December 31, 2009

Pyzys and Polish Things from Krolewskie Jadlo in Greenpoint

This post originally took place on December 18. And HAPPY END OF 2009, GUYS!

Daaamn look at all these plates.
EMPTIES. Kind of like in my previous entry.
omg this is one of the most incredible meals of my life. and such amazing company!

Tristan tweeted that during our group dinner at Krolewskie Jadlo ("King's Feast") with Kim, Veronica, Scott, Lee Anne, Chris, and Colin. He followed that tweet 14 minutes later with another one:

BEST NIGHT EVER

I can't argue with that. While the food was good, the company was better. And while I consider myself a modest person, I ain't gonna lie: I have some of the coolest friends in the world (yeah, yeah, I have yet to meet billions of the other people who walk this earth, but I still stand by my statement) and I take pride in the moments when I mix friends together for optimal awesomeness. Admittedly, the trio of Tristan, Colin, and Greg (who couldn't make it; so his loss) makes it easy since their powers combined tend to result in "awesome super fun time" no matter the situation. We could be stranded in a pool of mud in the middle of nowhere with a broken-down car and it'd probably be fun. Until we died of starvation. I'm sure Greg would exchange hand puppet gestures with me until the very end.

The potent Tristan-Colin-Greg combination may not appeal to everyone, but whatever inexplicable level of randomness and weirdness they produce puts me at ease, along with many other friends I introduce them to. I wish I could regale you with the night's conversations, but I forgot most of them (I can still recall the cackling and guffawing, though). This is why I should take notes: to remember the conversation, less so to remember the food. I can take photos of a roasted pork hock, but no image could adequately capture Colin's babbling about eunuchs. Which might be for the best.

AND SO HERE ARE THE FOOD PHOTOS! With not much else, because my knowledge of Polish food is sort of nonexistent. I'll gladly listen to anyone willing to school me in Polish Food 101.

bread and some chicken fatty spread
Bread.

Before we ordered, we snacked on complimentary bread and cukes with a chickeny spread, or what I thought was a chickeny spread until I read Jason's review at Me So Hungry—he says it's smalec, a lard-based spread (although he also notes it may be chicken-based). Not knowing what it was when I was eating it, chicken fat is the only flavor I remember. It wasn't intense; maybe it was a mix of animal fats, forming a most delicious hybrid fat spread.

prunes wrapped in bacon
Bacon!

I don't love bacon on its own, but it's great as an extra layer of crispy-savory-fatty-smokiness when wrapped around other foods—hot dogs and shrimp, for example. Or, in this case, prunes.

Ukrainian Borscht
Ukrainian borscht.

Their menu listed red borscht and Ukrainian borscht. I picked the latter for no particular reason. It's a creamy dill-flecked soup full of vegetable chunks, mostly beet, among other things I don't remember. We passed the bowl around the table; it's all a blur. A well-seasoned blur.

King's Potato Pancakes
Little pancakes.

Kings potato pancakes consisted of crispy bite-sized potato pancakes topped with a dollop of herb cream and smoked salmon. I sort of want a full-sized version that could cover the whole plate. And then I'd eat it.

Polish Plate
Polish Plate.

The Polish plate looked pretty sweet, filled with pierogis, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, and potato pancakes. Alas, it wasn't my dish.

Roasted Hocks In Beer
HOCK!

Nor was the roasted hocks in beer. Colin regretted his order about a second after the waitress left our table. "Why did I get fuckin' hocks? Are they going to be raw? It's gonna suck. WHAT WAS I THINKING?" And after all that worrying, it ended up being the best thing on the table. Majorly tender, flavorful pork under a fat layer of...well, fat. Count in that the portion was huge for only $8 and it's a win. Definitely order this.

Pork Shish Kebab with bacon and plum
Pork on a stick.

I ordered the pork shish bebab with bacon and prunes (says plum on the menu), which was unfortunately not bursting with porcine succulence like the hock. These pork nubs were on the dry side. Oh well, still edible.

pierogies!
Pierogies.

We shared a combination plate of fried pierogies topped with sweet sautéed onions. I didn't find them much better or worse than other fried pierogies I've had; as pierogies are wont to do, they satisfied my craving for heavy chunks of fried dough. With stuff in the middle.

And although my photo seems to have disappeared (sniffle), I also liked Tristan's breaded tilapia.

pyzy
PYZY.

The award for "Worst Thing on the Table" went to Scott's pyzy, oblong baseball-sized potato dumplings stuffed with ground meat-n-stuff. From afar they resembled disturbingly large, glistening, snow white alien egg sacs. That's not a good thing for a dish to look like. It didn't actually taste bad—the texture reminded me of sticky rice à la zong zi with a little less chew—but it wasn't nearly as flavorful as the other food we had eaten. It lacked oomph.

Pyzy, brought to life!
MAKE IT SPEAK. SPEEEAK.

