A bit random, I will admit, but I love European fare and I did have a certain restaurant I've been dying to try. Get your passports ready because this week we are reviewing Anna's Polish Restaurant.
Located in the outskirts of Winter Park, you'll find Anna's tucked away in the corner of a small strip mall near the corner of Aloma and Forsyth. If you're driving by minding your own business, you'll probably never see it.
Even before you walk through the door of Anna's, your dining experience has already begun. Outdoor speakers play traditional Polish music to set the tone. When you enter, the music continues and you feel like you're transported to a small cafe in Europe. It gave me a Disney Epcot feel, but minus the cheesiness and add the charm. It has a very "homey" feel, if I had a Polish grandma, I would imagine her house to look like this.
The dining area is sectioned off into two parts. As you enter, you'll see the main area and to the left is a more family style dining room. There's also a deli/market in the back with an assortment of Polish beers, sausages, deli meats, and other treats for your purchase. I had no idea what anything was but it only added to the restaurant's authenticity.
The restaurant wasn't busy when we arrived. There were only two other tables seated and one was getting up while we were sitting down. Annette was our server, and from her name to her look, you can tell she is some sort of Eastern European. She was friendly and quick to greet us and seat us. Service was prompt throughout with no complaints. Everything came out in a timely manner with no errors and she was knowledgeable on their menu items.
Aside from pierogies, I really didn't know what else to expect. The menu offers many traditional home style Polish entrees that all sounded fantastic. Many of the menu items reminded me of German food with potato pancakes, kielbasa, and sauerkraut headlining most dishes . Everything sounded good so I decided to sample a bit of everything with their Polish Platter. Three pierogies, one stuffed cabbage, grilled kielbasa and sauerkraut all on one plate, what more could I ask for. Their pickle soup also sounded interesting so I decided to give that a go too. The girlfriend ordered a Gypsy Potato Pancake. Advertised as a plate size potato pancake layered with chunks of beef, onions, and bell peppers in gravy with sour cream, how could you go wrong?
First to be served was the pickle soup and the complimentary bread basket.
Entrees were quick to follow. The Polish Platter did not disappoint. It was a visually delightful smorgasbord of food that looks absolutely delicious.
Overall the food was delicious. Quality ingredients coupled with tender loving care make for great home style Polish cooking.
Slightly on the pricier side. Most entrees fall in the $15 mark, but they do have some affordable lunch options during the day. If you're on a budget, they offer buy 1 get one 1/2 off entrees every Wednesday night...why do I live so far away! Even at full price, the quality and experience is worth the expense.
I'm a huge fan of European cooking, largely in part for its rich history. Each country has a unique taste and a story for their culinary lineage. Anna's Polish Restaurant is no different. It's romantic and charming and delivers an authentic atmosphere that transports you to the Old World. The food is homemade and delicious and when you add everything together, you get a uniquely different and enjoyable dining experience far from the tourist traps of Orlando. I can't justify giving it full marks off just one visit. One thing is for sure, I can't wait to go back and try some of there other offerings. Definitely worth a go.