While it loses the battle of kitsch, Staropolska keeps it traditional with an interior outfitted in wooden timbers and paneling celebrating the country spirit of Poland. When you enter you'll be led past a group of grizzled old men hunched over their beers in the front bar and into the main dining room. Staropolska's specialty is hearty soups and stews. Mushroom soup (zupa ze swiezych grzybow
) is a rich affair laden with cream and the earthy punch of fresh-chopped mushrooms. Islands of smoky pork float in between the vinegary tang of cabbage in sauerkraut soup, while the Polish hunter's stew (bigos
) filled with tender hunks of beef will get you through a day in the forest. Soupy courses aside, pierogies packed with sweet cheese or fluffy potato mash are better than average, and the kielbasa is a big paprika-tinged hunk of garlic-perfumed love. If you have a hankering for it after the meal, you can stop by the adjoining deli for take-home treats.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant