Would we go back:
215 East Hennepin Avenue
• Mushroom Soup In bread bowl $5.39
Not too long ago someone asked me how long we have doing the restaurant of the week and I said it had been a few years maybe since 2004 or something like that (I have a terrible sense of time). Of course multiple smart phones came out (blasted smart phones) and it was quickly determined that we had been doing this since 1994 - so almost 20 years. Yes I am THAT old. This is the long way of saying we have been doing this for 20 years and some how have yet to review Kramarczuk's. The crazy part is we were not going to Kramarczuk's this evening either. We were on our way to the New Bohemia. Of course the entire way there which was blessedly short, I was wondering how they could set up right next to Kramarczuk's and expect to succeed. Well once we got there we found that indeed they were amazingly busy so clearly the market was not yet saturated. Interestingly enough after we walked into New Bohemia and determined we were not going to brave that with our 2 and 5 year old, Steve' first suggestion was to go to Pizza Nea. Which normally I would have jumped on because it hard for me to go the NeHe area and not want to eat at Pizza Nea, but I was already in the mood for East European food so I suggested Kramarczuk's which Steve gave me a weird face, but decided not to fight it. We have both been to Kramarczuk's for lunch many times over the last 20 years, so I am not sure why we have not came for dinner to review it. So with no further ado, we went to Kramarczuk's for dinner and it was great.
There was already a line when we got there, but not too long and there was plenty of room to eat. Kramarczuk's is a cafeteria style place where you place your order and magically by the time you get to the cashier you have a plate of amazing food. This evening I had their special soup of the day which was mushroom. Oh my yum, I wanted to eat five bowls of it, luckily it was served in a bread bowl, so that filled me to the point that I did not go back for more. One of my sons had the meatball and noodles, which was enough to serve 4 toddlers or probably 2 adults. But again amazing. Over the course of the years, I have probably had most of the things they offer and I have not hit a dud yet. They have a limited menu, but you can not go wrong with what is on it.
They also serve beer and wine, which I did not know. Either this is a recent development say last 5-7 years or I have been there for lunch and not even looked for it.
So finally after almost 20 years we have reviewed Kramarczuk's clearly they don't need our review as you rarely see a bad thing said about them and they have been around since 1954 and are, I hope, not going anywhere.
• Varenyky (8) $8.69
It's easy to forget how good Kramarczuk's is. And it's easy to take it for granted because it's always been there and it seems like it will always be there. But, don't take it for granted, please. This is a jewel of a deli, meat market, and bakery in NE Minneapolis near downtown. I had the eight pieces of Varenyky (pierogies), or dough dumplings stuffed with meat, cheese & potato, sauerkraut or sweet cheese served with sour cream or horseradish sour cream sauce. They'll ask you which kind you want, in case sauerkraut or meat or potatoes aren't your thing, but I enjoyed some of each of the flavors that they had to offer. And they were all great. I also enjoyed that they offer beer with their menu. If you haven't had the Polish Zywiec (pronounced something like ZIZ-a-vitch), I highly recommend giving it a try with Kramarczuk's excellent Polish food.
I've been to Kramarczuk's several times and it never disappoints. The food will fill you up and prepare you for a long Minnesota winter. And if it's already winter, the comfort food will remind you that there is still hope that Spring might come early this year.
Service is a deli-style line. Most people are indecisive; don't be most people, be decisive and keep the line moving. Parking is available on the street, a small lot, or pay parking nearby. The dining area is basic, but there's plenty of seating. You bus your own trays. But this reminds you that you're in a deli in Minnesota, you're lucky to have such good food, and you can bus your tray.
April 14, 2013