Eva’s European Sweets Polish Restaurant in Syracuse, NY

My wife and I had to take a short trip to Syracuse (a one hour drive from Rochester) last Wednesday, so I took the opportunity to arrange for us to have dinner at that city’s only Polish restaurant, Eva’s European Sweets (photo above).

Eva’s European Sweets Polish Restaurant
1305 Milton Avenue
Syracuse, New York

4 Stars

Polish immigrant, Eva (spelled Ewa in Polish) Zaczynski, nee Marcinkowska, opened her desserts bakery in 1997 and gradually transformed it into a full-scale restaurant serving a wide variety of Polish and Eastern European ethnic foods. I had visited Eva’s many years previously as a side-trip on one of my solo visits to the Syracuse Polish Festival, but this time I brought along my piękna żona.

My non-Polish bride is not as familiar with Polish cuisine as myself, so as she scanned Eva’s extensive menu she asked for my help. I knew she would enjoy the breaded pork cutlets, popularly known in Germany and even in America as Schnitzel and as Kotlet Schabowy in Polish. It was served with red cabbage, pan-fried potatoes, and cucumber and tomato salad. My piękna żona enjoyed her dinner very much.

I ordered the Polish Platter, which included a gołąbek (a single gołąbki is properly called a gołąbek, cabbage stuffed with a rice and ground beef mixture), a serving of bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew), which is a melange of sauerkraut, cabbage, kielbasa, beef, ham, bacon and mushrooms, two pierogies (Polish dumplings) stuffed with potato and sauerkraut, and a kiełbasa (Polish sausage) link.

Above: My Polish Platter at Eva’s, clockwise from left to right: A gołąbek, bigos, sauerkraut, pierogies, and kiełbasa at the bottom.

My dinner was good, but I had a few quibbles. The gołąbek (pronounced gaw-WOAM-bek) filling was plentiful, but a bit bland and there was no tomato sauce topping. The bigos was very good, although not quite as good as my homemade recipe. The pierogies were tasty and the dough edges were chewy, just the way I like them, but they were quite small. The undersized, cut-in-half link of smoked kiełbasa was waaaaay over-fried. The above criticisms are minor, except for the kiełbasa. A meaty and properly-cooked kiełbasa portion would have erased all of the other minor objections. I do realize this was a sampler platter and that portions would be limited. However, I have nothing but sympathy for the poor patron who makes a full dinner of this cringeworthy over-fried kiełbasa (note: a “kiełbasa dinner” is on the menu).

Eva’s has a pleasant interior with many Polish-themed decorations. Outside dining is offered during the warm months, which I was looking forward to, but it was raining when we visited. The service was very prompt and friendly.

Overall, the experience at Eva’s was an enjoyable B to B+. I look forward to going back to Ewa’s in the future and trying the Placki (potato pancakes) and one of their authentic Polish desserts.

Polish restaurants are scarce here in Western and Central New York, so I appreciate that Eva’s has been able to survive and thrive for 25 years.

Postcript: The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” with chef, Guy Fieri, visited Eva’s European Sweets in 2013. Eva prepared Placki Hungarian Style in that episode.

Above: Eva Zaczynski, left, and her two children David and Karolina

21 thoughts on “Eva’s European Sweets Polish Restaurant in Syracuse, NY

  1. Thank you for opening up a Polish kitchen and sharing your dinner! Kielbasa glitches aside, looks delicious! Good to see Eva too, I’m sure she’ll be watching the grill a bit closer.
    Stay well brother, keep the count down going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth! I know Polish cooking pretty well, so I was probably a bit overcritical in my review of Eva’s “Polish Platter.” But I couldn’t imagine a Polish pani serving gołąbki without extra tomato sauce or hyper-fried kiełbasa to her dinner guests. Perhaps the cook in the kitchen was asleep at the wheel.

      Thanks, Lisa Beth, and you stay well, also!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David! I would really like to go back to Eva’s before the snow falls. There’s another Polish restaurant that’s 32 miles south of us in Geneseo that I’ve never been to that I would also like to try.
      By the way, I recently lost 20 lbs. as part of a diet regimen and aim to lose 10 more, so eating out at restaurants is counter-productive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, David. My plan is to get down to my “fighting weight” before I retire. The 60,000 steps I put in at work on the weekends is a great calorie burner and I won’t have that after I retire.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, LL! Polish cuisine is “comfort food” for me as well, having grown up on it. I’m curious if your husband grew up in the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn, which at one time had a heavy Polish population and lots of Polish shops and restaurants.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My husband told me that the area in Brooklyn where he was born, was the ‘Polish neighborhood.’ I will ask him if that area is called Greenpoint. He went to a Catholic school there, and was taught by “Polish nuns”. When he was around 9 years old, his family moved to Staten Island, where he lived until he went off to college. His college career was cut short by the war in Vietnam.

        It’s funny, my husband was born on the eastern side of the US, near the Atlantic Ocean, and I was born in California, just a few miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. According to Google maps, we were born almost three thousand miles apart. But when the time was right for both of us, we met in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure sounds like Greenpoint to me! I’ve never been to Greenpoint, but I hear its Polish character is mostly a memory these days, same as the former “Polish Town” neighborhood here in Rochester. It’s great that you and your husband were able to connect despite the initial distance. I met my bride while working together in a local hospital’s kitchen while in high school. My wife isn’t Polish but she knows the difference between good and excellent biała kiełbasa.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I asked my husband, and he said the neighborhood where he lived the first 9 years of his life is called Park Slope. They lived in the vicinity of 5th Avenue and 22nd Street, in a third floor walk up. He showed me on Google maps a picture of a corner store that used to belong to his grandfather, 70+ years ago.

        My husband and I met at work too, at a pharmaceutical company in Albuquerque. We were in our 50s though, a long ways from high school!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Many years ago Billy and I went to a small Polish restaurant in Greenpoint Brooklyn after an evangelism outreach there. We had kielbasa, pierogies, borscht and red cabbage. That’s from Billy’s recollection, and he said it only cost about $5 a meal! I remember the pierogies, and that I really enjoyed the meal. It was a long time ago. Your meal look’s scrumptious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I’ve always wanted to visit Greenpoint, although I understand it’s lost much of its Polish character at this point.

      Yup, Polish restaurant fare is relatively inexpensive, but a good dinner these days will cost about $15 as it did at Eva’s.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, I can’t converse in Polish but I did learn a few phrases that were helpful on our trip to Poland in 2007. I probably know about 50 words altogether. Yeah, they still have Polish school for kids here in Rochester.
      We’re doing fine, thanks, and I hope you and Nathan are doing well, also!

      Liked by 1 person

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