The way you spell it or pronounce it is irrelevant; the way it tastes is of the utmost importance. Until rather recently, I spent the majority of my life living near the border of Cleveland and Parma. Luckily for me I was on the Cleveland side (cough cough), but the Polish influence from the southern border graced our dinner plates quite often. Add our proximity to pierogi heaven and the fact that we are also part Polish, and you can understand my love for the pierogi.
Does anyone remember Parma Pierogi? I like to refer to them as the era of perfection for pierogies in Parma; until they allowed themselves to fall into financial ruin and had to close. Like myself, Bill Clinton was a huge fan of Parma Pierogi and used to visit when in town on presidential business. Unfortunately, they have been closed since the late nineties, and I have had to branch out and explore other pierogi options.
My absolute favorite pierogies are served at the Tremont Taphouse. They serve two pierogies on their “small plates” for $8.50. I know it seems a bit steep, but I’d gladly pay double. That is just to exaggerate the point that their pierogies are THAT good. To be fair, I think that the pierogies may be so good because of the sour cream and butter sauce they generously pour on top. I have zero shame in licking the plate after eating those pierogies. I encourage you to try them, but I must warn that you might develop an addiction!
Second on my list is Perla Homemade Delights in Parma. Although they don’t cook them up and serve them up for you right there, buying them in “bulk” allows me to indulge at home whenever I want. They are a little over $7 for a dozen and well worth the cost. My favorite is potato and cheddar, but they offer specials that include sweet potato pierogies. If you enjoy other Polish dishes, they also make homemade stuffed cabbage and sausage.
Lastly I’d like to call out a local favorite – Sokolowski’s University Inn. If you’ve never heard of them, you must not be from around here. I think they are a staple in Polish dining in Cleveland, and are nestled in the Tremont area. Sokolowsky’s is set up cafeteria style, so you can choose from a variety of options that include fried fish, stuffed cabbage, sausage and kielbasa and of course, pierogies. They serve them up with the right amount of butter and onions – which means A LOT – and sour cream on the side. Be prepared to go back for seconds, as they are that good. You get a good value for your money, at no more than $10 for a pierogi dinner.
So if pierogies alone weren’t enough, I have found other ways to support my “unhealthy” addiction to these dough and potato treats – races. Okay, okay- hear me out. What better way to consume pierogies than to run for them!? There are not one, but two races in Cleveland dedicated to pierogies.
Slavic Village Pierogi Dash: June 8, 2014.
Proceeds benefit the Slavic Village neighborhood AND you get pierogies and smokies at the finish line. Double score! Keep in mind that when I ran it two years ago it was 90 degrees, so the last thing I needed was to chow down on pierogies. So delicious though!
Parma Run for the Pierogies: July 5, 2014.
Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society Parma Area Relay for Life team. In addition to awards, hot, buttery pierogies will also be served!