Posts tagged sauerkraut

Lomzynianka’s White Borscht Soup

Sometimes you want a lite meal, even if it’s a cold night. Soup could suffice. Dude, White Borscht with a side of half cucumber salad and half sauerkraut ($3 each). That works out great. I was satisfied. Why is it so damn cold outside?

Lomzynianka – 646 Manhattan Ave (btwn Bedford & Norman Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11222


Tio Wally Eats America: Interstate 83 Diner

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in York, Pennsylvania.

Greetings from York, Pennsylvania
N 40° 04.743’ W 076° 46.012’ Elev. 407 ft.

I have no use for Pennsylvania. While it might conceivably be considered beautiful in a small vehicle, in a heavily laden land yacht it’s the very definition of “A Bitch!” Too many hills, too little parking, generally a royal pain in the ass. Nothing is easy in a land yacht in Pennsylvania.

I used to loathe Texas … until I came to Pennsylvania. I now consider Texas a veritable paradise. But while the food in Pennsylvania can be good occasionally, and the people are mostly friendly, it doesn’t make up for the many inconveniences someone — Me! — suffers here. And the radio reception sucks, too.

Nevertheless, I found the Interstate 83 Diner and Coffee Shop through pure providence, if you consider a roadside billboard a sign of pure providence. It had an icon of a truck on it, which can be a good omen if you’re sailing in Pennsyl-freakin’-vania. The truck icon screamed at the SS Me Hungry crew: “It’s land-yacht friendly! Stop! Food! Stop!”

It turned out it was true. The I-83 Diner has enough room for about 30 or so yachts. But to park there you have to spend at least $10 in the restaurant, then they give you a parking permit to hang in your window (tape-provided) that’s good for ten hours. They claim to be hard-assed about the parking: You’ll be towed! I’m guessing it’s mostly bluster, but you never know and those big wreckers cost big bucks.

I’ve been here twice. My first visit was a bit more straight-ahead than this one. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On my most recent stop one of the specials was Pork & Sauerkraut with Mashed Potatoes for $8.59. Hmm, I thought, that’s something I’ve never seen. So I ordered it. I guessed it would be something like a pork steak and sauerkraut fixed lord-knows-how. My waiter said it was good and that “it comes out real quick.” (I presumed he was talking about speed of the order coming out of the kitchen and not something, ahem, a bit more unpleasant.)

While I was waiting for the Pork & Sauerkraut to “come out real quick” I had a bowl of Bean & Ham soup. While it seemed a little pricey ($3.59/bowl) I couldn’t resist. It was really, really, really good. Obviously homemade, the soup wasn’t overcooked to the point where the beans deteriorated. Indeed, the broth was still thin. While I wish it would’ve had a few more white beans in it, it had a lot of nice chunks of ham, a zillion carrots and a great tasting broth.

Then the Pork and Sauerkraut came. The mashed potatoes and gravy were great. But this Pork and Sauerkraut thing was a little beyond me even though I like both pork and sauerkraut.

The quality of the sauerkraut was exemplary. Not limp or overly briny like commercial sauerkraut. But … WTF is this supposed to be? It’s a mound of perfectly good sauerkraut with bits of boiled(?), tasteless pork!

I mean, c’mon. The sauerkraut belongs on a Polish dog, preferably with spicy mustard. The pork is begging to be in some creamed concoction to be generously ladled over a mountainous scoop of mashed potatoes that’s been gingerly situated in the center of a slice of white Wonder®/Bimbo® bread. You know, something Minnesotans would find “just too darn spicy, don’cha know.”

Needless to say the Pork and Sauerkraut was not a combination that worked for me at all. And though I suspected I’d be out the money for this culinary disaster, I figured: “Screw it! I’m in Pennsyl-freakin’-vania and I’m hungry!” So I had the waiter take it away. I then ordered the Stuffed Cabbage, which I’d had on my first visit.

