The Polish Grannies You Never Had Are Cooking at Dinner House
I got a hot tip from fellow Polish food lover, Kory Aversa, about a Port Richmond restaurant that I had not yet tried. Dinner House opened up about two years ago; I remember visiting that location on E Allegheny Ave when it was a bakery. On my recent visit the five table restaurant was being operated by two Polish grandma types, who both waited on us and were cooking the food in the back.
Soups here are a measly $3. We tried the pickle soup and zurek, a sour rye soup. Similar in color, the pickle and dill flavor of the former vs the smokey pork flavor of the latter were quite different and I liked slurping a spoonful of one and then the other. I contemplated mixing the bowls but did not want to insult anyone's granny.
Dinner House offers a variety of pierogies but it was the Polish dumplings, "pyzy" that I wanted to try since I had never come across them before. The dough is made with potato and potato flour, giving a gnocchi like soft texture. They came stuffed with tender beef and topped with onion. I took a few home and pan fried them, preferring the crispy texture.
One of the larger dishes available is Hungarian potato pancake stuffed with goulash. This giant shredded potato pancake gets soggy fast, so eat up. Inside, find tender pieces of meat in a brown gravy. This is not something you want to tackle alone; bring a friend.
On the side we sipped cherry juice and marveled at the dishes being eaten at the tables next to us- stuffed cabbage, pierogies, a crepe/blintz like dessert- will all have to wait for the next trip.
It looks like Dinner House is on Uber Eats if you can't make the trip to Port Richmond. But I would suggest forgoing the potato pancakes or anything else fried to avoid a soggy sad plate. Soups, pierogies, pyzy, and stuffed cabbage should all travel well.
The Dinner House, 2706 E Allegheny Ave, 267 596-7727
Bonus: Other restaurants in the area worth trying are Syrenka, M & T, and New Wave Cafe. For a drink, try Donna's Bar. To make a fully complete trip, you should really add in some food shopping. Go to Swiacki Meats or Czerw's for homemade kielbasa and Krakus Market for mustards and frozen pierogies; they also have a solid cafe attached. Last tip- in warmer months, bring your food to go for a picnic at nearby Graffiti Pier.