Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant

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the grillman
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Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sat, 10/23/10 10:34 PM
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This place absolutely looks amazing!  Roasted pork, sauerkraut, and dumplings.  Wow.  Besides BBQ and Greek food, Eastern European is probably my next favorite cuisine.    Makes me wish for cooler weather immediately so I can make a big pot of bigos.  
 
Two thumbs up!  

buffetbuster
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sat, 10/23/10 10:47 PM
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It does look fantastic!  That is definitely my type of food.  I am going to try to get up there this week.

mayor al
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 10/24/10 4:31 PM
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Bill,
 I am sorry but I missed the link to your Missouri connection with the Ohio restaurant being discussed????

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 10/24/10 4:51 PM
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bill voss


In all my years of going to lake of the ozarks, going to rolla was never an option. 


Huh?

mayor al
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 10/24/10 7:09 PM
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"...Paging Mr Voss to the Detox Center Please..."
 


vniizht
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 12/12/10 12:51 AM
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Totally misleading name for a Polish restaurant: why did Polish people give their restaurant a Russian name? I do not quite like Polish cuisine, but I do like Russian one...

Foodbme
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 12/12/10 2:06 AM
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vniizht


Totally misleading name for a Polish restaurant: why did Polish people give their restaurant a Russian name? I do not quite like Polish cuisine, but I do like Russian one...

The word has a duel meaning. In Russian, it refers to an old woman i.e. Grandmother.
It also refers to a head scarf which is not necessarily a Russian derivative. I've always heard it used in this manner.
In this case, I would think they're using it in the Russian sense -"Grandmothers Kitchen".

Nathan G
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 03/27/11 12:44 AM
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This was tonight's dinner stop for the wife and I.  Babushka's recently opened a second restaurant in north Columbus (a bit closer than Macedonia, where the other one is closest to).
 
As is my standard, I ordered the chicken paprikas(h); with the slightly different alphabets and transliterations, their has the 'h' on the end.  I had my choice of noodles or dumplings (always skip noodles if dumplings are available), and I stuck with the suggested side of green beans with bacon.  The wife went with the golabki (stuffed cabbage), with sides of mashed potatoes with tomato gravy and....green beans with bacon.  She does the duplicate side thing quite a bit, which may or may not be minimally irritating.  She actually wanted cabbage and dumplings (unsure of the Polish name; I know it as haluska), but they had actually run out.  The ordering is done deli style, but then it's "grab a table and wait".  We were given a numbered card for the tabletop while I pounded the root beer (Mug, for what that's worth).
 
With my recent registration here in mind, I snapped a couple of pics when the food arrived.  With my new phone in mind, I have not yet figured out how to actually extract them onto the computer for uploading, so I'll have to do that later.  Both meals passed the visual test; the cabbage rolls were sizable, and the paprikas(h) color fell into the orange-brown color spectrum with a thorough dusting of paprika.  Ah yes, and two slices of Jewish rye in a basket.  There was also butter provided, which misses the point of bread and sauced-up platters...
 
Unfortunately, the paprikas(h) was what I call a one-noter.  It was thick and looked great, but the flavor as a whole was one note.  I'm fairly certain there was flour in there somewhere, which, as you know, if it can be tasted it's all that can be tasted.  It wasn't from the dumplings, it was the sauce.  After a few bites, we switched plates to sample the other. 
 
The cabbage looked immaculately prepared, and it was very tasty.  A common complaint that I have is that, with cabbage rolls, there's a tendency to overcook the cabbage; the resulting color is barely opaque and sort of a milky yellowish-white.  This was perfectly done, as there was still plenty of green left in the leaves and plenty of flavor being carried.  The inside of the cabbage rolls was very good as well.  But as an ensemble, it somehow fell a bit flat.  I blame the sauce that it was with (something tomato based).  As was the case with the paprikas(h), it had one note, which was tomato and nothing else.  The mashed potatoes on the side were fairly good; the tomato sauce worked very well as an ensemble with the potatoes, which showed some nice flecks of potato skin still present.  The green beans and bacon were a good match; neither one was strong enough to be on its own, but it was a good pairing.  The rye bread was saved until the end to mop up the remaining sauces on each plate.
 
No dessert was desired, as the food was eaten rapidly enough to cause that sensation of sudden stomach swelling (try saying that three times fast).
 
