Polish women are amazing people and cooks.
I know this because I am the proud granddaughter of a little Polish lady who lived until she was 94. I hope to follow in her footsteps because she was so robust she was actually picking peas from her garden days before she passed away. I am quite sure that my haphazard style in the kitchen has been passed down from her, with "a handful of this" and "a pinch of that".
Even though you’d expect a restaurant named Julia’s Ukrainian Restaurant to be owned and operated by a Ukrainian woman named Julia, such is not the case. The proprietor is a personable Pole by the name of Joanna and she has owned this lElmwood eatery for over 22 years.
That it’s a neighbourhood place was apparent with the arrival of three well-bundled girlfriends who had embraces and kisses for the only server. In addition to friends meeting for coffee, the place is frequented by many labourersl which makes perfect sense because the fare of Eastern Europe is carbohydrate-based and these guys need their calories for energy and warmth during a Winnipeg winter.
My lunch date (big brother) started with a delicious chicken noodle soup which was included with his lunch platter of cole slaw, sweet-and-sour meatballs, two cabbage rolls, five potato-and-cheese perogies AND garlic toast (just for good measure).
The perogies were particularly delightful with great taste and texture. The dough casing was soft and tender and I could have eaten a dozen.
(A sign in the window declares these "Winnipeg’s Best Perogies" — they were very good but you’ll have to decide for yourself. )
I do know that the just-cut French fries were perfect and the kolbassa on rye sandwich was as good as you would find at any Winnipeg social.
Next time I go, I intend to sample the Polish meat perogies, called "pyzy."
Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.