On any given winter’s day in Chicago, with the wind chill barely in the double digits, there’s no better way to counter the cold than with a hearty Polish meal. For years, I had a favorite place on Lawrence that served the best pierogi, potato pancakes and creamy, thick mushroom soup. Definitely not a place to visit prior to your having your cholesterol checked. And then, one sad day a few years ago it closed and the quest was on to find a new Polish favorite.
On Sunday, we most certainly did.
Following a favorable review in the Chicago Tribune and intrigued by the name (which translated in English means, Taste Yes!) a group of us had lunch at Smak Tak on North Elston. The place is cozy and comfortable, like a cross between a country kitchen in a log cabin. Between the five of us, we sampled a good portion of the menu and it was all absolutely delicious.
The pierogi was tasty; we had sweet cheese, meat, plum, cheese and potato (yum), and my favorite sauerkraut and mushroom–so flavorful. Shish kebab (with pork and bacon) and the stuffed cabbage rolls were a hit. All entrees were served with sautéed red cabbage and my new favorite coleslaw, made here with carrot and pineapple. What sealed the deal for me, and ensured that I’d be back again, was the crisp potato pancake stuffed with goulash, tender pork, mushrooms, onions and peppers in a savory sauce. It was amazing. Generous portions for under ten dollars makes it a great deal as well, especially considering a late lunch feast means you’re set for the rest of the day. I can’t wait to go back.