May 3 2015

Polish shops in Galway. Grocery, Bakery and more!

Posted by     6 Comments    Posted under: Kitchen

SONY DSC

There are quite a few Polish shops in Galway. I have popped in and out of most of them, doing the odd price check on a few items but am always that little bit hesitant to go wild and buy lots of stuff, because let’s face it, my Polish sucks.

Several months ago, a friend of ours brought us a box full of Polish Doughnuts to give our kids a sugar high they have still not come down from. She had stopped in to a tiny little Polish bakery called The Little Teapot in the Liosbán shopping centre. (Take first RIGHT after the Ulster Bank).

SONY DSC

So a few weeks later, the Chef, always interested in checking out the competition, popped in to see what they had on offer and he was quite impressed himself. These doughnuts, are a far cry from the Krispy Kremes you might be pining for. As a matter of fact, they aren’t really anything like the traditional sugar-sprinkled doughnuts-with-a-hole you might already love.

SONY DSC

They are pillows of jam (or custard) filled goodness, best eaten fresh from the fryer. This little bakery is worth a visit.

SONY DSC

They have a few tables and chairs, so you can have a cuppa coffee when you go. They have a host of other baked goods on offer too and everything is priced quite affordably.

SONY DSC

Now, seeings as you are in the neighbourhood, right out in front, just a few doors down from the Ulster Bank along the main Tuam road (N-17), you will see a sign for what looks to be just another pizza place in Galway.

SONY DSC

Be adventurous and pop in for lunch or supper sometime. Now, when you walk in the door, you will notice a decent amount of tables and way back in the back, the first thing you are going to spy is the massive Pizza oven and a guy tossing the dough around. Ok – so their pizza is pretty excellent.

SONY DSC

Not quite as good as our favourite Pizza place, or our second favourite pizza place, but definitely worth your time and money. We like to get the large pizza (20″) as they make 3-pizzas-in-one for us and this suits all the tastebuds in our family. Be warned, the Diablo is hot-n-spicy – for real.

BUT the real reason to stop in here for a bite to eat, is the cafeteria style food they are serving in the back. Yes – the harsh glow of the yellow food lamps do not do it justice so I’m a gonna let my words do the work here.

The soup, never the dull-n-dreary ‘veg soup’ we still see in so many Irish eateries, changes on a regular basis but their light creamy broth loaded with al-dente broccoli is just a damn fine soup.

There are a few different sauces lined up to go along with whatever meat you choose as your staple. The choices range from breaded and fried Pork Chops (yes they are excellent), chicken breast pounded thin and smothered in sumptuous mozzarella, and a few other chicken and pork offerings.

Cabbage is a big staple in the Polish diet, but not as we know it. This place, puts on a display of five (possibly more) types of slaw and salads for the taking, and a couple of beetroot salads too. Because they are in Ireland, they are smart enough to keep spuds on the menu, offering mashed and roasties … which were just ok – nothing at all to write home about, but the sauces and gravies they offered alongside were good enough to make up for this. As an example, lunch for two adults, including a glass of their homemade mixed fruit (quite tart) juice offering was just under €20. You can’t beat it with a stick.

Now, I am sure you are wondering, why on earth am I blogging about a middle-of-the-road cafeteria-style restaurant located in the middle of a busy little industrial estate. There is nothing sexy about this right?

Wrong. Since I moved home to Galway (in 2008) the food scene has blossomed and bloomed in the loveliest of ways. Restaurants and cafés have popped up and a few  local and very talented chefs are interested in banding together to promote our city as the food capital of Ireland.

But a few high-end restaurants and over-sharing chefs, does not a strong city food-scene build. John McKenna was chatting with Keith Finnegan on the radio a few weeks back and he said that the reason Galway’s food scene was thriving, was because we had a lot of middle-of-the-road restaurants.

None of us eat dine at the fancy places once a week. When we go out to eat, with our without the brats, we want honest-to-goodness sustenance at a price that will not break the bank and the assurance we don’t have to do the dishes.

Sure, we want local, and more importantly want to see the restaurants support local farmers, but the reality is, middle of the road restaurants are here to stay and most of us love ’em.

SONY DSC

Now, to wrap up my little spiel on the Polish goodness on offer in our little city-by-the-sea, gather up your shoppings bags and head to one of the more recently opened Polo Stores. They are loads of them in Dublin, and according to one of the lassies who works with Ron at Morton’s of Galway, this is one of the best Polish Grocery shops in town.

