Taste of Home

Story and Photos by Tiffany Jarva

On a rainy evening in mid-October, a friend and I sit in front of a window in the recently opened Polish Bistro, where there are already repeat customers chatting about what they want to try (the beef rolls!) on their next visit. Perhaps swayed by these complete strangers, we order the beef rolls, and also the pork chops—of which my friend simply says, “Where else in Thunder Bay can you order Polish pork chops?!”

While we check out the photographs from Poland, which include some from the owners’ own travels, other customers show up, speaking Polish, which I can’t help but think is a very good sign of what’s to come.

All dinner meals come with the soup of the day, potatoes or rice, and three mini side salads: a crisp coleslaw, fresh cucumber salad, and a lightly oiled house salad. Today’s soup is a creamy vegetable soup—perfectly balanced and comforting, not too heavy or too seasoned. Borscht is also available at an extra charge, and well worth it—a velvety broth boasting fresh beets, carrots, cabbage, and beans.

The beef roll is truly a carnivorous experience: bacon, onion, and red pepper rolled up in lightly seasoned beef. The breaded pork chop is thin and nearly melts in your mouth. The servings are extremely generous—we could have shared one meal easily and still would have been satisfied. The food is traditional, fresh, and tastes like home, especially when you top it off with a traditional yogurt cheesecake—dense and not too sweet, and totally satisfying. Smacznego!

Now open for lunch and dinner, Polish Bistro is located at 71 S. Algoma Street (across from Maltese Grocery). Call 344-0440 for more info.