Cafe Polonia may be well known among restaurant critics and serious Boston foodies, but this delightful Polish restaurant remains an undiscovered gem for the most part. One reason may be the fact that it is in a hidden corner of South Boston than is often mistaken for being part of Dorchester. Furthermore, perhaps a good number of diners are still a bit hesitant to try Polish cuisine. Unless you are a vegetarian, however, you are surely missing out on a truly wonderful dining spot that is unlike any other in the Boston area.
Tiny but attractive, Cafe Polonia has the look and feel of a restaurant that one might find in parts of Central or Eastern Europe. Yellow is the dominant color inside the place, giving it an old-world vibe, while traditional Polish music plays softly in the background. The waitstaff is friendly, and very patient with folks who don't know much about Polish cuisine. Indeed, there are many items on the menu that aren't easily found in Boston, including potato pancakes filled with Hungarian goulash, kielbasa with cabbage stew, and a half duck with potatoes, apples, and lingoberries. Cafe Polonia also has interesting specials, including a mushroom soup with bits of sour cream, and a potato kishka, which, while not for everyone (the dish is basically pig intestines filled with potatoes), is quite an unusual dish. Other items on the menu include a delicious chicken cutlet with egg batter, a tremendously tasty crepe with farmer's cheese, and a hearty, filling potato dumpling and goulash plate.
In this writer's opinion, Cafe Polonia is easily one of the top 10 places for an inexpensive meal in the Boston area. I personally can't think of many restaurants in or near Boston that are this good and whose entrees run around $10-15. And while few folks know about this section of Dorchester Avenue, get a good street map of Boston (or print the map here) and look for Andrew Square, since this is one restaurant you don't want to miss.
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