by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger for Vero Vine
I live close to Eva’s Polish Kitchen and have driven by it many times, but have not had an opportunity to try it yet. If you are not looking for it, you may miss it since it’s set back a little ways off of 43rd Avenue and its attached to the Chevron Gas Station. I finally had the chance to dine there and I am glad I did.
As a bona fide foodie, I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t have much experience with polish food, so this will be a new experience for me. I arrived in the evening on St Patrick’s Day and had the place to myself. While they have a very loyal following of customers, they must have been somewhere else enjoying corned beef and cabbage this night. As you enter Eva’s, you walk into what looks to be a small store with freezers containing frozen polish entrees and a counter to place your order.
While originally only offering take out, they later expanded and added a dining room to accommodate their customers’ desire for a place to dine in. I placed my order at the counter and was directed to have a seat in the dining room. The dining room is cozy yet comfortable with a plant shelf and black & white artwork of what I imagine are polish landmarks. Table cloths were colorful and each table had a small vase with flowers in it. A condiment bar is also available for your convenience.
Looks like my food is ready, so let’s dive right in and see what I had to eat!
Pickle Soup – ($3.99) – I’ve never heard of pickle soup before, so I decided to give it a try. This traditional polish chicken and vegetable soup is made with potatoes, carrots, onion, pickle, garlic and finished with chopped dill. The pickle aroma was subtle, but you definitely knew it was there. The dill was not overpowering at all, it had a nice mellow flavor.
Goulash – ($6.95 lunch) – One thing I did notice on the menu that sounded familiar was this dish. To me, goulash is what I grew up eating in the 70’s. You remember that mixture of ground beef, tomato sauce, and elbow macaroni? Thankfully our palates have expanded since then. This goulash was made of pork, celery, onions and secret spices. The pork was tender with just a little bit of chew to it and was not spicy at all. What I received was obviously different than my expectations, and not having much experience with authentic polish food, I was pleasantly surprised, it was very good! The price above is for the lunch portion, but I asked for more of a side dish of it so I could try it.
Polish Plate – ($15.99) – I ordered the sampler platter since it was the best way for me to try many different polish dishes all at once. Starting at the back left was the stuffed cabbage. The red sauce over the top was sweet, bold, and had a tiny bit of heat. It was really good! It’s made with tomato puree, catsup, pepper, onion, garlic, heavy cream and was topped off with freshly chopped dill. The cabbage was generously filled with a mix of ground pork, turkey, white rice and spices. Next I tried the smoked kielbasa & sauerkraut. The sausage was smoky, salty, and had a nice snap to it when I took a bite. It was served over a bed of sauerkraut and topped with caramelized onions. The potato pancakes were fantastic! The edges had a slight crunch to them from being fried, and the middle was soft and tender.
The potato pancakes were served with sour cream, but you can also request applesauce on the side as well. I tried them both ways and I think I liked them best with the sour cream. I definitely could have eaten a few more of them! Last but not least were the pierogis. The menu says it comes with 3 of your choice, but they gave me 4 of them, so I could try each variety. Cabbage, Cabbage & Mushroom, Potato & Cheese, and 3 Meat (Beef, Pork, & Turkey). They were all topped with diced caramelized onions. My two favorites were the Potato & Cheese and the 3 Meat pierogis. The Potato & Cheese is one of the most common combinations. The potato was nicely seasoned and it definitely had a bold cheese flavor to it. The 3 Meat pierogi was seasoned with onions, garlic, and I believe a little bit of dill. Everything on this sampler platter was very good!
Since this was my first time having an authentic polish meal, I don’t have any previous experience to compare it to. I’ve never been a big fan of sauerkraut, but this dining experience has changed my opinion about it. Eva’s is truly a hidden gem in Vero Beach. If you are looking for a truly authentic polish dining experience, then look no further than Eva’s!
Atmosphere – 4 Forks
Service – n/a
Food – 4 Forks
Ratings Scale Legend:
1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent
Come out and Try Eva’s Polish Kitchen at The Taste of Vero April 6th from 5:30pm – 8:30pm hosted by The Oceanside Business Association.
Eva’s Polish Kitchen
40 43rd Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32968