Short Order: Pierogi Mountain
Pierogi Mountain set up shop right next to The Hills Market Downtown at 105 N. Grant Ave. You might remember the address as the one-time home of Grass Skirt, the legendary local tiki bar. These days, gone are the Polynesian accents. What remains is a timeless, cozy spot, something akin to a friendly pub with a neighborhood feel. As the name indicates, the joint offers up pierogi, and pierogi in a mind-numbing array of flavors, all at $2 a pop.
When it comes to pierogi, we’re basically talking about potato ravioli, right? The pasta pockets have Eastern European roots, and are typically filled with mashed potatoes and served with sautéed onions and sour cream. Here, Potato Cheddar is the starting point, because it’s a purist’s pierogi. And the kitchen delivers a tender crescent filled corner to corner with a smooth blend of cheesy potatoes: firm, not runny. Thats a win. But we can kick it up a notch: Jalapeño White Cheddar. The jalapeños aren’t particularly hurtful, they provide a little spike and texture to add interest.
Those might be good starting points, but then venture into the land of Bacon, Date & Balsamic Pierogi. There’s cream cheese in the mix, too. Its sweet-savory characteristics make a good foil and add variety to the experience.
But best of all: Grippo’s BBQ. This one’s name tags a legendary Cincinnati potato chip maker. And the pierogi variant is also a vegan option (if you needed that). AND it’s fried. The Grippo’s crescent is packed with a potato mix that combines Grippo’s signature kick and smokiness. In terms of seasoning, it’s hard to achieve smokiness through a powder. Usually, it’s something that takes . . . actual smoke. But the Grippo’s accent provides the magic that pervades the entire pocket. Add the sour cream, and you’ve got a soft, pillowy chip with dip.
Nothing gold can stay. Pierogi Mountain changes up its pierogi flavors on the regular. That’s not bad news, though, as every trial has turned out likable. It also offers a menu that extends well beyond the pierogi, and it stays on-theme with Pot Roast, Paprikash and Stroganoff. You’ll find a full bar for lingering, and its welcoming crew open every day from 11a.m. until 11 p.m.
For more information, visit pierogimountain.com.