I won’t pretend I knew what pierogi was before last Sunday, but when I’d heard an area café specializing in the creation of these mysteries opened on March 1, I was determined to learn first-taste. (By the way, pierogi are dough dumplings originating in Eastern Europe that are typically stuffed with potato, meat, cheese, and/or sauerkraut.)
Pierogi Me Café is easy to find, located just off Route 4 on Quechee Main Street, next to Fat Hat Clothing. My husband and I stood in line for just enough time to have a good look at the blackboard menu that showed different types of pierogi, along with toppings, sides, and a soup of the day. The pierogi choices were beet and ricotta, sauerkraut and mushroom, sauerkraut and pork, and cheese and potato. I’d also learned that one pierog is not much bigger than “bite size”, so I chose eight pieces for $5.50; two of each flavor because I’m not one to miss out. My husband was more conservative and selected just two flavors with his 12-piece order for $8.50. For drinks, water and coffee are the only options at this time.
Meanwhile, as our orders were taken, owner Viktor Witkowski kept busy in the back alongside large pots. Around us, the mood was happy and relaxed, and 1920s big band music subtly filled the space as patrons raved over the food. I couldn’t wait to get my order!
Just a minute or two passed before we received our bowls, with dollops of dill sour cream we’d requested on the side of each. The pierogi were nicely warm, and the beet and ricotta pieces were beautifully pink so I tried them first. These were light and tasty, and the sauerkraut and mushroom pieces packed lots of flavor. If you’re not a fan of sauerkraut, you should still give it a try, as it’s not the same as what you buy from the store. Plus, it’s sautéed in butter. Hello?!
As we finished and gathered our things to go, I considered ordering a chouquette, (a light puff pastry with no filling) but decided to reserve the sweet treat for my next visit. Because I’d already made up my mind…I like pierogi!
When the café is closed, you can find Pierogi Me pierogi at Dan and Whit’s in Norwich and the Woodstock Farmers’ Market. Flavors currently sold in stores include cheese and potato, sauerkraut and mushroom, and sweet cheese with cinnamon and apple. On March 28, Viktor will be at the Norwich Winter Farmer’s Market. For more info, check out www.pierogime.com