Old-fashioned Polish Pierogi, in a Modern Setting

Pierogi Boys is located at the DeKalb Market Hall (445 Albee Square), near the subway station at DeKalb Avenue. (Photo by Anna Arciszewska via Dowy Dziennik)

“In a place like that Americans expect hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches, and not Polish pierogis. So we are happy to be able to surprise the customers,” says Krzysztof Poluchowicz, co-owner of Pierogi Boys, an eatery located in the DeKalb Market Hall. This is the largest culinary center in Brooklyn with more than forty vendors offering their original food. Pierogi Boys operates alongside eateries offering American, Japanese and Korean cuisine.

Having opened recently [in June], DeKalb Market Hall is a fairly new establishment, located in a busy area near the subway station in Brooklyn. The inspiration for this food court was the multinational community of that area, made up of Poles, Italians, Germans, Chinese, Russians and Irish. Their varying tastes are reflected in the selection of cuisines and dishes offered at the DeKalb Market Hall.

At the Polish place, in addition to three types of pierogis, one can have a Polish beet gazpacio (chlodnik), cucumber and cream salad (mizeria) and Polish beer served in plastic cups with “na zdrowie” (cheers) printed on them.

The pierogis are produced according to old recipes. (Photo by Anna Arciszewska via Nowy Dziennik)

The décor of the Pierogi Boys also is reminiscent of Poland. The walls are adorned with colorful folk patterns and welcome signs in Polish. The counter displays simple scales from communists times. “We found it in an antique store in Queens. The last inspection it underwent was in 1972, and since then it shouldn’t really be used for weighing anything. We use it purely as decoration,” says Krzysztof Poluchowicz.

Krzysztof Paluchowicz calls himself a Pierogi Boy. (photo by Anna Arciszewska via NOwy Dziennik)

Poluchowicz immigrated to the United States when he was 13. Some time ago, in New York, he ran into childhood friend Andrzej Kinczyk and together they decided to open a store with the most iconic Polish dish – pierogi. “I won’t say how many pierogis I can eat at one sitting, because it is an insane number,” says Poluchowicz. He adds that when he moved to New York city many of his American friends were asking where they could buy the traditional Polish pierogi in the area. “I found it difficult to recommend a good place, so Andrzej and I decided to do something about it and create a pierogi place at DeKalb Avenue for people who don’t always have time to go to Greenpoint [which offers a number of places to get good Polish food],” says Paluchowicz.

And that’s how the duo started to serve, in this modern New York space, pierogi made according to the old “grandma’s” recipe tested over the last 70 years. The most traditional ones – with cottage cheese and potatoes, and these with meat stuffing served with a meat sauce and dill, are the most popular at DeKalb Market Hall. The pierogis are made on site and the customers can get a glimpse of how they are produced. This is another aspect attracting diners to the Pierogi Boys.

The customers are not only Polish immigrants or their descendants. The place is becoming more and more popular among Americans as many of them stop by to have a serving of this traditional Polish dish.  Some even ask for the recipe and instructions on how to make pierogis at home.

“The name Pierogi Boys came up spontaneously, I don’t even remember how. Andrzej and I joke now that we are the pierogi boys. But we have a whole army of pierogi boys and girls who are helping us in the kitchen. It is an international team with people coming from Ukraine, China, Mexico and of course from Poland,” says Krzysztof. The Pierogi Boys team makes more than 2,000 pierogis a day and up to 6,000 on the weekend.

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