Would I go back?  Absolutely.  Would I be forced to stick with what was ordered this time?  No.  On one hand that's a bad thing, as it means I didn't have anything that was so terrific that I have to stick with it out of fear of having something inferior.  On the other hand, there are enough other tasty-sounding options on the menu that I really don't mind it.
 

4657 N. High St
Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 447-9120
 
9199 Olde Eight Rd.
Northfield Center, OH  44067
[font="'lucida grande'"] (330)468-0402

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 03/27/11 1:21 AM
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Wednesday's Columbus Dispatch review painted a less than wonderful picture of this place.

Nathan G
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Sun, 03/27/11 1:57 AM
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Michael Hoffman


Wednesday's Columbus Dispatch review painted a less than wonderful picture of this place.

 
Since we no longer get the Dispatch, I missed out on this one, so I dug it up online.  Hope there's no rules against providing the link
 
(EDIT: Now that I see the spam restriction note, I guess there is)
 
Apparently it's not just me that had this concern though.  In the case of paprikas(h), I'm used to a layered flavor that will usually have garlic, tomato, possibly onion, possibly peppers, and a very distinct pop of paprika with a little bit of a sour tang.  Tonight's offering reminds me of when I tried to convert my grandfather's three-hour paprikas recipe into less than an hour, and each different attempt had its own shortcomings.  Come to think of it, I could replicate tonight's paprikas(h) in my own kitchen, because I've done it before and I swore I wouldn't make those mistakes again.
 
Without going too far into it (general rule: when I say "don't get me started", it's true...I can take a two-minute point and turn it into a three-hour circling rant), I find bland food to be dishonest.  It's like it comes from the kitchen of someone who's afraid of turning off some with a distinct flavor, so they're content with something that's "almost there".  In short, it's fence-straddling.  I'd rather have an honest effort be quickly rejected than serve something that's clearly missing something.  And if you're ever had the chicken salad at the Bogey Inn in Dublin (I think it's 6 parts sage, 1 part everything else), that's a good benchmark.
<message edited by Nathan G on Sun, 03/27/11 2:01 AM>

HollyDolly
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Tue, 03/29/11 3:06 PM
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My mother sometimes used the word babushka, both in reference to the scarf, and grandmother's . One time as a little girl I had a scarf on my head ,I guess we were going some place and she called me her little babushka,just to be silly I suppose,perhasp because with the scarf and  a coat on,maybe I did look like a miniature version of one. I still sometimes call a scarf by that name.
My mother was Hungarian, and I'm not sure how much they use the term.
 
Never had polish food when visiting her sister, Aunt Margaret in Buffalo,since Aunt Margaret's husband was polish.There was a polish restaurant in San Antonio once, but I think it's long gone.

buffetbuster
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Tue, 03/29/11 3:19 PM
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Here is a link to review previously mentioned.

hatteras04
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Tue, 03/29/11 5:26 PM
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My wife and I stopped in a couple of weeks ago and thought it was good overall and we'll be back.  We got the Hunter's feast and split it so we got to try several different things.  We both agreed that the best thing was the roast pork and gravy.  Very tender pork and excellent gravy.  We also both liked the smoked kielbasa with the little cup of mustard that was provided. 
 
As for the things we were expecting to like going in, we kind of felt like the Dispatch review and the one above.  Not bad but not too exciting.  I think maybe I just don't really like pierogies.  I want to like them.  I made a huge mess in the kitchen making them for the superbowl.  But even those were kind of bland.  I guess it's just not my thing.  We did think the cabbage roll was ok.  We used to go to Stan's on Morse Rd and get cabbage rolls on Thrusday nights and since it burned down we have been missing them.  So it filled a void but nothing earth shattering in terms of flavor.
 
