However, if there is one criticism that can be directed at Columbia’s cuisine, it is a lack of ethnic variety. There are only so many times going to a bar and grill can satisfy a diverse palate.
Luckily, Columbia was recently graced with a new type of cuisine for those looking for a new and different taste to try.
Café Poland serves up distinct dishes never before tasted in Columbia. As you might guess from the name, the Café serves up Eastern European and Polish specialties.
There is no need to worry about authenticity. The owners of the Café are a mother-son duo who immigrated to America from Poland over a decade ago before recently settling down in Columbia.
Upon first glance from the outside, the Café looks unusually small. Don’t be intimidated. While the space inside is very limited, the owners do a great job of utilizing the space to try to accommodate as many guests as they comfortably can.
Like the space of the Café itself, the menu is relatively small. The options they offer stick to what they know best, Polish cuisine, which is a good thing. Every item on the menu is made from scratch with fresh ingredients daily.
Regardless of what sounds good on the menu, the Pierogies are a must try for first time visitors.
With the consistency and shape of a dumpling, Café Poland offers three different varieties of Pierogies: meat, potato with farmer’s cheese and mushroom and sauerkraut. Coming in an order of six, two of each kind should do the trick.
Do not expect anything fancy from Café Poland. The atmosphere is very casual, which is made evident when your Pierogies are brought out on a paper plate with plastic utensils and paper napkins.
However, it is what is on the plate that really matters. The Pierogies come topped with caramelized onions and a healthy dollop of sour cream on the side.
The combination of the dumplings mixed with the onions and sour cream combine to create a perfect combination of savory, sweet and creamy flavors. None of the flavors overwhelm each other, but rather work together to create a harmonious taste.
Though six Pierogies may not look like enough at first, it is plenty. Eating all six will leave you perfectly satisfied, even on an empty stomach.
Besides Pierogies, Café Poland offers several other Eastern European specialties, including Goulash, Bigos (cabbage and meat stew) and Golabski (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat).
The café also offers several coffee drinks and some pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth for dessert.
Café Poland is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 807 Locust St., which was previously occupied by Carpe Diem.