From the Blog

Pierogi ruskie, Golabki, and My Favorite: Placki Ziemniaczane

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We went to the Polish Fest Saturday. I guess last year it rained, so there weren’t as many people. This year, there were a billion other people there. But they were all nice people with babies and dogs, out enjoying the fantastic weather.

And the accordions.

This guy was amazing. He was like the Jimi Hendrix of accordion players. Dave had a not-so-secret man-crush on this guy. The band played for hours. They played some mean polka.

And there was dancing.

They Know How To Have A Good Time from Mile73 on Vimeo.

These people are not messing around. When there was not live music, it was loud, sort of disneyesque recordings. It felt a little like I was in line to go on the Matterhorn. Because the Swiss/Italian border is so close to Poland.

There an hours-long food line. Maybe it wasn’t hours. We arrived off the MAX weak with thirst and hunger. We had to get an appetizer to hold us over in the long, long food line (hours!)

Sweet angels of culinary mercy, this is one of my favorite foods on the planet. It’s got potato! And cake! You put sour cream on it! How could it not be the world’s most perfect food?

I have really come to enjoy Polish food by going to Grandpa’s Cafe on irregular Friday nights. It’s a hole-in-the-wall place in the basement of the Polish Library Hall on Interstate in north Portland. It’s only open on Friday nights and Sundays after church. They have cheap Polish beer and great food. We’ve come so often that Ted, the owner, knows to put our check on “Dave’s tab.”

Once we polished off our placki ziemniaczane, we got our Black Boss beer, pierogis, and go??bkis and sat in the grass and got a little tipsy. Or everyone besides me got tipsy. I’m still learning how to drink beer. I can’t drink enough quickly enough to get get drunk from beer. I was repeatedly chastised by my companions because I was not drunk. They are not very sensitive about my shortcomings.

Various friends stopped by with their alarmingly cute kids.




They had a rousing polka competition for all the youngsters.

And to the disappointment of many, I was not drunk enough to be dragged into the adult’s polka contest. I’m *so* no fun when I’m sober.

We were there from 2:30 to 9:30. It was a full day of fun Polishness. By the time we left, and indeed, the reason we left, is that they ran out of beer! Portland hearts beer! Until it’s all gone!

So the wiener dog races at Oktoberfest were pretty awesome, but the Polish Fest had placki ziemniaczane. And as we all know, placki ziemniaczane is the deal breaker every time.


  1. So imagine the Polish Festival, with almost EXACTLY the same kind of food, dress, dances, and traditions, only the language is slightly different, 90% of the people are Republican, and nobody wants to acknowledge how similar everything is to the Polish Festival. Then you know you are here.

    Also, there are no wiener dog races.

    For the record, when we go to these things, we hang out with the left-wing resistance movement.

  2. Unite Left-Wing Resisters! And Potato Pancake Eaters!

  3. what was the tan blob, next to the sour cream, with the food photo? it looked suspiciously like applesauce.

  4. Yep. Apple sauce. And sour cream. Perfecto.

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