click image for slideshow
Of the handful of Polish restaurants in Greenpoint, Karczma is our favorite. The waitstaff all dress in traditional Polish outfits — cheesy but fun — and a handful of Eastern European beers are on tap. The menu consists of hearty Polish classics like pierogis, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, blintzes, and potato pancakes. A good choice would be to start with the White Borscht soup served in bread and then move on to the Plate of Polish Specialties – which is great to share. Nothing will blow you away, but pair the ambiance with a few Hofbrau Dunkels and you’re in for a good time.
Hearty offerings may include peasant-style lard mixed with bacon and spices, or a plate of Polish specialties piled high with pierogies (three varieties, steamed or fried, topped with sliced onions and butter), kielbasa, potato pancakes, hunter’s stew, and stuffed cabbage. Grilled plates can be prepared for two or three, while others, like the roasted hocks in beer, could easily feed an army. The quaint, farmhouse-inspired interior is efficiently staffed with smiling servers in floral skirts and embroidered vests.
Karczma’s wooden decor and waitresses in Polish folk dresses lend an Epcot-like sheen to the space, but beneath the wagon-wheel chandeliers, you’ll find some of the best authentic Polish food in town: standards like crisp, hubcap-size potato pancakes; stuffed cabbage topped with tomato sauce; and, every few weeks, more obscure offerings like sauerkraut soup and fried veal liver with apples and onions.