Review: Lomzynianka

Lomzynianka (try saying it three times in a row) has made Greenpoint Brooklyn its cozy home. With a typical gaudy Polish decor (fake animal heads, bright ribbons, plastic flowers, and the like), the 10-12 table dining room provides a surprisingly comforting and welcoming atmosphere.

Typically, during regular dinner hours, this place is spilling over with guests, especially due to the early closing hour of 9pm. This time, however, upon entering for a very late Tuesday lunch (3pm), we were faced with only two occupied tables and a fairly relaxed waiter...so relaxed that we helped ourselves to our seating of choice and waited a few moments for him to arrive.

For starters, my dining companion ordered a marinated red cabbage salad, heavily dressed in olive oil, with an appropriate balance of sour vs. sweet. My choice was the shredded red beets, which, on their own were a bit overly sweet, yet when consumed along side the rest of the meal provided a refreshing accompaniment.

As we waited for our main meals to arrive, we couldn't help but fixate on the various NY Times and Yelp reviews, interlaced with cheesy random paintings and religious iconography engulfing the room (to include a photo of the late Polish Pope). This time of day must have been 'family meal' for the staff, as the various cooks (resembling sweet grandmothers) strolled out of the kitchen with bowls of borscht and hearty bread, to get them through the day.

As our main meals emerged, we were faced with a great challenge...attempt to finish the enormous plates or save room for dessert? My friend's tongues in horseradish with mashed potatoes weren't the Miss America of plating, however it's what's on the inside that counts! Tender slices of freshly boiled tongue (most Americans are not very open to this dish, however, you have to try it to believe) were cradling the creamy horseradish sauce, which could have used a bit more kick. Creamy mashed potatoes, in combination with the sauce, were a great side.

My choice was the all-inclusive Polish platter. The extra large plate supported a mount of food! Three pierogies (potato, chicken, and mushroom/cabbage) were not overly fried and seemed to be pan seared, providing for a light texture and flavorful filling. The kielbasa, sweet and salty was grilled to perfection. Stuffed cabbage was extremely tender, yet the meat/rice filling could have used a bit more seasoning. The bigos (sauerkraut with chunks of beef) was incredibly flavored and came with tender, tiny, less-than-bite-size pieces of beef. While the kasha side-an Eastern European staple-was typically done. We feasted only for a short while, before coming to an answer to our initial dilemma of dessert vs. no dessert...I'm sure you've already guessed who won.

A crisp blinchik (crepe) filled with tender farmer cheese, sporting a side of sour cream was presented for dessert. Typically, the filling for this dish is a bit sweeter than Lomzynianka's, satisfying your after-dinner sweet tooth. Although this was probably the better choice, when choosing among various canned fillings of other blinchiki offerings (blueberry, cherry, or strawberry).

If you're in search of a great Polish home-cooked meal, head here...but don't forget your spice rack...you might be on your own in seasoning some of the dishes!
Lomzynianka 646 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222

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