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
9199 Olde Eight Rd.
Northfield Center, OH 44067