoked sausage, etc... to make your soup. It's fantastic, and especially good for hangovers.

    Added on 4/11/13: For reference, I posted the full recipe here a few years ago.
    Last edited by Binko on April 11th, 2013, 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #13 - January 3rd, 2007, 1:08 pm
    Post #13 - January 3rd, 2007, 1:08 pm Post #13 - January 3rd, 2007, 1:08 pm
    I organized a group dinner at Podhalanka last night, to try some Polish food (some of us, for the very first time).

    Halina was very delighted to see that Podhalanka was on the LTHForum pocket-sized list of GNRs. She didn't seem to know what the list was, but said "what a nice menu!" to me. I looked for the LTH GNR sign but didn't see it, and my international sign language must have been having an 'off' day because I wasn't able to convey what I meant to Halina.

    With 10 non-Polish people coming in, I had done my research on this forum and wrote out a list of recommended items on a piece of paper. Halina asked me if she can take the list, went in the back, and put together buffet-style bins/platters full of food for the group. We didn't even have to choose from the menu! I don't think she was planning on serving kompot, but it was on the list so she brought it out. My friends had also brought some beer and wine (but we couldn't get a wine opener).

    We had:
    kompot
    sliced rye bread
    white borscht soup with sausages
    vegetable soup (for those who don't eat pork)
    red cabbagge salad
    beet salad
    cucumber salad
    mixed pierogies
    potato pancakes
    beef with horseradish sauce
    beef spare ribs
    beef rolls
    pork rolls
    stuffed cabbage

    Everything was good, though my favorites were the kompot, white borscht soup, potato pancakes and the beef with horseradish sauce. I have to agree with Cathy2 that the meat pierogies were very dry, so they weren't my favorite.

    We were so stuffed we couldn't even think about dessert. Halina offered take-home boxes, and we each got to pack another meal for ourselves.

    The food was delicious, our group was delighted to try Polish food, and we had a great time. Halina (and her son?) kept the restaurant open late for us and was a perfect hostess for our event.

    Asami
  • Post #14 - January 3rd, 2007, 9:27 pm
    Post #14 - January 3rd, 2007, 9:27 pm Post #14 - January 3rd, 2007, 9:27 pm
    Thanks for the post, asami. I've never considered Podhalanka for a group dinner, but that sounds like an excellent spread and a perfect way for a group to spend a winter evening. Did I read correctly that you didn't call ahead but just showed up with 10 people and a list of food that you wanted? That's pretty impressive that they were just ready to whip up a buffet for 10 like that.

    Beef with horseradish is a winning combination for me wherever it's served (except maybe Arby's) and I'd love to try it there. I'm sure I will before the winter is out.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #15 - January 4th, 2007, 6:26 am
    Post #15 - January 4th, 2007, 6:26 am Post #15 - January 4th, 2007, 6:26 am
    The beef with horseradish sauce at Podhalanka, if you are expecting a strong horseradish tang, doesn't deliver that, but it is very good and my preferred pick on the menu for over 20 years. It is boiled beef in a light (both color and texture) sauce/gravy flavored with horseradish.

    If you want more bite, I'm sure they could oblige with a side of straight horseradish, but it's lovely just as is.
  • Post #16 - January 5th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Post #16 - January 5th, 2007, 1:24 pm Post #16 - January 5th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Did I read correctly that you didn't call ahead but just showed up with 10 people and a list of food that you wanted? That's pretty impressive that they were just ready to whip up a buffet for 10 like that.


    I called and made a reservation, but didn't ask for a buffet, nor specify any particular menu items. When I arrived about 20 minutes before our reservation, Halina and I were chatting and I showed her the list of recommended items I got from this forum. I don't know if she misunderstood that as my order, or if she was just being super generous, but she asked me if she can keep my list and headed to the kitchen. Then, the food started flowing!

    asami :-)
  • Post #17 - January 5th, 2007, 2:49 pm
    Post #17 - January 5th, 2007, 2:49 pm Post #17 - January 5th, 2007, 2:49 pm
    HI,

    I'm really curious, what was the price per person?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - January 6th, 2007, 4:03 pm
    Post #18 - January 6th, 2007, 4:03 pm Post #18 - January 6th, 2007, 4:03 pm
    Hi,

    We paid $15 per person, including tip (Halina did not include tip in the total bill). I think she said it was $11.95 per person (not positive) for the dinner, which included salad and soup, but I do think it was an awful lot of food for only $15. I had enough for a full lunch the next day!

    asami
  • Post #19 - January 6th, 2007, 4:30 pm
    Post #19 - January 6th, 2007, 4:30 pm Post #19 - January 6th, 2007, 4:30 pm
    Well, I'm ready to go and try that! It sounds wonderful. I have gone there a few times as it's on my way to my studio and I get off the bus there, and then walk the rest of the way. I've had some very good soup one time and one dinner - pork of some kind I think - that was also good and enough for two meals.

