Northeast Times

It’s a pierogi party!

Pierogi Week kicks off at the Green Rock Tav­ern, 2546 E. Le­high Ave., on Feb. 26.

Green Rock Tav­ern, loc­ated in Kens­ing­ton, is cur­rently cel­eb­rat­ing Pierogi Week. Jam­ie Ma­hon, co-own­er of Green Rock Tav­ern, sits in the chair be­hind his cre­ations.

If you have a hanker­ing for some pi­quant piero­gies, it is well-es­tab­lished that Phil­adelphia’s river­wards are the place to find a fa­vor­ite bite of this Pol­ish del­ic­acy — es­pe­cially dur­ing Green Rock Tav­ern’s Pierogi Week, which takes place from Feb. 26 through March 4. 

With the area’s strong Pol­ish roots and cul­ture, it’s no sur­prise that piero­gies are such a hot com­mod­ity. And with young­er gen­er­a­tions mov­ing in­to the com­munity and im­mers­ing them­selves in loc­al tra­di­tions, piero­gies have been find­ing an even broad­er fan base.

At the Green Rock Tav­ern, 2546 E. Le­high Ave., the an­nu­al Pierogi Week brings out the best in piero­gies. From unique fla­vors like its pork, pea­nut but­ter and Nu­tella piero­gies, to more com­mon styles like potato and cheese and sauerkraut piero­gies, Green Rock has dreamed up new tastes for every­one.

And in keep­ing with Pol­ish tra­di­tion, each vari­ation al­ways con­tains pota­toes.

Jam­ie Ma­hon, who owns the Green Rock Tav­ern with his sis­ter, Nicole Ma­hon, is pleased with the weeklong neigh­bor­hood cel­eb­ra­tion they have cre­ated.

“At this bar, we take simple food and we make it good,” said Ma­hon, who has been host­ing Pierogi Week for three years.

The event also oc­curs at a gen­er­ally slow time of year for the tav­ern, so it al­lows the own­ers to bring in new faces and meet new friends. 

“My sis­ter and I have been here for five years now, and the neigh­bor­hood is fi­nally get­ting ac­climated to us,” he said. “They know we’re not go­ing away. More than half of our cli­ents are from the neigh­bor­hood.”

It also al­lows Ma­hon and his sis­ter to show­case what they do best.

ldquo;I’m shocked no one has done this be­fore. It’s a pre­dom­in­antly Pol­ish neigh­bor­hood and it just seems ob­vi­ous,” he said. “And I’m not even Pol­ish.”

And loc­al, Ma­hon said, is the way he and his sis­ter like to keep things around the bar.

“A good ma­jor­ity of our beer is loc­al, es­pe­cially the craft stuff. I’d say that ninety per­cent of that comes from with­in forty miles. A lot of it comes from Phil­adelphia Brew­ing Com­pany. Ken­zinger is our num­ber-one-selling beer here, and that’s be­cause it’s fresh. They drop it off, and with­in four hours, I tap it and serve it. People rarely get to have a beer that’s this fresh.”

The same can be said for the piero­gies offered dur­ing the weeklong cel­eb­ra­tion.

“We’ve been mak­ing piero­gies in-house since day one, and we use fresh meats and as many loc­al in­gredi­ents as we can,” Ma­hon ad­ded.

He and his sis­ter reg­u­larly brain­storm new fla­vors. They also try to stay sens­it­ive to their pat­rons’ needs — for ex­ample, there are six ve­get­ari­an piero­gies.

“Nicole is the heart and soul. She’s a ma­chine,” Ma­hon said. 

The two split the work of mak­ing piero­gies. “I make the filling, she rolls the dough, stuffs them and crimps them,” Ma­hon said. “Once that’s done, I boil them, rack dry them and wrap them.”

It’s a labor-in­tens­ive pro­cess, and be­cause of that, the Ma­hons stopped of­fer­ing the dish on their daily menu.

However, be­cause their hand­made piero­gies are high in de­mand and of­ten not avail­able, Pierogi Week gets all the busier.

“Every night dur­ing the week, the place is packed,” Ma­hon said.  “We don’t take re­ser­va­tions. The kit­chen opens at 4 p.m. and shuts at 11 p.m., and that’s it.” 

Dur­ing Pierogi Week, pat­rons will be able to take ad­vant­age of a $10 spe­cial fea­tur­ing a heap­ing serving of piero­gies, pota­toes and a pint of Phil­adelphia Brew­ing beer.

And there will be a new cre­ation: pierogi ho­agies. Ma­hon said these new mam­moth sand­wiches will be an in­tense com­bin­a­tion of foods: piero­gies, kiel­basa, kraut, pota­toes and more. 

The sand­wich will weigh in at a few pounds. 

Some tav­ern pat­rons already are an­ti­cip­at­ing Pierogi Week. One, who iden­ti­fied him­self as Ash, had only good things to say about the piero­gies and the tav­ern.

“It’s a cel­eb­ra­tion of the good people, good food and good booze offered at Green Rock. It’s a great way to meet new people. I love Pierogi Week,” said Ash. 

But Pierogi Week isn’t the only time to taste these per­fect pil­lows of potato from Port Rich­mond. Throughout the oth­er 51 weeks of the year, river­wards res­id­ents can get their fill at a pleth­ora of pierogi-packed es­tab­lish­ments.

Some fa­vor­ites of the loc­als in­clude Donna’s Bar at 2732 E. Al­legheny Ave.; Czerw’s Kiel­basy at 3370 Tilton St.; New Wave Caf&ea­cute; at 2620 E. Al­legheny Ave.; and Hinge Caf&ea­cute; and Art House, at 2652 E. Somer­set St., which even of­fers a pierogi of the day.

With Port Rich­mond be­ing some­what of a pierogi mecca, there’s a place of­fer­ing them in al­most every corner of the neigh­bor­hood, every day of the week. ••

Pierogi Week will be held at the Green Rock Tav­ern, 2546 E. Le­high Ave., from Feb. 26 through March 4. There will be 12 vari­et­ies of piero­gies and loc­al brews from the Phil­adelphia Brew­ing Com­pany. Call 215-203-0840 for more in­form­a­tion. 

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