Skinnytato Polish Restaurant
615 Johnson St.
This may be a bit premature, considering this was my first visit to Skinnytato, but I think I just found a new favourite restaurant!
I have read all the reviews for Skinnytato, and I have even walked past the restaurant many times, usually on my way to Lotus Pond. I was downtown around 11 a.m. this morning and suddenly I had a craving for sauerkraut and Skinnytato popped into my mind, assuming they served it because it’s a Polish restaurant.
I walked in to the tiny little restaurant, and the two owners greeted me. I heard them speaking Polish so that was a good first impression. The interior is clean, sleek, and interesting painted brick/stone walls. The tables were nice and the chairs were comfortable. The lady asked if I wanted anything to drink, and she started brewing me some fresh coffee.
The owners, I’m assuming they are a couple, are very warm and welcoming. The menu was simple, but I much prefer a menu with less on it than a crowded menu. I was happy to see a lot of vegetarian friendly options and gluten free items. I decided on the potato pancake with sauerkraut and mushroom stuffing, which came with my choice of two salads. I chose the Polish salad and the European potato salad.
I didn’t know my meal came with soup so I was pleasantly surprised when the man brought me a cup of soup. It was green, and it took me a while to discern the flavour, I thought it might be split green pea. She informed me that it was green pea soup. The flavours were very delicate and perfectly seasoned. It tasted like homemade soup cooked with love.
My main dish came and it looked really good. The portion was just right, not too big not too small, just enough to savour every bite. The potato pancake had a pleasing consistency and it was stuffed full of an onion, mushroom and sauerkraut mix. The sauerkraut was mild but still full of flavour. There wasn’t an overpowering vinegar taste so I appreciated that.
I don’t even like potato salad but this was really nice. Nice small diced potatoes, eggs, and pickles with a mayonnaise dressing, and something crunchy like apples? The Polish beet salad was nice and soft too and on the sweeter side. I was impressed with both salads because of their humble appearance, but I know it took a lot of skill to make them. Their flavours were very balanced and so fresh. This is home-cooking at its best, she obviously knows what she is doing. I told her that her food was better than the food I ate in Krakow.
I look forward to returning to try out some of the other dishes like the pierogies or cabbage rolls, and some of the desserts. Or the beer, a nice cold Zywiec.
I feel passionate about supporting restaurants like this. This is real food cooked by people who care about their customers. Sure, it’s not as cheap as the new Burger King or McDonalds, but those restaurants don’t serve you real food, but they charge you like it is. Skinnytato is healthy, wholesome, humble, and comforting. It’s definitely worth going to for the food, and the service feels very friendly like you are eating at their house.
This lunch was a highlight for me, eating out in Victoria. Give it a go!