A good appetite needs no sauce.
It just so happens that there are a TON of food festivals this weekend and my plan is to hit all of them- all 3 that I know of anyway. The best part is that I haven’t been to any of them before so this will be a new experience for all of us. First on my list for this weekend? The 14th Annual PolishFest in Latham at Blessed Virgin Mary of Czestochowa Church (250 Old Maxwell Rd) which is on June 3rd (4PM – 9PM), June 4th (Noon – 9PM) and June 5th (11:30AM – 6PM).
Admission is just $3 except on Sunday, everyone 62+ gets in for free and each day is full of activities. Saturday there’s a Polish genealogy class (12:00PM/5:30PM), cooking demo (2:00PM/6:00PM), folk dancers (1:00PM/3:30PM) and of course tons of food to choose from. Also, inside church are a few vendors. Some I recognized, like RAD Soap, and others that sold beautiful bracelets, books, and some Polish-related things, of course.
If you’re like me, what you’re most excited about is the food and they have a ton to offer! My first stop was the Pierogi Bar where they had 10 different types of pierogi to choose from for $1.25 each: Potato and Cheese (classic), sauerkraut, farmer’s cheese, mushroom & cabbage, potato/cheese/jalapeno, bacon cheeseburger, buffalo chicken, pulled pork, kielbasa & sauerkraut and honey crisp apple. I decided to try 4 of them.
To start, I figured I’d get the most interesting one out of the way- buffalo chicken pierogi with blue cheese. This one was fried and definitely different but I actually enjoyed it. Next, pulled pork pierogi with BBQ sauce. I believe my words while I was eating it was “I can’t believe I’m saying that pulled pork is my least favorite thing on this plate.” Though the BBQ sauce was good, and I know it’s tempting, skip the pulled pork. There are others that are better. Third I had the classic pierogi, potato and cheese. You can’t go wrong with this one. Maybe I’m just a pierogi purist but this is the way they should be made and there’s really only one way they could’ve made it better and that way is number 4. Last, I had the kielbasa & sauerkraut pierogi. No matter what you order, order this one. They perfected kielbasa and you need to experience it. What better than in a pierogi?
Next, I went to the main food tent. There was borscht (Beet soup- $5.50), bigos (hunter stew in a bread bowl- $8), kapusta (cabbage, sauerkraut, pork, onion in bread bowl – $6.75), golabki (stuffed cabbage- $4), faszerowana papryka (stuffed peppers- $4), potato pancakes ($1), kielbasa sandwich ($7.75), kielbasa on a stick ($5) & haluski (cabbage, noodles, bacon- $6.50). If you can’t decide, they do offer a Polish platter (kielbasa, golabki, kapusta, 2 pierogi and rye bread – $12).
Based on the pierogi, I had to get kielbasa on a stick and I also ordered a potato pancake. The potato pancake was very dense, pretty good, I just wish I could’ve dipped it in applesauce and not ketchup. The kielbasa, again, was delicious. If I were to go back tomorrow, I may have skipped all the pierogi and just ordered a couple of plain ones so I could’ve focused my taste buds on that kielbasa.
Overall, this was a lot of fun! I love festivals like this, anyway, but this gave me the opportunity to try foods I don’t normally eat with Polish beer I can’t get anywhere else. Make sure while you’re there to take a look at the church. It’s really beautiful and is definitely worth a look into, especially to walk off some of the food you ate.
Only two days left, don’t miss it!