Introducing the Polish Taco, at Happy End in Greenpoint
One of my favorite Polish spots in Greenpoint is Happy End, an ancient lunch counter just north of the Saint Anthony of Padua Cathedral. There's a room in front with a snaking counter with stools along it. In the back, find a small dining room, with a TV near the ceiling tuned to Spanish-language cable. Why? Who knows.
After eating there regularly for years, I finally stumbled on the entrée called potato pancake with goulash. I'd never ordered it before, due to the excellence of the place's smoked kielbasy, and their potato-cheese pierogies.
When it arrived, my friends and I let out small gasps -- it looked exactly like some sort of rustic mutant taco. A potato pancake much bigger and thinner than most had been wrapped around a serving of all-meat goulash, maybe more like a southern Mexican quesadilla with a hand-patted masa wrapper than a taco. The texture of the pancake was crisp and squishy at the same time, the meat stew garlicky and mellow. Accompanied by a cloud of sour cream, it was a steal at $8, which also included a trio of salads virtually indistinguishable from each other.
Of course, we had the kielbasy, too, and a couple dozen pierogies. What a meal, and it ended up costing only $32 for all of us. Even if you don't live around there, Happy End is well worth the trek.
924 Manhattan Avenue
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