Thursday, March 13, 2014

Skinnytato Polish Restaurant

Skinnytato Polish Restaurant on Urbanspoon SkinnyTato is a Polish restaurant that prominently features gluten free and vegetarian options. For Dine Around and Stay in Town 2014, it seemed they went out of their way to have both options, including a gluten free version of Polish poppy seed cake.

It's a really tiny place, more like a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Seats maybe 16 comfortably. As a small operation, it doesn't have the usual flight of floor staff like a full-time waitress or busser. You might find the service a bit awkward, but their care and sincerity comes through.

My dining companion went with the $20 Dine Around menu while I opted for the regular dinner menu.

Dine Around 2014 ($20)

Cup of polish borsch soup
White sausage
European style sausage cooked & served with sauté onion and mushrooms

Spinach Crepe
A large crepe stuffed with spinach and goat feta cheese smothered with rich creamy white
mushroom sauce served with Nature or Skinnytato salad
Plate of pierogies
Three pierogies served with sour cream, polish sausage and salad of your choice

Polish poppy seeds cake
Apple cake
Polish style cake topped with ice cream and smothered with Skinnytato plum sauce and
whipped cream

Overall most items we tried (borsch soup, white sausage, spinach crepe, poppy seed cake) were good, but not in a "wow" sort of way. This is value-priced comfort food. Dinner menu choices are really more like combos (dinner plates come with soup, pancakes come with salads), so you can expect dinner to come to about $20, but you'll be properly fed for your money.

Klops & Kopytka ($18.95) Fresh minced sirloin steak served with ginger mint sauce and carefully paired with special breaded polish noodles and vegetable salad of your choice.
  • The description here (to me) sounds pretty confusing (why would you mince a perfectly good sirloin steak?). What comes to your plate is minced meat shaped into a large, thin patty. This was the "klops" part and was sorta boring.
  • What's interesting here was the Kopytka. "Noodle" is very much misleading because it looks more like longish dumplings. It was also strangely tasty in part because of the breading. Each "noodle" was coated in quite finely ground breading that was toasted/seared till brown but not black or too overdone, thereby giving you a nice toasted flavour. It's probably not super-appetizing the way I've described it, but it's strangely addictive. And there was certainly enough of it to make this dinner plate a rather filling meal.
Nature's Gift salad Mix of shredded red cabbage, carrots, green apples, sunflower seeds, raisins, and raspberry vinaigrette.
This was the salad I chose to accompany my dinner, based on the server's recommendation. At $5.25 as a separate order you'll probably get a properly substantial portion.
The salad turned out quite tasty and interesting for its mix of seeds and fruits.

Polish Poppy Seed Cake (gluten free)
  • My dining companion had a Polish heritage and she said the pudding-like thing that came to our table was quite tasty, but not traditional looking at all. The server confirmed this by explaining that this was the result of making it the gluten free way.
Apple Cake
  • We probably had a kitchen error version of this one. The outer crust was quite thick and it looked overdone, dry and with a disintegrating crumbly-ness. Urgh.

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