Chew On It
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By Andrew Kochirka GoErie.com staff blogger
Food has been an integral part of Andrew's life from a young age; from cooking with his mother and grandmother to creating recipes in his own kitchen. Now he scours the area's non-chain restaurant scene to find the best of the best of local food from chicken wings to French cuisine.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-878-2230

Dabrowski’s Restaurant & Deli

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

At 4003 Main Street in Lawrence Park, right next door to the Lawrence Park Dinor, is Dabrowski’s Restaurant & Deli. I had never visited the restaurant before, but was excited that it won once I put it on this week’s poll. They serve the full menu of breakfast and lunch all day and although they are only open until 3 p.m. during the week, they have a dinner section on the menu that is full of traditional Polish favorites. I called and placed a to-go order early yesterday afternoon. Luckily the snow let up for a bit allowing for a quick drive across town. I picked up dinner for Amanda and myself and headed back to the office. I couldn’t wait to get home and eat.

After shoveling some snow and taking my husky for a walk, I worked up quite an appetite. With the wind-chill temperature close to zero, it was nice to come in and eat a hot, carb-heavy, home-cooked dinner. Amanda got the two pierogi dinner with a side of coleslaw. There are seven varieties of pierogi to choose from: sweet cheese, sugarless cheese, sauerkraut, potato cheddar, potato bacon, potato cottage cheese, and potato cottage cheese and bacon. Amanda got one sauerkraut pierogi and one potato cheddar. I ordered the Polish Platter which consisted of a golombki (stuffed cabbage roll), a pierogi- I chose sweet cheese, a potato pancake, Polish sausage, and parsley potatoes.

Dabrowskis_pierogi-and-coleslawThe pierogi were all fantastic. I wish they weren’t 1/4 pound each so I could have eaten more than one of each. The pierogi were sautéed with butter and onions. The dumpling shell had a great bite and texture to it. The potato cheddar filling was creamy and delicious. The buttery onions made each forkful truly perfect. Sauerkraut in anything is always comforting. From reuben sandwiches to pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day, it always tastes like home. The sauerkraut still had its sour bite with just a touch of spice. I wanted to get the potato cottage cheese pierogi, but they had run out by the time I got there so I went with the plain sweet cheese instead. The dough was filled with a sweet, lightly seasoned dry cottage cheese. The sweet cheese in a savory shell made up one of the best parts of our dinner.

Dabrowskis_polish-platterMy family always ate our potato pancakes with either sour cream or applesauce. I typically use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, so I topped my pancake with a dollop right in the middle. The pancake was chewy without being tough. The exterior still had some crispness left to it which gave it beautiful texture. The creamy yogurt on top added a little tangy bite which was wonderful. The golombki was very similar to my Nana’s. A ball of spiced ground beef mixed with rice was tightly yet delicately wrapped in a soft cabbage leaf. The roll was slow cooked in a light tomato sauce and was perfect. The meat had great texture and tasted amazing. I probably could have eaten an entire tray of them. The sausage was plain and traditional, but loaded with flavor. Maybe I have been eating too much of it lately, but this sausage reminded me a lot of venison sausage. The meat was seasoned with garlic and what tasted like marjoram. It was a small piece, but with all of the potatoes, it was just enough for dinner. Finally, I tried the parsley potatoes. Potato chunks were cooked with butter, parsley, salt, and pepper. They were simple and perfectly cooked. After this meal, I felt that warm, cozy feeling you get after you eat true comfort food, which this meal absolutely was.

Thank you to everyone at Dabrowski’s for making me such a great meal. You will see me again for sure.

The phone number to place an order is 814-899-4411. They are open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Keep sending me your recommendations for local favorite comfort foods to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

Dabrowski's Restaurant & Deli on Urbanspoon

Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Comfort Foods
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