Pierogies, in their simplest form, are mashed potato dumplings. Though they originated in Central Europe, you can forego a trip across the Atlantic to satiate your appetite for them. Just head to Findlay Market where Sarah Dworak, owner and founder of Babushka Pierogies, is serving up potato & cheese pierogies—and more.
Dworak’s stand is next to/part of Grandma Debbies. Growing up in a heavy Polish population in Cleveland, pierogies were commonplace. It was actually Dworak’s grandma (a.k.a. babushka) that taught her how to make them. But these days, it’s something of a dying art.
Babushka Pierogies’ first day of business was July 27, 2012 at a Final Friday event at Park + Vine. From there, Dworak took her pierogies around town, popping up at various events and at Findlay Market on Saturdays. The business eventually evolved into a wholesale operation in both regional grocery stores and restaurants, along with its full-time stand at Findlay Market, which debuted over Memorial Day weekend in 2016.
Good thing the Queen City has an appetite for dumplings of deliciousness.
In order to keep up with the demand, Dworak has (over the years) been forced (in a good way) to explore the local incubator kitchen scene. She started in Covington, in the space that the Grateful Grahams founder runs. But since the Findlay Kitchen opened (roughly two years ago), Dworak has moved her operation there. And it makes sense, as it’s only a hop, skip, and jump away from her permanent stand.
(Note: The majority of the pictures in the gallery above were taken at Findlay Kitchen.)
The Pierogi-Making Process
1. Make a filling (e.g. potato with cheddar cheese)
2. Mix and sheet dough
3. Form and press out pierogi from dough
4. Boil pierogi in water to cook
Okay, so yeah, that’s a very distilled version of what to do. For the full recipe, here ya go.
As far as what comes next, we know two things. First, you should plan a trip to Findlay Market to try these pierogies. Second, keep your eyes peeled for the evolution of Babushka Pierogies into a full-on, fast-casual Eastern European bistro and production facility. Nothing is cemented on this front just yet, but that’s the hope.
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Babushka Pierogies is located at Findlay Market (1801 Race Street, 45202).