Karczma is located in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where traditional Polish food is easy to find. After all, the neighborhood is primarily populated by long-standing residents of Polish heritage and recent transplants that have moved to the borough to enjoy its clean, tree-lined streets. Greenpoint is an old world mixed with new world city; close to Manhattan (just a short subway or ferry trip away) but friendlier, more affordable and community oriented. It is unique in that the local bakeries serve authentic Polish baked goods, and, in the delis, one could order kielbasa and pierogis just as quickly as a turkey sandwich. It is no surprise that in Greenpoint, you can taste some of the most delicious Polish food in New York.
Location: Karczma – Polish Restaurant is located at 136 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Take Subway G to Greenpoint Avenue or take the East River Ferry to India Street.
Menu: The menu is all Polish specialties and comfort foods. They have chicken noodle soup, and white borscht served in a bread bowl which is worth the trip alone. Appetizers include steak or salmon tartare, herring in cream, pierogi, potato pancakes, grilled white kielbasa or blood sausage served with onion and sautéed cabbage. Dinner specialties consist of plates of specialties (like a sampler for two or three people) of kielbasas, sausages, and kebabs. There are also plates of grilled or breaded pork or chicken, spicy beef goulash, grilled salmon or trout with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes.
Thoughts: One step inside Karczma and you feel like you just walked into a Polish farmhouse. The rustic décor feels comforting as if you took a trip to Poland and were asked by a local to come over for dinner. There is old Polish folk music playing throughout the restaurant, and the waitresses wear traditional dress. There is a full bar where several Polish beers are served on tap.
The dining room was busy and filled with mostly Polish patrons. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the attentive service from the waitstaff. I asked questions about sizes and offerings of the sampler entrees. I appreciated the suggestions of my server as I wanted to try as many of the dishes as possible. I settled on a sampler platter with several specialties on one plate. Many of the options are meat-heavy, and my friend (a vegetarian who eats fish) ordered the grilled salmon in dill sauce with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes. The seafood and asparagus were fresh and delicious. The salmon was perfectly prepared.
My sampler started with the best pierogis I have ever eaten. I was offered three different types: one was stuffed with Cheese and potatoes, the second with sauerkraut and mushroom, and the last with meat. I ordered them fried, and they came with sour cream and sautéed onions. The platter also came with two potato pancakes that were huge and fried crisp, one stuffed cabbage (with pork and rice) smothered in tomato sauce, a grilled piece of kielbasa and a hunter’s stew which consisted of pork that was slowly simmered in house-made sauerkraut and red wine. The food was all delicious but filling. The platter was too big to finish, and even though I shared the vegetarian selections with my friend, I happily took some of my meal home. Pyszne!
Price Range: Karczma is affordable. My sampler was $14 and enough for a second meal. Soups and appetizers range from $5 -10. Platters that serve two-three people are $29-39. Plates of Polish specialties are $10-14. Desserts are $6-10.
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