Polo Stores Galway

Unit 4, Tower House,

Tuam Road. Galway.

(091) 441 – 044

SONY DSC

Now, I know … the packaging and labels are all in Polish, but trust me, that should not stop you from popping in for a look. There are a few things in this shop you need to buy.

Ron asked his co-worker (Marta) to meet us at the Polo Store last week and she gave us a translated tour of the shop. She.was.brilliant.

Right inside the door, the first thing she picked up was a packet of spice powder for a quick (3-day) pickle. Just add water and cucumber.

Right beside that, was a packet of dehydrated beetroot. I have ground this with my mortar and pestle and added it to mayonnaise and yoghurt. Oh-em-gee……delicious and, eh, pink!

SONY DSC

Moving right along the aisles, the question begged ‘why are there over 20 different jars of pickles?’ Well, apparently, aside from a few that have chilis in the jar for a bit of extra heat, the only real difference is the brand label. Just made by a different company – nothing to be afraid of.

Marta’s advice was simple – if in doubt, look at the picture on the packet. For the most part, it tells you what the product is. My personal experience, in all the Polish shops in town, is to just ask for help. Clearly, and if you are a woman you will understand, this is the easiest thing to do. If you are a man however, it is kind of like asking for directions – and you might end up spreading shoe polish on your toast.

Speaking of toast ………

SONY DSC

Sweet jeebus …. this little tub of mushroom paste … on toast, or a cracker, or added into a soup that needs flavour.  Definitely a great addition to a sandwich too.

SONY DSC

Admittedly, we already have bag of chicken hearts in the freezer, but where else would you find this in Galway?

SONY DSC

The frozen plums are perfect for your morning smoothie if that’s the kind of way you roll, but we love to roast ’em with honey and set them atop a bit of ice-cream.

SONY DSC

The green label on the fresh soft cheese packets is low fat and the red is full fat.

Both packets are just excellent in flavour and price, and while you are in the refrigerated section look for little packets of fresh yeast (less than €1 per pack) and their Pork lard is pretty excellent quality too. It’s the makes you want to make a bit of pastry right away kinda-lard.

Ok – so this is the most I can offer on a rainy Sunday morning from Galway this bank holiday weekend. The main thing is to get in there and try something new.

We are headed over to the Claregalway Sunday Market to peruse the goodies on offer this week!

Thanks for stopping in for a read.

WiseMóna

Like this post? Subscribe for free by email to get notified of new posts.

6 Comments + Add Comment

  • Mona …do please share what you do with the chicken hearts …I need to know ..enjoy the {wet ;-( } weekend holiday.

    • Hi Sarah,

      We usually just grill them on skewers after soaking in a bit of soy sauce or a spicy Korean chilis paste.
      The kids love ’em cause they are tiny and tender and take no cooking.

  • Great post, Mona. You’re so right – eating out is about so much more than those high end places we eat at twice a year as a treat. Good middle-of-the-road eateries at affordable prices encourage people to eat out. I love Polish food, which shares many similarities with Lithuanian food. I hope you don’t mind me putting a link on your blog, but here’s my recipe for soft, spongy doughnuts using the curd cheese (twarog) in the last photo. Not sure if they are the same as the ones you had at the bakery but they are divine!
    http://myfoododyssey.com/2015/03/03/curd-cheese-doughnuts-varskes-spurgos-recipe/

    • Hi June,
      No I am delighted with that link and my husband is MORE than excited to read it and make the doughnuts!
      Yes – Galway certainly does have a lot of middle of the road places that keep people coming back for more and you are right, they encourage people to eat out.
      Looking forward to finally meeting you (in person) in the midlands later this year June!

  • Just one thing, spuds are big in Poland too! Nearly every home cooked dinner has them, either mashed, whole, roasted or cooked in skins 🙂

    • Ah – good to know! I thought we were the only country with a daily love for the spuds!

Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
  • Contact Mona
Ron Wise About the Chef
You can't find the Chef here.
You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.

From The Kitchen

Larder360
Taco's Taqueria Galway
Papa Rich
Galway Shopping Christmas
Cava Wine Galway Wine Trail Campo Viejo

Buy the Book

The Chef and I

SHE WRITES, HE COOKS, THE KIDS MAKE A HUGE MESS

Click Here to Purchase

Best Food & Wine Blog (2012) Best Photo Blog (2012) Best Blog of a Journalist (2012) and Best OVERALL Blog (2012)

blog awards ireland

Top Food Blog

Top Food Blogs

Archives

Sound Cloud