Sunday, March 29, 2009

Perogy Dinner and Bake Sale

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Location: St. John Cultural Centre - 10611 110 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Price: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Children under 10 - Cash Only
Phone Number: 780-425-9692
Date/Time: One Friday Per Month from 5 pm to 7 pm
Next Dinner: Friday, April 3, 2009

The first time we decided to go to a perogy dinner we were bursting with excitement! Would it be a plated dinner? Would it be a buffet? Would we only get perogies? We were sure in for a treat!

Parking wasn't exactly the easiest to find, but being on residential streets, we were able to find a spot just a block away. The first thing we noticed walking into the cultural centre hall was the age group of the majority of people there. Have you ever walked into a bar and felt like the oldest person there? That was not how we felt! We were surrounded by "babas" and "dids"*!

It wasn't fine dining by any means. There were about 20 round tables in the hall, and it's first come first serve. When we arrived around 5:30, the place was already pretty packed! We found a lady who was nice enough to share the table with us.

There was a bar at the front offering alcoholic beverages, but we were too excited about the food to order any. If you're looking to drink, they range from $4.75 and up.

The mystery was solved. There was a food station at the entrance of the hall. We lined up and picked up our utensils, plates, and napkins. We walked down the line and started piling our plates! We started with a Caesar Salad, Borscht, 2 kinds of perogies - cottage cheese and cheddar, and sausages with sourkraut. At the side table, there was sour cream and fake bacon bits. The best part though, was the giant tub of butter with onions.

Even though it was a buffet, we couldn't help but load our plates as much as we could. And then, the moment came - the first bite of perogy. The mix of sour cream, butter, onions, and bacon bits was good! We could instantly tell the difference between these perogies and store-bought brands. These were definately baba made! Apparently, they have perogy making gatherings! Babas come together and wrap each perogy with lots of baba love. No wonder they tasted so delicious!

The Caesar salad was pretty tasty, especially for a buffet. If you get there early enough, it actually has real bacon bits on it! (Try to get there right at 5) The soup does vary each month, and it's individually packaged for easy serving. The extra dish is normally a meat dish, and can range from sausages to pork loin to fish.

After a dozen perogies, we felt like we were carrying a 5 lb baby. But there was more! You get coffee or tea, and dessert to end your meal. But dessert goes fast! If you want chocolate pudding vs vanilla pudding, make sure you don't wait until the very end.

There's always a bake sale at the back of the hall. Their cinnamon buns come in a package of 6 - again, homemade and fresh, for only $4! You can also get frozen perogies and cabbage rolls. You can pick up a price sheet when you enter the hall.

Amanda's thoughts: Vancouver doesn't seem to have as large a Ukrainian community as Edmonton so, even though I have always loved perogies, I had never really tasted authentic Ukrainian food. These perogies made me wonder how I was able to eat to store bought perogies for so long! The atmosphere is a bit a lacking though so I recommend bringing some friends with you to bump up the fun quotient. The food will more than make up for it!

Carly's thoughts: I'm not a big fan of perogies, but when I tasted these, I was in love! Personally, my favorite was the cottage cheese. I find it really cheesy, and you can actually taste the filling rather than just dough. One hint on the butter and onions - make sure you drain the onions or you're left with a plate with a pool of butter! This dinner is not for the faint of heart, make sure you come with a big appetite and loose pants for comfort!

Overall, $12 is a great deal for getting a salad, soup, entree, dessert, and coffee or tea (a 4-course meal). We have heard of other perogy dinners, but a lot of them are plated rather than buffet, for the same price. If you are looking for a satisfying meal on a Friday night, come check it out!

We'll be there this Friday, so look for us! Trust us, you'll know which table belongs to us!

*babas & dids mean grandmas and grandpas in Ukranian


We (Amanda and Carly) have always loved to eat. In fact, we've always joked that food was the tie that binds our friendship. When Amanda moved from Vancouver to Edmonton to join Carly in this freezer, it was only natural that we bonded over food in Edmonton.

Eating in Edmonton feels different than Vancouver. There are more smaller restaurants to enjoy but you have to go looking for them. In the span of 4 months, we realized that there are so many out there that a lot of people don't know about.

We pondered over writing a blog strictly about food, but quickly realized that we've come to find a lot of places to do different things both during the week and on the weekends.

Imagine eating as much and going out as often as we do, it's definately not easy on the wallets! We started to look for deals and now we want to share our finds!

We hope you enjoy this blog and will spread the word to your family and friends. Edmonton is really a diamond in the rough!