polka dot

Pierogi Roundup: A Guide to Greenpoint’s Best Polish Dumplings

While Greenpoint is still a bastion of Polish food, community, and culture, there was a time when pierogi purveyors were more ubiquitous than banks and drug stores, longtime neighborhood resident Richard Humann recalls. In the 1980s, the large population of single Polish men working for the American dollar made for a pierogi paradise, with bare-bones cafeterias selling the dumplings for cents at seemingly every street corner. The combination of gentrification and more opportunities to make money following the fall of communism led to the departure of many of the Polish men and the resultant closure of many pierogi vendors.

In 2018, there’s still cause for indecision when picking a pierogi spot in Greenpoint, even if the dumplings today are a bit pricier and a bit more infrequent. Below, a guide to the best local pierogis.

Christina’s (853 Manhattan Ave.)

Christina’s pierogis with mushroom gravy

Opened by Krakow native and restaurant namesake Krystyna Dura in 1993, Christina’s is known for its no-frills food in a charming, but tacky diner-like space. The table service is speedy and the plates will reliably fill you up faster than you think. Sour cream will cost you 50 cents extra.

Karczma(136 Greenpoint Ave.)

 

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Pierogi! #karczmapolishrestaurant

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While the pierogi options at Karczma are limited, what they do have delivers. The waitresses are all dressed in traditional outfits or school uniforms and the restaurant itself feels from another era. The borscht bread bowl isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth a second trip back to experience it.

Krajan Polskie Deli (160 Nassau Ave.)

The pierogi here qualify more for their price and location than quality, although they’re certainly tasty too. In the back of Krajan, a Polish bodega of sorts, fridges sit full of soup, milk, meat and boxes of pierogi, $8.99 for 12, meat or cheese. Nab some cow caramels on your way out: a medium-sized bag filled with them will run you just $2.99.

Krolewskie Jadlo(694 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Holy pierogi! Our Chef’s Pierogi are stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and topped with chanterelle mushroom sauce.

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Commonly known as some variation of “The Knights” due to the armored figures guarding its entrance and the hard to pronounce name, Krolewskie Jadlo is a neighborhood landmark. It earned this status not only through its memorable front but also its authentic atmosphere, hearty food, and warm environment.

Polka Dot(726 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Pierogi (Polish dumplings) at my favorite @polkadotgreenpoint – Roch, Greenpoint NYC

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The name and homey but chic decor make Polka Dot seem a bit out of place with the neighborhood’s food scene at first glance. A look at the prices and offerings will show you otherwise. If you’ve got room post pierogi, try the zucchini pancakes – like a lighter latka.

Pyza(118 Nassau Ave.)


This cafeteria-style eatery hasn’t been updated in decades, prices included. The atmosphere alone is worth a visit. Don’t get too comfortable while you wait for your order – it’ll be called out in Polish when its ready for pickup at the counter.

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Save Money and Fight Food Waste With End-of-Day Deals on Food

Bread via Marlow & Daughters
You can now get deals on Marlow & Daughters gourmet breads and fight food waste with the YourLocal app. Image via Marlow & Daughters on Instagram.

If you’ve ever worked in a cafe, you’ve likely seen first-hand the large amount of food that gets dumped straight into the garbage at the end of the day. If you haven’t, then you’ve definitely walked by piles of trash bags on our neighborhood sidewalks, and maybe not realized that many of them contain still totally edible food. Around 20% of trash in NYC is actually, and unfortunately, food waste.

Now, a new app has launched in North Brooklyn to help connect everyday people to day’s end food at cafes, gourmet grocers and more—the app alerts you daily at the exact moment food is up for grabs at a much lower price. In our neighborhood, you can get discounted Polish home cooking from Polka Dot (726 Manhattan Ave), fancy donuts from Du’s (107 N 12th St), pastries and sandwiches from Woops! (both Williamsburg and Greenpoint locations), gourmet bread from Marlow & Daughters (95 Broadway), pizza from DiFara (at N 3rd St Market), and coming soon, even grocery items from the Key Food on McGuinness. There’s at least a dozen more shops and restaurants participating in the area, and lots more are signing on every day. Continue reading

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Where to Get Sweet & Savory Treats for Holiday Parties

‘Tis the season of hosting family and friends in your home. As it’s the busiest season of the year with lots on the calendar, we’ve put together a short list of places ready to help you make your loved ones feel catered to with minimum effort on you.

Monger’s Palate

Monger’s Palate builds made-to-order catering platters guaranteed to be a showstopper at your holiday cocktail party or event.  Their cheese, charcuterie and crudité platters come with seasonal, fresh ingredients that are carefully curated. Their selection of artisanal cheeses, meats and condiments are prepared to perfectly compliment each other’s flavor. Let them know what wine or beverage you’ll be serving and they’ll gladly customize your order to make your holiday table full of cheese and cheer!

Address: 192 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Website: Monger’s Palate
Phone: (718) 383-0612
Cost: Email for pricing and availability
Highlights: Customizable platters, amazingly delicious cheese, fresh and local ingredients

 

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At Home at Polka Dot

Front_PolkaDot_Greenpointers_SidraBurshteyn
Polka Dot – 726 Manhattan Ave – Greenpoint

I remember the time that I first noticed Polka Dot. I was walking down Manhattan Avenue, undoubtedly heading toward Peter Pan to satisfy my apple crumb donut addiction. Thankfully, I spotted the happy script across the street that was this little Polish cafe’s new sign. Many of you may not know that Polka Dot is in fact the reimagining of what was once the Polski Meat Market. Opened in 1996 by Marzena Parys and her husband, it’s evolved with the neighborhood into the gem that it is today. Continue reading

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Gastronaut: Kielbasa

various kielbasa
various kielbasa (from left to right): various kabanosy, weselna, mysliwska, wiejska, krajana, kiszka, parowki, parowki drobiowe, krakowska, jalowcowa; photo © Gordon Lingley

Taste, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the new Greenpointers food series Gastronaut. Its continuing mission: to explore strange, new ingredients; to seek out new flavors and new techniques; to boldly go where no food has gone before.

Grilling season is upon us and, since Greenpoint is home to at least seven meat markets, it’s high time you upped your grilling game.

Walking into a Polish meat market can be a bit overwhelming. For starters, most, if not all, of the signage is in Polish and, at least in my experience, not everyone behind the counter speaks English. Don’t be discouraged. With a little patience and this decoder key, you’ll be the star of your summer bbq or picnic in the park. Continue reading

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