    But, I love to have variety and a large group like affords that. Since my DH would have a hard time eating there due to food allergy/restriction issues, I'd love to find a group who want to go :) I could pretend to be at the studio . . . he'd not need to know. . . :wink:
  • Post #20 - January 6th, 2007, 9:13 pm
    Post #20 - January 6th, 2007, 9:13 pm Post #20 - January 6th, 2007, 9:13 pm
    ViewsAskew,

    You have met your tribe! My suggestion is pick a weeknight midweek, then post it on the Events board for 7 PM with all the particulars.

    The magic of LTH is post it and usually people will come!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - January 9th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    Post #21 - January 9th, 2007, 2:09 pm Post #21 - January 9th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    GWiv - Nice writeup. I lived near here for 2+ years but never went to this place despite my curiosity as to how it was. Polish food doesn't seem to get a lot of writeups on this board so maybe it's a theme to focus on for '07.
  • Post #22 - January 9th, 2007, 9:05 pm
    Post #22 - January 9th, 2007, 9:05 pm Post #22 - January 9th, 2007, 9:05 pm
    I must admit to being the least-adventurous eater on the planet...but what I like, I REALLY like. Polish food is one of the those things...I won't go near 90+% of it (and I'm half-Polish), but I am always on the hunt for great fresh polish sausage and kiszka when I am in Chicago, so I'll be looking forward to reading about the discovieries of Chicago Polish food in 2007!
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #23 - January 13th, 2007, 7:53 am
    Post #23 - January 13th, 2007, 7:53 am Post #23 - January 13th, 2007, 7:53 am
    asami wrote:The food was delicious, our group was delighted to try Polish food, and we had a great time. Halina (and her son?) kept the restaurant open late for us and was a perfect hostess for our event.

    Asami,

    Sounds a lovely evening and what a great idea to have a group dinner at Podhalanka. It's been a while and I hear the call of the great White Borscht, not to mention potato pancakes. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:04 pm
    Post #24 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:04 pm Post #24 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:04 pm
    I love Pohalanka and have frequently enjoyed hearty meals there for years. With this full on winter we are enjoying, cravings for zurek have led me there more often than usual. With a few slices of soft rye bread and the good half a kielbasa bobbing in the soup, this order alone is almost a complete lunch for me and I will usually split an order of pierogi or stuffed cabbage with a friend to round things out. A full plate even from the ala carte menu just weighs me down too much for a midday meal. Without a dining companion this week I was confronted with the conundrum of what to order beyond my standard zurek. For the $3.50 price tag I went out on a limb and ordered the pork sandwich from the bottom right hand side of the menu. With all the other Polish delicacies on their menu it is really easy to overlook the pedestrian sandwich section. I was awestruck when a huge stacked sammy overflowing with deepfried pork cutlet swooped down from the heavens. Constructed on the same yummy rye bread this sandwich is fully dressed with mayo, pickle, lettuce, tomato, and onion atop a super crunchy and juicy pork cutlet. I would not describe the fry of the cutlet as light and greaseless and it may not be as wonderful standing alone. However, this is one perfectly balanced sandwich that at the price has become my standard accompaniment to my bowl of zurek. And in true Podhalanka fashion, I leave stuffed and happy.
  • Post #25 - March 9th, 2008, 3:17 pm
    Post #25 - March 9th, 2008, 3:17 pm Post #25 - March 9th, 2008, 3:17 pm
    Thank you, LTH, for recommending this place!

    I was herding cats, er, organizing a last-minute get-together with a bunch of locals from another board, and we decided on Podhalanka for breakfast. Two of us were there at 10:00 when they opened this morning, and the other two came in over the next half-hour.

    We had a wonderful breakfast, very filling (I'm still stuffed six hours later!), and extremely affordable. Due to this thread's recommendations, we shared a few plates of potato pancakes, a plate of blintzes, a fried sausage, and a pitcher of kompote (which I almost forgot about, but remembered when we were halfway through our meal), and two of us had soup (I had the sour borscht and a friend had the cabbage). We all agreed everything was as tasty as this board said, and are looking forward to returning for another meal, maybe dinner next time.