They are going to have to do something about the service though.  It can take a while to get served.  And the line snakes to the back door which is the main entrance from the parking lot and that blocks access from a lot of the tables to the drink station.  I had a heck of a time getting a refill.  Still, it's nice to have another option in Clintonville and I saw on their sign the other day that they are currently doign fish frys on Friday.  Might have to give that a try as well.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Tue, 03/29/11 5:52 PM
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hatteras 04, I hadn't thought of Stans in a while. I used to go there every couple of weeks. I don't know whether you ever went to the old Aspen Inn on Chambers in Columbus, but Stan's son, Tommy Loscko, was the manager there when it was in its heyday. My wife and I used to go to the Aspen so often they asked us to please use a house account instead of AMEX. The trouble with Stan's, as far as I was concerned, was a simple one. If you got there at 11:01 a.m., breakfast was over.

hatteras04
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 9:24 AM
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Michael Hoffman


hatteras 04, I hadn't thought of Stans in a while. I used to go there every couple of weeks. I don't know whether you ever went to the old Aspen Inn on Chambers in Columbus, but Stan's son, Tommy Loscko, was the manager there when it was in its heyday. My wife and I used to go to the Aspen so often they asked us to please use a house account instead of AMEX. The trouble with Stan's, as far as I was concerned, was a simple one. If you got there at 11:01 a.m., breakfast was over.


 I only got to the Aspen one time before it closed and I liked it and was sorry to see it close.  We also only got to it's replacement, The Rose and Thistle, once for a birthday party which was fun but never made it back for just dinner.
 
I agree that not having breakfast all day was frustrating at Stan's but I think my bigger problem with it was the smoking.  It was by far the smokiest restaurant I've ever been in with just that small room in the back for the non-smokers.  We were overjoyed when the ban passed that we could could sit in the big open front room finally and then it burned down not too long after that.  I'd take it the old smokey way to have it back now.

HollyDolly
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 11:16 AM
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Yeah, I read the link posted here for the place and read the review. I looked at the names of the owners, and the only name that even stood out to me was Ms.Schwartz,whose a Kraut,not a Hunky or Polish name in the bunch.And since I'm half german and half hungarian,with cousins on both sides who half polish ,
I can use those terms.
 
Don't know whose babushka's recipes they used, but it sounds like dumbed down polish food.
Meaning whatever spices and flavours set it apart from other foods, have been adulterated for american tastes.

mar52
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 1:15 PM
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I looked at the names of the owners, and the only name that even stood out to me was Ms.Schwartz,whose a Kraut,not a Hunky or Polish name in the bunch.And since I'm half german and half hungarian,with cousins on both sides who half polish ,
I can use those terms.

 
I don't know.  I find it a little offensive, but I may be sensitive.   I am Polish.

kishkaeater
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 1:19 PM
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Isn't polish what you do when you're shining something?  

ann peeples
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 1:24 PM
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Ha! Kishskaeater-good one. Just to add a bit of fodder-i have been doing my family history, and I am much more english on my fathers side than i care to admit. No wonder my teeth need extra attending to...

Nathan G
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Re:Babushka's Kitchen - today's featured restaurant - Wed, 03/30/11 3:29 PM
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HollyDolly


Yeah, I read the link posted here for the place and read the review. I looked at the names of the owners, and the only name that even stood out to me was Ms.Schwartz,whose a Kraut,not a Hunky or Polish name in the bunch.And since I'm half german and half hungarian,with cousins on both sides who half polish ,
I can use those terms.

Don't know whose babushka's recipes they used, but it sounds like dumbed down polish food.
Meaning whatever spices and flavours set it apart from other foods, have been adulterated for american tastes.

 
In fairness, when the constant cycles of persecution throughout Eastern European history are taken into account, it's entirely possible to be Polish (or Hungarian) and have a last name like Schwartz rather than Szilagyi.  But I digress.
 
I don't know that I would necessarily say dumbed-down or adulterated.  In my admittedly limited experience, I think there are an inordinate number of people, including cooks and chefs, who have absolutely no idea how to use herbs or spices and thus skimp or complete avoid them.  I'm not sure if you ever watch "Chopped" on Food Network, but it seems that the most common complaints from the judges are that a particular dish has no cohesion.  The best way to bring cohesion to a dish is through herbs and spices, but even the contestants (who are caterers, culinary instructors, executive chefs, etc) seem lost in a spice cabinet.  When they did the Champions challenges, the ones who made it and the ones who got through were the ones who had mastery of the spice rack.
 
As is standard with me, I'm reminded of two different clips from the Simpsons.  The first involves Marge at the Chili Cook-Off, looking at a crafted spice rack and saying, "Seven spices?  There must be some duplicates here.  (picks one up)  Or-uh-GA-no?  What the hell....?"  The other involved a houseguest suggesting putting rosemary in mashed potatoes, and Marge saying, "Oh, I always wanted to put rosemary in something!"