A return to Pierogi Heaven

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Heavenly (warm too)
In 2011, when I first headed to Pierogi Heaven, it was new, the weather was cold, and the line ran back to the door. Not that we minded much—standing in the steamy little storefront was itself a cure for frozen feet. The Polish gents behind the counter tend multiple cauldrons of boiling dumplings, and while the pierogi are frozen rather than made on-site, that doesn't seem to matter much either.

There are 11 kinds—potato, cheese, potato-cheese (cheddar or farmers'), spinach, meat, spinach-meat, etc—and you can mix and match in multiple of threes. I continue to favor the tangy, relatively light mushroom-sauerkraut, though as far as I'm concerned it's hard to go wrong with anything topped with grilled onions and (optional but gratis) sour cream and bacon. Borscht, made with chicken stock, can be ordered with or without meat dumplings, and now they've added plates of stuffed cabbage or Polish sausage, both served with mashed potatoes.

It's hearty food, no question, designed more for peasant farmers than for office drones. But what the hell, it's supposed to snow some more tonight and tomorrow. Go in the midafternoon and the pierogi will be cooked to order, the line nonexistent.

Pierogi Heaven, 169 N. Wells, 312-263-9305, pierogiheaven.com; Mon-Fri 11 AM-7 PM, Sat 11 AM-5 PM

Kate Schmidt writes about what's on the restaurant scene every Thursday.

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