    I especially appreciate the reccomendation for soup (normally I wouldn't have soup for breakfast, but it really hit the spot this cold winter morning!) and the kompote, which was wonderfully fruity without being sweet.
  • Post #26 - March 9th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    Post #26 - March 9th, 2008, 11:21 pm Post #26 - March 9th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    Binko wrote:Making zurek is similar to making lactic-fermented pickles (like "sun pickles" and the such) except without the cucumbers. It's also similar to making homemade sourdough starter. You first make a kwas ("acid") by mixing together rye flour, warm water, and some garlic. My mother used to make it in a large gallon jar we would reserve just for this purpose. Mix your ingredients together, float a slice of rye bread on top, and put the jar some place warm (next to a radiator will do) for 3-5 days. Oh yeah, and cover it with a dish or a cheesecloth. When you're done, you should have a nicely fermented, rather sour, lactic-flavored liquid.

    Binko, my Polish Grandmother used to make this when I was a kid but she passed when I was about 12 and then my Mother never made it afterwards. I didn't really know what it was or even recall it until you jogged my mind. Guess at least I'm not in danger of Alzheimer's. Thanks for the memory.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #27 - March 10th, 2008, 6:39 am
    Post #27 - March 10th, 2008, 6:39 am Post #27 - March 10th, 2008, 6:39 am
    Mike Sula had a great article in the Reader a while back on ethnic groceries in Chicago that included a recipe for White Borscht based upon the Podhalanka recipe.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/s ... 07/ethnic/
  • Post #28 - March 11th, 2008, 10:05 pm
    Post #28 - March 11th, 2008, 10:05 pm Post #28 - March 11th, 2008, 10:05 pm
    A friend and I, in need of our starch fixes, headed to Podhalanka tonight for white borscht, pierogi, and potato pancakes. We'd never been, but it's been on my must-try list for several years now, and holy potato pancakes, it'll certainly be on my must-return list. Those were the best potato pancakes I have ever had in my life! Perfectly crisp on the outside, tender and potatoey and oniony on the inside...I had mine with applesauce, she had hers with sour cream, and we both left sated.
  • Post #29 - October 28th, 2008, 8:15 am
    Post #29 - October 28th, 2008, 8:15 am Post #29 - October 28th, 2008, 8:15 am
    owner: "Do you live around here?"
    Nic: "yes, around the corner".
    Owner: "Have you been here before?"
    Nic: "No".
    Owner: "Shame on you!"

    And you know what? He was right. How is it possible that I get off the Division street EL, pass by this gem, and have never been inside? I will forever crave the cabbage soup. I really want to eat that soup again and again. I want some today. Hubby tried to zone in on it as soon as it came to the table. He had the split pea, and was envious of my tart, spicy, deliciousness. Not that there was anything wrong with his, but after mine, it seemed woefully under seasoned.

    We took some of the owners suggestions and had the pierogi, potato pancakes, and boiled beef dinner. We were absolutely stuffed silly when we left. I appreciated the cold salads and the fresh bread.

    It was like eating at your grandma's in the sixties. The decor is just crazy nostalgic and spotless clean in there. I took a carry out menu, and I envision many calls to stop and pick up carry out on my way home.
  • Post #30 - March 9th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    Post #30 - March 9th, 2009, 5:11 pm Post #30 - March 9th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    LTH,

    It had been a while since my last visit and impending GNR renewal seemed as good a reason as any for lunch at Podhalanka, and a great lunch it was. Ann Fisher says best potato pancakes in Chicagoland, and I am not about to argue. Crisp outside, moist interior with just a hint of onion served with both thick tart sour cream and apple sauce. I'm guessing the apple sauce is house made, maybe even the sour cream.

    Potato Pancakes

    Image

    We really enjoyed the rest of the meal, White Borscht, a long time favorite, Tomato Rice soup, a daily special, one of the best pork tenderloins I have had the pleasure of tasting, tender boiled beef with a hint of horseradish and plump perogies.

    GNR renewal for Podhalanka, yes, absolutely, with bells and ribbons. Speaking of bells and ribbons, they seem to have spiffed up the interior since last I was there, more seating and subtle changes that make it even more inviting, if possible.

    Pork Tenderloin with egg

    Image

    Pierogi not photogenic, but delicious

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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