When it comes to being Polish, I’m somewhere in the realm between culturally confused and utterly clueless. All that connects me to my distant heritage is the last syllable of my surname and the series of doughy, all-beige meals that my family ingests only on Christmas Eve. I can’t decide if it was my Polish roots or my desperate desire to eat something other than a cold sandwich or questionable slice of pizza that led me to the grand opening of Main Street’s new Polish restaurant, EuroCafé: Real Food and Deli. What I found there was a whirlwind – or more like a cyclone – of sausages, pirogues and stuffed cabbage as the restaurant buzzed with more activity than its six-table capacity could handle.
My friend and I arrived during a late-lunch rush, which made it clear that the owners – who wore matching polka dot dresses – still have some learning to do about the hospitality and business sides of their restaurant. The place was crowded with people waiting for takeout orders and tables. I highly recommend that EuroCafé adopt a call-ahead takeout system. When the restaurant was less crowded later in our visit, turnover times became remarkably quick and much more organized. While it’s to be expected that the opening day wreaked some serious havoc for owners Margaret Zdzieszynski and Krystyna Skrzypek and their staff, resulting in slow, confused service and some mildly upset customers, they compensated with free samples of sausage and giant slices of apple strudel. When it comes to free desserts, I’m pretty easily placated.
When my time came to order, I got six spinach pirogues with onion for $8. Other pirogue options include cheddar and onion served alongside Polish sausage. The menu also boasts daily soup specials, crepes, stuffed cabbage and hunter stew, which is made from sauerkraut. These main dishes, along with various fresh sausages displayed at the front counter, are combined into a few different platter options. Meals range in price from around $6-13.
The spinach pirogues tasted healthier and lighter than the Polish food I’m used to, but they were extremely filling and delicious. While the pirogues were heavenly, the sausage I tried wasn’t remarkable. My order was paired with sour cream and a coating of sautéed onions that tied the meal together.
My meal at EuroCafé may have been the best one I’ve eaten on Main Street or in Livingston County. Better yet, I felt full and comfortably satisfied for the rest of the day. It’s no joke; the food really is entirely homemade.
Even if you don’t plan on ordering food from EuroCafé, I highly recommend stopping inside just to ogle at the desserts. Each of the cakes is homemade, fluffy and gorgeous. I was eyeing the dessert display from the moment we arrived. My friend ordered a raspberry meringue cake, and I ordered a chocolate torte with raspberries and ganache frosting.
My excitement came to an abrupt halt when they told me the price. One average-sized piece of cake was over $8 with tax – more than I paid for my entree. The smallish, yet delicious and soft raspberry meringue may have been worth the hefty price, but my torte was average. I’m not a huge fan of boozy desserts, and rum was the only prominent flavor I could ascertain. I’m sure some would love the flavor, however.
I ended up hanging out at EuroCafé for over two hours, and despite the high dessert prices and slower service, it was a homey, relaxed atmosphere. I would most certainly recommend it as an excellent spot for a date or a family dinner as long as you stay away from rush hour and you have some time to spare. The food is delicious and definitely worth a try, even for those who aren’t vaguely Eastern European.