The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

The Cheap, the Delicious, and the Awkward at Lomzynianka

This post originally took place on December 7. Also, I look a lot like the people in these Halls ads right now. Fail.

Innards. Of. Restaurant.

"Look, she's gonna take a photo."

I paused for a split second, but didn't look up. The commentary was coming from the table of three young men diagonally from us. These things rarely happens, but when they do, I generally feign deafness and continue with my excessive photo-taking. I turned the plate of fried pierogies around for a better angle, and then the commentary continued.

"Yup, she took a photo."

This time, I looked up. Just a smidge. "Um, I can hear you," I said.

"I know."

Monday night's dinner at Lomzynianka with Sarah marked the first time someone else in a restaurant noticed me taking photos and said it with the intention of me hearing, but seemingly not with the intention of engaging in conversation. Or maybe I was too taken off guard to do the "conversing" part. And I was. Because, in addition to lacking basic social skills, I'm not really sure how to react to a stranger who is stating the obvious. "Yup, this camera I'm holding...I'm taking photos with it...and you are looking at me doing it...and um...I'm going to eat these pierogies now." Later in the dinner, they did ask us how the blintzes were, but aside from that, I was mostly sort of befuddled.

So to address the oft-brought up question, "Do you ever feel weird when you take photos in restaurants?" my answer is, "Only in the rare case that other people point it out to me in an awkward way." I acknowledge that my photo taking might be distracting; I just stopped giving it much thought years ago. Hope y'all can live with that.

pickled stuff yaaay!

Sooo back to food. The meal started with a complimentary plate of pickled salads/slaws, of the carroty, cabbagey, and lettucey sorts. A tiny buffet of shaven vegetables. STAMP OF APPROVAL, IT HAS.

fried potato and cheese pierogies

When we weren't sure if we wanted our potato and cheese pierogies ($5 for 8 pieces) fried or boiled, our waiter immediately said, "Get them fried; it's always better." True dat. When people ask me what a pierogi is (not that I'm an expert on pierogies), I say, from my Asian food-centric perspective, that it's like a dumpling, but with much thicker skins and different fillings and accompaniments (sour cream and sautéed onions). Which is not a very specific description, but whatever. Mashed potato wrapped in a thick dough with just a lil' bit of crispness on the edges makes for a hearty meal—duh, they're carb-stuffed-carbs. It doesn't take long to feel full, but you'll keep eating because the slathering every bite in sour cream makes it go down more easily. We slathered until there was no more cream to slather on.

Polish Platter
Poland on a plate?

We split an order of the Polish platter in addition to our plate of eight pierogies unaware of how much food they were going to give us for a mere $8. It's a lot: three different pierogies, a fat kielbasa, a fatter cabbage roll stuffed with rice and beef and onions and stuff, a plop of bigos, and a pile of sort-of-mashed-potatoes, not creamy like pierogi-innards but resembling a potato that had been mashed with nothing added to it—if anything, possibly with moisture sucked out of it. Skip the bland potatoes, eat everything else. Although I couldn't tell you how good this stuff was compared to other Polish food (of which I've eaten very little of), I liked everything aside from the potatoes. It's "gutbusting comfort food," one of my favorite food groups. As usual, I fail at recalling flavors, but this time I can partially blame that on my stuffy nose. ...And I might just use my perpetually clogged nasal passages as a scapegoat for the rest of the winter.

We were too stuffed to finish the pierogies or Polish platter, but we plodged on to dessert. It goes into another stomach. The magic stomach. That's what I tell myself. I can never pass up blintzes when I'm at an Eastern European restaurant.


Under our waiter's suggestion, we ordered the chef's blintzes ($5 for 2 pieces) filled with fruit jam and cottage cheese, in our case one blueberry, one strawberry. Both blintzes had light, crisp outer layers and soft inner folds sandwiching the jam and cheese bits. Sarah had a better description, calling the blintz a cross between a funnel cake and a crepe and...some other delicious sweet carby thing. You can get blintzes that only have jam, but our waiter was right to get us the ones with cheese. Even though it's sort of similar to a French-style crepe, blintzes have always tasted way better to me—if the blintzes have that golden, crispy outer later, at least. Or maybe I've just never had a great crepe.


For almost $10 per person, we got way more food than we needed. SCORE! I don't know how they can afford to give so much food for so little, but as long as the restaurant stays in business, I'm down with that. And considering how packed it was on that Monday night, I figure they'll be around for a long time. I'm ashamed that it took me so long to eat Polish food in Greenpoint considering that I used to live in Williamsburg. No more of that foolishness; I shall return to Greenpoint next week for more Polish fooding.

Sarah is happppyy!
Happy Sarah is happy!

