Touring on foot around Gdańsk, Poland is a lot of fun.
The buildings are colorful, the streets charming, and the architectural details photogenic:
But eventually you’re going to need to stop and refuel. So let’s take a look at some typical Polish dining fare, beginning with pierogi (not to be confused with Russian piroshki — my recipe for that here: Fun Food Friday — Piroshki ). Pierogi is similar to a Chinese dumpling, but in this case the filling is usually a savory meat concoction, fish (such as salmon), spinach, cheese, or even potato when served as a main course:
In addition to dipping sauces for savory pierogi, somepierogi may instead come with a citrus squeeze:
Pierogi is often accompanied by different kielbasas, sauteed onion, and rustic bread:
Pierogi and kielbasa
Another traditional Polish dish is zupa ziemniaczana, typically a watery yet tasty potato soup. The one we had this day was a bit creamier than usual, and it was served in a bread bowl:
Zupa Ziemniaczana (potato soup)
And what would a Polish lunch be without a Polish beer to wash it down? This one is a Tyskie:
You can get pretty hungry doing a two-day tour of St. Petersburg. Fortunately, our Alla Tour included lunch, and today’s lunch included traditional Russian fare. And lunch at Aragosta even included a beer and a shot:
After a simple salad, our next course was borscht, a hearty vegetable soup with a deep red color derived from the dish’s signature beetroot-based broth:
While the borscht was quite good, I was slightly disappointed in the main course, piroshki. But that’s because I’ve been making this same dish for well over fifty years, and I think that I do it better. Don’t get me wrong. It was good, and most of our group really enjoyed it, but I found the flavor uninspiring, and I rather missed the ‘gravy’ which accompanies my variation. The crust, however, had the flavorful chewiness I enjoy from a properly made piroshki. At any rate, I’m sure this one is more traditional than mine, and it was good:
Two of our tour companions certainly enjoyed it. And how is this for a coincidence: During our most recent trip, the one which extended from three cruises to four, we ran into Terry cruising with her mother on the last cruise segment. Here areTerry and Mike sitting across from us at Aragosta:
Terry and Mike
Last course was a fruit pastry, which Ursula really enjoyed:
At any rate, once we visited Aragosta I just knew I had to share with my readers that piroshki recipe I’ve been enjoying since the 1960s. So, join me on this week’s Fun Food Friday for a really great dinner treat.
Looking north on Bowery at Bleecker
There is one place in New York that Ursula and I consistently hit at least once each and every time. That is the incomparable Katz’s Delicatessen and their indescribably delicious pastrami sandwiches. Those sandwiches are piled so high that, if you take one along with a side of their marvelous fries, you better be prepared to share. Indeed, I doubt I could finish one on my own even without the fries. Look in the lower left corner of the photo below to see what I mean:
Katz’s is always busy every time we go there. But if there’s a wait, it’s definitely worth it.
Here’s a shot of Ursula waiting patiently for our shared pastrami on rye with a side of fries:
While Katz’s is world famous, I mentioned in Monday’s article that a rather suggestive, uproariously hilarious movie scene only further added to the mystique of this New York landmark. Yes, this was filmed in Katz’s Deli, and the last time I was there a sign hovered over the table that hosted Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal:
I doubt anyone can truly duplicate the wonderful flavor of Katz’s pastrami, but this week look for a special edition of Fun Food Friday as I come up with a really close impersonation. Until then, enjoy these New York City scenes: