I must admit I have a love/hate relationship with buffets. On one hand I love the idea of being able to sample a variety of foods for am eclectic culinary experience. Yet, as a gal who is tiny by nature, this means my stomach is tiny by nature, and therefore I am usually full before I even make it up for round two….thus defeating the need for a buffet. But, when you can spend a mere ten dollars to branch out and dine on some polish comfort food? That I can do.
You know The Red Apple is legit the minute you walk through the doors and are greeted by a cheery host with a thick Eastern-European accent while the wait staff converses to one another in polish. Sometimes, there is comfort in having no idea what the people around you are saying.
The buffet is a mixture of traditional offerings (mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad bar) peppered with classic Polish dishes. As my purpose was to fully immerse myself into another culture through their food, I stuck with the latter.
Schnitzel, Dill gravy meatballs, Fried Sauerkraut, Fried Beets, Herring in vinegar, Chicken Aspic and Polish Sausage (also a cheese dumpling which is hiding from the camera)
There were some hits and some misses on this plate. The sausage had a bit too much gristle for my taste and the meatball was relatively flavorless outside of the faint hint of dill. However, the beets and sauerkraut, particularly when combined, were cooked very well while the cheese dumpling was rich and creamy with a deep nutty flavor.
As I finished up (and admittedly was already feeling full) I quietly bemoaned the absence of Pierogi’s on the menu. Perhaps I am short-sighted but when I think of Polish food, I’m thinking Pierogi’s. I returned to the buffet to perhaps snag another cheese dumpling when something wonderful caught my eye: A second buffet! Tucked around the corner, this smaller buffet held two different Pierogi’s (potato & cheese, and mushroom & sauerkraut) along with cheese blintzes, apple pancakes and crispy potato pancakes. I helped myself to one of each.
This second plate was quite successful. The pierogis were wrapped in pillowy and delicate dough with warm flavorful fillings…the epitome of comfort food. From the sweet creamy cheese in the blintzes, the moist and tangy apple pancake and the crunch from the potatoes it was a wonderfully delightful plate of food.
I took a gander at the small dessert tower, but was simply too stuffed to really contemplate it. After grabbing a small chocolate ball covered in fresh coconut shavings, only to take a bite revealing a golden raisin nestled inside, I decided to abandon the desserts altogether. After all, where there is one raisin, there are many. There are few foods I can’t abide, but raisins…I just can’t do it.
With that, I waddled away.