So Scott gave it a higher purpose in this world, that purpose being "to conjure gleeful laugh-spasms from the depths of the human soul," by turning the remains into a pyzy puppet. Kim took a video that I'll have to get later. Because it was awesome. Really. It was the highlight of the dinner. Scott is very good with puppetry, including the potato-based sort levered by a fork.

beets and cukes and stuff coleslaw and cukes salady stuff!
SALADY THINGS!

One of my favorite parts of the meal was the variety of salads that came with the entrées: coleslaw, sauerkraut, cucumber slices in a creamy sauce with dill, puréed beets, and maybe others I didn't get a photo of. I'm generally a fan of any vegetable side dish that automatically comes with a meal.

cheesecake
Cheesecake.

Since half the table had ordered the dinner special of an entré, beer, and dessert (I forget what the price was, but I'm sure it was cheap), we ended up with a few slices of unmemorable cheesecake, along with a slice of apple pie that seemed to be in the defrosting stage.

blueberry and cherry blintzes blintz innards
BLINTZES!!

I went straight for the blintzes; it's a requirement whenever I eat at a Polish restaurant. They weren't part of the dinner special, which I hadn't ordered since I don't drink beer. Unlike the log-like blintzes from Lomzynianka, these were folded into wide rectangular pockets. My two blintzes, a blueberry and cheese and a strawberry and cheese (I assume it's cottage cheese or something similar), came topped with a pile of whipped cream, a spiral-cut orange slice, and a maraschino cherry. I would've preferred a crispier crust, but these were still good—a just sweet enough combination of thin, eggy pancake with fruity jam and a light dairy buffer.

Krolewskie Jadlo
Veronica is blocked by a parking meter. Oops.

After the meal was over, my first impression was that I liked Lomzynianka more, but the menus are different, as are the environments. Lomzynianka is bright, small, charmingly festooned with random decorations, homey; I felt like I was eating in someone's mismatched living room. Krolewskie Jadlo is large, dark (well, if the sun's not out), woody, resembling no one's home unless it's medieval-themed with swords on the wall. If I want pierogies and blintzes, I'll go to Lomzynianka; if I want a big lump-o-pork hock and a table that seats eight, I'll go to Krolewskie Jadlo. And while I sort of want to explore other Polish restaurants (give me recs if you've got em!), I mostly want to go back to Lomzynianka to try their huge potato pancake.

Address

Krolewskie Jadlo
694 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)
718-383-8993

Related

The Cheap, the Delicious, and the Awkward at Lomzynianka
Black Pearl, Odessa, brgr, Tebaya, Big Booty, and More
Polish, Japanese, cupcakes and more: diet of a champion

Posted by roboppy at 1:33 AM

Tags: Brooklyn, Chris, Colin, Greenpoint, Kimberly, Krolewskie Jadlo, Lee Anne, Polish, Scott, Tristan, Veronica

Comments

i adore Polish pickled veggies. As a vegetarian, that's what I lived off while travelling in Polish 2 years ago. Your friends (and you) are always cool. :) Happy New Year!

Posted by: kim at December 31, 2009 7:48 AM [#]

Congratulations. You are a modern marvel. This made me want to consume Polish food, the only food that I have never liked. Now I want. NOW. Dragging boyfriend from his hangover to NYE brunch/lunch to this establishment. Perhaps I am still drunk myself, but I seem to be coherent at least to point and order.

Posted by: Rosebud at December 31, 2009 11:36 AM [#]

Oh, and Happy New Year. Your blog is cool. Period.

Posted by: Rosebud at December 31, 2009 11:38 AM [#]

Happy New Year! One of 2009's highlights for me was discovering this blog :) Also? Much like Rosebud, I'm now craving Polish food. Sadly, the TC is sorely lacking in Polish eats. Sigh.

Posted by: Erin at December 31, 2009 12:55 PM [#]

Isn't Polish food awesome? I always tell my Polish boyfriend that it's the only reason I'm with him...
I'm still dreaming of the 12 course Polish dinner I consumed on Christmas Eve - make friends with some Polish people and get them to invite you home for Christmas next year!

Posted by: Joyce at December 31, 2009 1:04 PM [#]

There is no chicken-based smalec in Poland. You can find goose-based spread (gęsi smalec), but it is quite rare and more expensive. Most people only know pork lard spread (smalec).

Smalec on your photo is made form minced pork lard. Much better is form chopped lard. It is also better with some extra ingredients, such as bacon, plums and apples. We usually eat it with pickled cucumbers and a beer (in some places you get bread with smalec, when you buy a beer).

Posted by: Marek at December 31, 2009 2:51 PM [#]

Well... I found chicken-based smalec. You can do it, but, I think, you can't buy it in Poland.

Posted by: Marek at December 31, 2009 3:04 PM [#]

Very interesting notes on smalec from Marek! From what I know (which is still nearly not enough), pork lard and pork fat make an appearance on lots of Eastern European plates (just one of many indicators of regional greatness). One of the more memorable nights of my life involved a bottle of vodka and thick slabs of Russian sala over toast.

