This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Matthews, NC, and to Taste of Europe, a small casual restaurant specializing in Polish cuisine.
Dora here. Squeezed in a strip mall, Taste of Europe is small, but not crowded. Intimate, but not like everybody is in your space. The two room restaurant was clean, bright and welcoming, and service was quick and friendly.
I’d already picked out an appetizer, the much-anticipated Potato Pancakes, but unfortunately, the tater pancakes were not available until after 3pm. So we opted for the Bread with Pate and Cucumbers in Brine. The bread was freshly sliced; the pate had a strong flavor and reminded me of potted meat, and the cucumbers were mild with the perfect crunch.
Dora here. Hmmm…not a fan. Should’ve opted for dessert instead. Why did we pass up crepes for pate?
For my lunch, I ordered the Polish Sampler Platter, which included stuffed cabbage, grilled polish sausage, and meat pierogis. The meat filling for the stuffed cabbage was firm and packed with flavor and doused with a tomato-based sauce. The sausage had some nice grill marks and just the right amount of char. I ordered the pierogi fried, and they were cooked perfectly. I enjoyed everything on my plate.
Dora here. I came for the pierogies, which are dumplings filled with either a sweet or savory component. Since I couldn’t make up my mind, I opted for the Pierogi Mix, a combo of three different kinds: Potato & Cheddar, Russian and Meat. I asked for mine broiled.
Wow! Like plump ravioli, but every bite a surprise, a different flavor, smooth and creamy. My favorite was the Russian, a little pillow of Farmer’s Cheese, which to me, tasted like Cream Cheese. YUM!
Have you tried Polish food? What’s your favorite?
Which of these dishes would you try?