By Sheridan Cyr
Most of us don’t have the financial confidence necessary to hop on a plane and travel overseas to Poland to satisfy that lingering craving for a traditional Polish plate. Luckily, New Britain’s Little Poland has captured a great deal of the country’s essence. Amidst several small nick-nack shops, grocery stores, tailors and more is EuroPlate, a relatively new Polish restaurant located at 100 Broad Street.
The location opened about one year ago under owners Keith and Joanna Miller. Current owner, Walter Jacek took over this past May.
The opening of EuroPlate was yet another step in the direction that the city is taking to put a damper on its past reputation of crime. When it opened last August, Mayor Erin Stewart and other city officials, including Little Poland mascot Stanley the Dragon, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebrated another business’ opening. Little Poland is considered the area between Main and Burritt St., and is currently home to over 100 businesses with over 70 percent being Polish-owned-and-operated.
EuroPlate is set up in a deli-fashion. The foods are kept warm behind a glass display. Patrons select what they want, an employee plates the dish, and hands it over the counter.
There is much to choose from at EuroPlate, and all stay true to Polish traditional delicacies. Their pierogies are absolutely delicious. Choose from several kinds of pierogies: sweet or savory, fried or boiled. Try a classic cheese and potato pierogi, potato and meat, sweet cheese and blueberries or strawberries, and many more.
EuroPlate also serves a dish called “gobaki,” which comes in either a meat or vegetable option. Gobaki is similar to the idea of a burrito. In place of a tortilla, the contents are wrapped in cabbage leaves. Inside the vegetable option was a generous helping of mushrooms, cabbage, and a grain called “kasza gryczana palona” which is buckwheat roasted groats, and is similar to quinoa which is served along with a savory sauce.
The restaurant also has traditional Polish meatballs called “kotlet mielony” which contains minced meat cutlet with eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, and salt and pepper rolled into a ball and fried with onions and butter. There was also a pork cutlet option called “kotlet schabowy,” a pork breaded cutlet; made of pork tenderloin (with the bone or without), or of pork chop. “Kotlet z piersi Kurczaka” is a Polish variety of chicken cutlet coated with breadcrumbs that was also available.
Several other sides are offered including steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, buckwheat roasted groats, and several homemade salads such as coleslaw, “mizeria,” a traditional Polish salad made from cucumbers in sour cream with dill, sauerkraut, sweet pepper salad, and many others. To top off the meal, a variety of sweet and fruity Polish drinks were available to choose from the cooler.
The interior of EuroPlate is small and home-like. There are a handful of tables for patrons to sit and stay a while, but many customers take their plates to go. Decorations around the store remind guests of the country of Poland, for example, a red and white Polska banner with flags hangs from the wall above one of the tables, a bookshelf near the front holds a red and white soccer ball along with a beautiful tea set and other small nick-nacks.
EuroPlate is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Sundays. Call (860) 356-7427 for more information.
*Contributed by Olivia Jablonski, Managing Editor of the New Britain Independent.