Tania’s Polish Restaurant
348 Grove St.
Jersey City, NJ,
When JerseyCool was headquartered in downtown Jersey City, NJ, there was probably nothing better than a big bowl of borscht at Tania’s, a small out of the way restaurant just a block from the Grove St. PATH Station. If there is a restaurant in the state that better defines hidden gem, we’d like to know about it.
It would be easy to say Tania’s is special because of it’s novel. Let’s face it, there aren’t many places that specialise in Polish food, and certainly not many left in downtown JerseyCity where ethnic food tends to skew more toward the Latin American and Asian cuisines. But that argument would do a disservice to Tania’s, which simply serves some of the best food in the state regardless of ethnicity.
The place is nothing special to look at. Neat and basic there are tables up front and a bar along the side in the back. There have been some improvements over the years. A fresh coat of yellow paint covers the walls and paintings and photographs give the eye something to look at. We went for brunch on Saturday and mellow jazz music gave the place a beatnik feel that’s set a nice atmosphere.
There isn’t much to improve on when it comes to food. Tania’s is one of those places where we’ve never had a bad meal and we’ve had quite a few of them over the years. We started our brunch with an order of potato pancakes because if you don’t try them you should be shot. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside there isn’t much better on this Earth than Tania’s potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce. Now that the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria has resorted to some fast food tactics these are the best in the area.
For lunch my partner in crime went with cheese and blueberry blintzes. I left C to her bliss while I opted for the grilled kielbasa platter, a hungry man’s lunch made up of a kielbasa, easy over eggs and hash browns. Served on a hot plate I had to wait a few minutes before digging in — oh who are we kidding I dug right in and was rewarded with hearty fare.
If you’re going to Tania’s for dinner there are very few places on the menu to go wrong, actually there are no places to go wrong. Try the Polish combo, usually a kielbasa, pirogi and stuffed cabbage or opt for the lamb shank. Those not watching carbs may want to have a go at the pirogi and Tania’s will usually allow you to order meat and cheese combinations. A side of kasha usually goes well with almost anything at Tanias.
Service at the eatery is usually efficient if not overly warm and during the summertime there’s a garden out back. However, we recommend winter dining for Tania’s. As the weather gets colder there’s really nothing better than a hearty Polish meal in downtown Jersey City.
Sad coda — we were upset on our recent trip to Tanias to see Casablanca has shut down on Grove St. A nice complement to Tania’s the small restaurant served some of the best Moroccan food we’ve tasted. Here’s hoping the owners have moved on to better digs.