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“A fantastic experience!”
Review of Cafe Polonia - CLOSED

Cafe Polonia
Cuisines: Polish
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
New Hartford, New York
Level Contributor
164 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience!”
Reviewed 29 October 2012

I chose this restaurant because our friends who were traveling with us love this type of food. She is an amazing cook so I hoped she would be pleased with this choice. She was, he was and so were we! The special soup of the day was pumpkin and I would like to kiss the cook as it was one of the most delicious versions of this type of soup I have ever had.
Our server was prompt and extremely friendly. It was a crazy busy day in Salem-the Sunday before Halloween so I knew we may have a wait on our hands. However we picked to wait to eat lunch until 2 so crowds were more manageable. They had run out of a few things on the menu which wasn't a problem as there were plenty of great options.
One of the staff stopped by to ask how we were enjoying the soup-we told him there must be someone's grandmother cooking in the kitchen as everything tasted homemade. His name was Michael Nyder and he was so friendly and very proud of the restaurant. We would have gladly stayed for dessert but needed to walk some after our hearty and delicious lunch.
Would definitely highly recommend this restaurant and would return should we be back in Salem.
What a gem!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lillious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

65 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    40
    14
    5
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Dover
Level Contributor
45 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Never tried the entrees because the service was so appallingly horrible.”
Reviewed 28 October 2012 via mobile

I have never walked out of a restaurant before. Cafe Polonia was the first, and will hopefully be the last. It's a shame because the food smelled and looked wonderful, and all I tried was the kielbasa twists appetizer (which, I will say, was excellent). However, after the terrible service we received, I didn't even want to stick around for the entrees. I paid for the appetizer and left.
When we walked in there was no host or hostess to greet us. We had to wait until a server was free to look at a menu and find out how long of a wait it would be. This was on the Saturday before Halloween in Salem so pretty much everywhere was packed. I am sure Cafe Polonia was busier than normal but that isn't an adequate excuse for how awful our experience was.
The server told us it would be a few minutes. It ended up taking almost 15 minutes and 3 different people to wipe down and set a small table for three. Finally we were seated and ordered some waters. My fiance wanted a beer but we were never given a drink menu, and quite frankly, we didn't want to end up waiting extra time for a drink (they didn't have a designated bartender that day). We ordered our appetizer and entrees at the same time.
While waiting for our appetizer, we noticed how the restaurant was a scene of mass chaos. Servers were screaming at each other, there was no one to greet the very long line forming at the door, and the person bringing food out from the kitchen had no idea which table to bring it to! It was a guessing game, with the server going around to multiple tables and asking if the plates were "theirs."
We ordered around 1:40pm and got our appetizer about 15 minutes later. Reasonable in a busy restaurant. It was delicious and we were looking forward to our entrees. And then we waited. And waited. We were assured multiple times by our server they were almost done because she "heard the kitchen screaming." Not necessarily a good sign, but we continued waiting. 2:30pm rolled around (50 minutes after we ordered) and the server bringing food out from the kitchen presents us with two entrees- neither of which we'd ordered. He offered no apology and simply walked away when we told him they weren't ours.
We then heard some screaming voices in the kitchen and what we gathered from the conversation was that our entrees had never even been cooked. At this point it had been about an hour since we ordered.
We were starving and anxious to try the food, but decided we did not want to give this establishment any more business. The service was absolutely unacceptable. I have never witnessed such mass chaos and confusion in a restaurant. Yes, I know they were extremely busy, but to not even receive an apology that our entrees weren't ready really pushed me over the edge. We left cash on the table for our appetizer and walked to a nearby drugstore to get some snacks.
The food seems wonderful so I wouldn't suggest you write Cafe Polonia off completely. However, think twice about dining there if they are busy. The service is the worst I've ever had, and I go out to eat frequently. If you do decide to go on a busy afternoon or evening, just be prepared for immense disappointment.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank katieanddougie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you shouldn't have your act together.”
Reviewed 28 October 2012 via mobile

I hardly write a "bad" review, but here we go.
We came Saturday before Halloween. It's the busiest season there & I understand this.
However, we had 8 pm reservations. We didn't receive food of any sort until well after 9PM! The waiter apologized once, then second time offered some bread, which was truly stale and aweful bread slices cut who knows when.
They were out of things left and right. The staff were frazzled, and avoidant. The staff practically yelled at people looking to drink at the bar.
The food when it suddenly arrived about 90 minutes later (!) was fine. We enjoyed trying polish food, and I rather liked the stuffed cabbage and stew.
The"chef" loudly took a walk to announce how hard he worked that day filling their orders, when not running his cleaning business (TMI) Another woman was bussing tables, managed to avoid us all this time, then passingly asked us "if everything was alright", after the food finally showed up!
We receive our food at the same time as a table which sat nearly a half hour after us. Then my husbands' appetizer was totally forgotten!
We could not wait to leave. Oh, and they "ran out of those black books", for the check..... Come on! By now half the tables were empty.
They never offered to comp. us with a dessert or something.
We have attended holidays and festivals many places, but this happens every year folks. Find out how other restaurants handle it! We will never come back, no matter how much we liked the food.
PS: The accordion player was nice.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank squirrelnibbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mount Tremper
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Yummy Polish deli”
Reviewed 16 October 2012

Try the perogies! made fresh to your liking. Wonderful!! You can also purchase imported foods from Europe that you won't find anywhere else.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Buffykins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Food vs service”
Reviewed 13 October 2012

Good food but Terrubke service. Avoid the waitress with the bad teeth. She is horrible! She seemed to be nice to the people next to us duo ordered a bottle. I'm Polish. Stay away from the stuffed cs bags. No flavor but the pierogies were great

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roseand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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