Dallas, Meet Poland
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.