Category Archives: Lifestyle
Dallas definitely has its fair share of ethnic food. Mexican, Asian, and Middle Eastern establishments (both authentic and Americanized) seem to pop up on every street corner — and that’s not a bad thing. However, genuine European fare is a bit more difficult to come across.
And Polish restaurants? Well, there’s only one.
I was born in “the states”, but just about every one of my genealogical bloodlines point to Poland. Pierogi, kiełbasa, and gołąbki have been popular dinners for as long as I can remember putting food in my mouth. My grandfather has lived in the same Polish neighborhood since birth, my uncle met his future wife in Poland, and my spirit of choice is Polish vodka — excuse me — wódka.
When I passed a Plano storefront sign that read “Taste of Poland”, needless to say, I was pretty excited. You can get a few Polish dishes at Henk’s and Kuby’s in Dallas, but they’re a far cry from being exclusively Polish.
Previously located on Alma & Park in Plano, For You: Taste of Poland is a modest cafe-deli hybrid now on Central’s southbound access road, just north of Park.
This place is the real deal: it is literally a taste of Poland. The restauarant is owned by Polish immigrants, every item in the attached “mini-mart” is imported from Poland, and most importantly, everything is homemade and handmade. If that’s not enough to transport you to the streets of Kraków, For You‘s TV is always steaming a live Polish news station — from Poland, in Polish.
For You‘s interior takes up a quaint, street cafe feel, complete with a faux indoor awning and picture frames that resemble windows peering out at Polish scenery. The back of the restaurant was complete with the coolest little two-seat coffee/wine bar I’ve ever seen. The store section on the other side of the divider was neatly organized and everything in the miniature meat-and-cheese deli looked delicious and rightfully fattening.
If you’re unfamiliar with Polish food, I recommend the aptly-named “Taste of Poland” platter. It’s got pierogi (similar to ravioli: two stuffed with potatoes, two with beef), kiełbasa (Polish sausage), gołąbki (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat), bigos (a dry stew of sauerkraut, meats, onions, and dried mushrooms), potato dumplings, potato pancakes, and sauerkraut salad. Bring another person to help you out — there’s no way you’re eating the entire plate alone.
The ever-popular pierogi were delicious (particularly the beef pierogi) and the casing on the kiełbasa was crisped to perfection. My personal pick was the gołąbki, which had just the right amount of sauce and meat inside. I’m usually not a fan of “straight” sauerkraut, but when meats, onions, and mushrooms were added, the bigos was excellent.
If you’re sharing the plate with a picky eater, let them have the pierogi, dumplings, and potato pancakes (after you grab a taste of each). Claim the gołąbki, bigos, and sauerkraut salad for yourself, and enjoy.
Ever ride the trolley in Uptown Dallas? The McKinney Avenue Transportation Authority (MATA) runs heritage streetcars up and down McKinney and Cole Avenues. These trolleys run every fifteen to twenty minutes, seven days a week, and best of all, they’re free to ride.
Each trolley is a museum piece, with its own character and history:
- Rosie was built in 1909. It was used in daily service in Porto, Portugal for almost 70 years. It is the oldest streetcar in America still in everyday use.
- Built in 1925, Matilda was used in Melbourne, Australia for over half a century. Other than the installation of air-conditioning, the trolley is the same as it was Down Under.
- Two of the current trolleys, Green Dragon and Petunia, were originally used here in Dallas, before being replaced with buses. When MATA was established in the late 1980s, they were pulled out of retirement to serve the city once more.
As you might expect from a series of hundred-year-old vehicles, the ride can be slow and bumpy. But taking the “M-Line” through Uptown isn’t about getting there quickly; it’s about enjoying the ride. If you go on a weekend afternoon, you’re likely to get a guided tour. You might also have to put up with some terribly corny jokes, but it’s all part of the experience.
The M-Line is free to ride, but if you want to give, there’s a tip jar on every trolley. All tips go to support MATA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring old streetcars. And even if you chip in a buck or two, it’s still one of the cheapest things you can do in Uptown.
A trolley ride is a great social activity too, whether you’re with your family, friends or a hot date. Just hop on, ride around to stores, restaurants, museums and bars, then take the trolley back to where you started. And if you want a whole streetcar to share with your friends, you can even rent one for parties. The MATA trolley is one of Dallas’ best activities, and if you haven’t yet tried it out, take a ride this weekend.
Steve Lovelace has been riding public transit to work for the last four years. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.
For more information about the MATA trolleys or to view the trolley schedule, please visit http://www.mata.org/.
Excellent weather is predicted for this weekend’s Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson, Texas. This bi-annual event, which takes place in the Fall and Spring, has been a part of Richardson history for over forty years.
This past weekend, VISIONS: The Women’s Expo celebrated 22 years of uplifting and inspiring modern women with a fashion, health, and beauty showcase. VISIONS boasts the status of being the largest women’s expo in the Southwest.
LUSH Cosmetics, Philosophy, and Minus the Man were among the 100+ exhibitors present this year. Attendees were able to browse, try product samples, see demonstrations, gather information, and make purchases.