Sweet jesus, I'm sleepy. And I think it shows. And that's a shame because Sarah can inject caffeine into anything with her effusive personality. As soon as I walked up to her when she was waiting outside Lomzynianka, she picked me up in a tight hug while squealing, "ROBYNITISSOGOODTOSEEYOU!" Alas, Sarah is not right next to me, watching over my should as I write this entry, or else I would sound way more exciting. :( "Eating Adventures with Sarah" will continue next month when she moves to Brooklyn from Kansas City, but I worry about the day when the excitement is knocked out of her and the "jaded New Yorker" personality sets in. I DON'T WANT KANSAS CITY-SARAH TO CHANGE!

And maybe she won't. Although I'm sure much has changed since the first time I met her nearly four years ago, her core Sarah-ness has not. That enthusiastic, excited-to-eat-and-do-anything attitude that got us to stuff ourselves with Indian bread, eat through Jackson Heights, and snack on Bouchon Bakery goodies—man, I sounded way more excited about life back then—is prepared to come back at 200% power come January 1.

OH GOD, SARAH, COME BACK! I feel like a better person around you.


646 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222 (map)


Polish, Japanese, cupcakes and more: diet of a champion
pierogies and blintzes at Teresa's (unfortunately now closed)
pierogies and blintzes at the East Village Ukrainian Restaurant


Su-Lin / December 12, 2009 5:54 AM

Hmm... were those guys being hostile? From your writing, I'm guessing not but it does seem so odd...

I've had old men stare at me in Germany before but nobody really bats an eyelid when I pull out my camera now in London. I did have some grumpy Italians mumble something about my camera in Rome though but that was a one off and they did seem like miserable sods.

santos. / December 12, 2009 6:15 AM

ahaaahaaa, i had a similar experience tonight in the supermarket. i was in one aisle and in the next one over, some random guy was belching "jingle bells." i said (somewhat loudly) "i can hear you" to which he replied "i know." whoo! ok. not the same.

kim / December 12, 2009 7:15 AM

Maybe those guys rarely see an Asian girl eating in an authenic Polish restaurant. I'm sure they're no harm.

What a beautiful entry about your friend. :) Very sweet of you.

Love that red cabbage pickles...
any good vegetarian options there?

Amanda / December 12, 2009 9:18 AM

We have a Polish buffet restaurant here in Chicago called the red apple where you can eat all these delicious treats for $12... unbelievably good!
They've never had fried pierogi though... I would like to try that as I love them already and all things are enhanced by a swim in the deep fryer...

FN / December 12, 2009 10:45 AM

I'm lucky - I fit right into the "dopey American tourist in Paris taking photos of everything" stereotype. Other tourists watch me and feel proud not to stick out.

roboppy / December 12, 2009 12:06 PM

Su-Lin: Oh no, they weren't hostile at all! I didn't really portray that. I guess it was just a normal observation of be taking a photo, as normal as it could've been with me hearing and sort of interacting from the other side of the room. ;)

santos: HAHA!...that's...close enough. Now I want to come across a Jingle Bell Belcher.

Kim: Yeah, they were just being silly, sort of. At one point one of the guys at the table asked "So where can we read about this?" but he seemed to be joking. :P

The cheese and potato pierogies are nice, as are the sauerkraut and mushrooms. But I think those are the only veg options aside from dessert. Not a bad meal!

Amanda: Oohhgod. All you can eat Polish buffet sounds like impending STOMACH EXPLOSION!! :)

FN: Haha, that's probably how I came off in Paris too. I remember one night at an Italian restaurant, the couple next to me saw me taking photos and said I could take a photo of their food too! That was cute.

Jen / December 12, 2009 7:52 PM

Not sure why DocChuck is jumping into comment on this entry if he is so offended by "idiots" with cameras.

Long time lurker who doesn't think you're an idiot here Robin! Lovely pictures and recommendation as always.

Sandra / December 12, 2009 8:02 PM

Long time lurker chiming in as well, I love reading this site! You are definitely not the party lacking in basic social skills. You should've invited them to join you guys, since they seemed so interested in what you were doing ;P

roboppy / December 12, 2009 11:36 PM

NOTE ABOUT..STUFF: No one should ever pay attention to what DocChuck says. He's commented a few times in the past two days and I've tried to unpublish them ASAP. I'd rather not get into the story behind DocChuck but he's commented on many food blogs and gets banned from them for a reason.

Jen: Thanks!