What's your next stop on the GP Express? Let me know when your crew will be in the hood next; maybe I can join and help push the epic food-o-meter to another floor!

Posted by: James at December 31, 2009 8:51 PM [#]

Kim: Happy new year to you too! I'd be interested in eating my way around Poland someday. :)

Rosebud: Thanks for reading! :) Let me know how the hangover brunch/lunch goes.

Erin: Thank you! I hope you can get your hands on some Polish food... ;_;

Joyce: I don't have any Polish friends! :( OH MAN WHAT AM I MISSING OUT ON? I'd love to try a 12-course Polish dinner.

Marek: Thanks for the info! The stuff we ate was pretty basic...no fruit in it, methinks. JUST SMOOTH FATTY GOODNESS! Definitely wanna eat more of it.

James: I don't know where else to go on the GP express; I'll take suggestions! And you're welcome to lend your stomach acids.

Posted by: roboppy at January 1, 2010 1:25 AM [#]

you know what i liked about the pyzy? i really, really love potato dumplings and the pyzy was just like a MASS of potato dumpling. yum, yum!

Posted by: tristan at January 1, 2010 11:50 PM [#]

The only reason cheesecake isn't memorable is because you've had so much fabulous cheesecake that you can't taste anything but sweet in your mouth.

In summary, no cheesecake is bad cheesecake.

Posted by: Nicholas at January 1, 2010 11:56 PM [#]

Happy New Year!

The thing I want to try the most are the blintzes. I've never had one. Or if I had one, I didn't know it. So I want one. But I don't think there are any Polish restaurants here. For shame!

Which means I will have to learn how to make my own. But without a basis for comparison, I might be doomed to be ignorant of what a blintz tastes like for a while longer...

Posted by: Mahar at January 2, 2010 11:02 AM [#]

Happy New Years to you! Thanks for being my friend!

Posted by: Kasha at January 2, 2010 6:20 PM [#]

I've never had an intense longing for Polish food (actually, I've never had Polish food) until now. My best friend is part Polish (I think) and she was talking about how she was having this traditional Christmas Eve dinner and I was like "whatever, cool" and NOW I WANT IT!!! Curse you, TGWAE ;-)

Posted by: LaserLiza at January 3, 2010 9:42 AM [#]

Tristan: Let's make you a huge potato dumpling the size of a BEACH BALL.

Nicholas: Maayyybeee...that will ring more true if I'm really hungry and will happily eat anything. :)

Mahar: Happy new year to you too! And making blintzes probably isn't too hard. I don't think it will change your life but it's quite good.

Kasha: Happy new year to you too!

LaserLiza: Whoaa take advantage of your friend's food. ;) Christmas Eve dinner...PART TWO!

Posted by: roboppy at January 3, 2010 6:22 PM [#]

Awesome. You know I was trying to figure out what that smelac lard spread was and I think I came across your photo on Flickr. Maybe that's why I thought it might be chicken? But I think someone else on Flickr thought it was too. I thought it was fish, but all I could taste was the butteryness of the fat. I loved it.

Posted by: Jason at January 3, 2010 9:08 PM [#]

First of all, I loooove your blog... and Happy New Year!
Since you asked about Polish food, I have just one comment regarding borscht - The red borscht is broth based and should be a clear soup. It's often served with dumpling that have wild mushrooms inside. Every Polish home will serve this during Christmas Eve dinner. What we call Ukrainian borscht has some filler that is usually beans and cabbage. Usually it also includes some cream.

Posted by: Kasia at January 4, 2010 12:57 AM [#]

I've got some ideas... but maybe the best idea of all is to just go back to Lomzynianka and try some new stuff :D Going along with Kasia's comment, that's only place in NYC I've had genuine Polish borsch so far; they do an amazing teacup of it as well as the version with mushroom dumplings. All flavor, no filler.

I've been trying to hit up new Polish places in the hood myself, so I'll keep you posted!

Posted by: James at January 6, 2010 1:09 AM [#]

Jason: I just remember fat and CHICKENy stuff. Obviously I should...um, go back to try it again. :)

Kasia: Thank you, and happy new year to you too! Good to know that info about the borscht. I think I prefer creaminess in my soup, but I like clear borscht too.

Posted by: roboppy at January 6, 2010 1:22 AM [#]

I would like to try "A well-seasoned blur." Good to know I should go to Lomzynianka over this place! Even better that I live in Greenpoint.

See you tomorrow for spicy Szechuan!

Posted by: SkeeterNYC at January 6, 2010 7:55 PM [#]

I am so glad you are trying all these places in Greenpoint. I walked by this place when I visited my friend who lives there. Will definitely be checking it out the next time I'm there.

Posted by: Jess at January 25, 2010 9:24 PM [#]

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