The Stuffed Cabbage ($9.99) here is quite good. The stuffing is a little different from what I’m used to; it has no rice in it. It’s just spiced ground beef (I think), with bits of onion and bell pepper. The sauce, however, is the star. It’s kind of a cross between a tomato-cream sauce and a classic Kosher cabbage-roll sauce, with the raisin-y sweetness of a Kosher-style sauce. It’s homey, soothing, and delicious.

I had a serious bitch, though: The Stuffed Cabbage, as well as all of the other items on the inserted “white” menu (see pic), comes with two sides. This time I got a green salad (meh) and beets.

The last time I was here the beets were served warm. In fact, they were round little miniature* (smaller-than-golf-ball-sized) pickled beets. And they were served warm, which made them awesome. This time they seemed to be straight out of a can, with very little spicing and were served cold! Waaaaaaaah!!!

(*Speaking of miniatures: Baby carrots. I love ‘em! Why? Because they are not “Baby” carrots. Break one in half and look at its cross-section. Then take a regular, full-grown carrot, break it in half and look at its cross-section. You will see little difference. So-called Baby Carrots are merely mature carrots that have been lovingly machine-chopped to uniform lengths and mechanically sculpted; lathed, if you will. If you’ve ever had the “pleasure” of eating a baby carrot, you were probably disappointed. They have no taste. Indeed, it’s like eating an immature, flavorless vegetable. Imagine that!

By the way, I’m convinced, without any proof whatsoever — absolutely no research was done — that Baby Carrots are the brainchild of Bolthouse Farms of Bakersfield, California, which is possibly the largest processor of carrots on the planet.)

Still, the Cabbage Rolls were really good. And I wasn’t charged for the train-wreck of Pork and Sauerkraut.

And so we roll.

Interstate 83 Diner and Coffee Shop (I-83 Exit 28), 5220 Susquehanna Road, York, Pennsylvania

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Polonia Restaurant in Greenpoint

I was reading that a lot of modern day grocery store sauerkraut is pasteurized, killing the good bacteria for your stomach. So I headed off the Polish neighborhood in Greenpoint to find some real fermented sauerkraut. I always wanted to try Polonia. It’s an old school cafeteria style restaurant, similar to Pyza nearby.

The lady was super nice to me. She surprised me by speaking English. I couldn’t tell what any of the stuff in the stream trays were. They were all covered in different colored gravies …but still looked good. I picked the Pork Goulash and Dumplings with Beets and Sauerkraut that looked all homemade –$8.50

I really liked the Pork Goulash. Nice and tender and good gravy. I’ve never had dumplings like that. Bland dimpled boiled balls of dough. Springy, like mochi. It needed help from the gravy and the Polish soy-like sauce on table. The Beets and Sauerkraut were good.

I think the sauerkraut/kimchi probiotic diet is working …that and kefir drinks. My skin is really clearing up. I look like a young boy.

This restaurant has a lot of character. That’s why I like it. There was a pay phone in there. Old school.

Polonia Restaurant – 631 Manhattan Ave (btwn Nassau & Bedford) Brooklyn, NY 11222

I was also a little nervous going to Greenpoint. I was thinking I would run into this awesome girl I met a week earlier playing foosball at Matchless nearby (the same place where I got fries and a vagina walked into my hand). Well, this foosball girl was really cool and when she came over to say bye, I was going to give her my food blog card, but just realized that I was out and was supposed to refill my wallet that very day. So nothing was exchanged except a handshake. My friends thought there was some connection, but I missed my chance.

My friend told me to write a Missed Connection on Craigslist. So I did. It went something like “Hey, I was the guy with hair that tries be Farrah Fawcett, with a cold sore on my lip and shoes that are actually banned in the NBA.” I didn’t hear back from that except from a dude.

A few days later, I was telling Bonnie about my Missed Connection and she suggested finding her on Facebook. We found her, but I was too drunk to message so Bonnie wrote it. I think she was drunk too. I woke up the next morning hoping what Bonnie wrote wasn’t too bad. It went something like “Thanks for being the best foosball partner. Hope we can go up against each other soon. You around next week?” Shit. It wasn’t too bad.

These are the new shoes I got that are banned in the NBA.