Sandra: Haha, tables weren't really big enough for that, but I'll keep that in mind! I think I come off as less friendly than I really am. I think I'm skeptical about people I don't know... :(

Mila / December 13, 2009 12:45 AM

Fried dumplings, they don't seem to be exactly the same in Asia, but fried gyoza and guo tie (pan fried buns) are probably the closest to the pierogies, if only they had cheese in them. Not to mention missing the sour cream accompaniment. Dang, why am I not in Poland?

roboppy / December 13, 2009 5:47 PM

Mila: I do like my soy sauce / sesame oil / vinegar accompaniment too. :)

FN: HAHA, I have a few funny shots of Parisians myself.

Donny / December 14, 2009 12:25 AM

Fat kielbasas I like!

You should've carried a mic around. After that guy commented on you snappy photos of food, you pull out your mic and start commenting on him eating. And there he goes, putting a fat kielbasa into his mouth. He chews, he chews. Oh man thats a great comedy sketch!

Lutkie / December 14, 2009 11:20 AM

Robyn!!! muhhh, i miss you right now! I will bring a jar of Kansas happiness for you!! Woahhah, Bouchon Bakery days, that was tasty and FREE.

My taxi driver to La Guardia was from Yemen. He was telling me about the best Yemen...ese Restaurants. I am looking into it. January 1, I am coming and NOT leaving. See you impossibly soon. I want to visit the Arepa Lady the first day of spring.

Allix / December 14, 2009 2:58 PM

Ack! I always feel so awkward when I'm taking photos in restaurants. I try to take them as quickly as possible so that I can quickly re-stash my camera in my bag...that'll probably explain why my photos are so shoddy. Great post!

egeria / December 14, 2009 4:11 PM

Hmmm...I've taken pictures of my food in restaurants before, and I've had my picture taken in cafes before too...(only because I'm people haven't seen a knitter in a cafe before..yeah) but it's always without comment.

In any case, you've made me hungry and homesick. My German grandmother made the best pierogi, although we called them vereniki.

Great post, fab pictures, as always!

Julie / December 14, 2009 9:13 PM

I'm glad you photograph all this food--I can eat vicariously through your blog posts!

My friend Wendy hosted her annual Pierogi party this past Sunday. We've had years where it got really international, with people bringing special fillings. This year, someone brought taro and purple yam. Yum! Here are my friend's photos, if you want to see: (appropriately for many reasons, I was the dough girl)

roboppy / December 15, 2009 9:31 AM

Donny: For some reason your comment made me think that if I ever got a kitten, "Fat Kielbasa" would be a potential name.

Sarah: Kansas happiness! I bet that tastes like dulce de leche and sunshine.

YEAH let's get some Yemen in our bellies. And arepas.

Allix: I try to take photos as quickly as I can too!...but...I guess my camera is sort of large and loud so taking photos quickly can only do so much. Doooh.

egeria: I wish I could try your German grandmother's food! I don't have enough grandma-made food. :(

Pat: Thanks!

Julie: I should put "pierogi party" on my to do list.

m / December 15, 2009 10:01 AM

Photography is fine, but flash bothers me. Multiple flashes, bah. But obviously, I'm completely hypocritical because I love food-photo laden blogs. :D

jess / December 15, 2009 12:13 PM

This place is amazing. My friend lives blocks away and had never been so I made her go with me. I would eat there every day if I lived that close. I ordered the Poland platter as well. Loved the salad they give you. I want to go back so badly now.

James / December 15, 2009 3:14 PM

Starting off your Greepoint explorations with Lomzynianka might dampen the wonder of everything else - no other Polish restaurant I've tried gets as close to homemade as this! They're all still awesome, though.

Did you try the soups? If not, you have to go back at some point and try both zurek ("white borsch") and the plain borsch (ie: not ukranian borsch). Lomzynianka does these two better than any other Polish Restaurant I've ever been do, especially the plain borsch, which Polish restaurants usually don't carry (it's a really simple Polish style, and I guess a lot of Polish cooks don't think Americans would choose it over to the chunky, sour-cream topped Ukranian style).


Steph / December 15, 2009 9:21 PM

Am I the only one whose mind immediately went into the gutter upon reading the phrase "fat kielbasa"?

And screw those guys; some peeps just like to get pleasure from the irritation of others. Let's all just play nice!

Anywho. That Wiki definition of bigos is quite unappetizing. But give me a plate of carby filled carb goodness ANY DAY.

roboppy / December 16, 2009 2:27 AM

m: No flashing from me! :)

jess: Man I wish I lived closer to here! was closer to me. Yes.

James: Haven't had the soup! Shall have to try that next time. (Didn't have the pancake either WAAH.) I'm going out for more Polish food this week...I hope I'm not too disappointed. ;_;

Steph: Gutter mind is all yours. ;)

sandy: I am a non-violent person!...actually I'm just lazy.

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