Decadent Polish fare at Stash Cafe in Montreal, Canada

I was greeted by the lush melody of the Piano Man’s music skills the moment I walked into Stash Cafe. This restaurant is fancy, but not pretentious. It’s a little on the pricey side, but I thought it was good value all the same.

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Since it’s spring at the moment, the windows were open and you can look out onto the colourful cobbled streets if you get the right table. 

Although I’ve had Polish food a few times, I’m not really all that familiar with it. All I know is that the few times I’ve had it - I’ve liked it. After listening to the friendly waiter’s recommendation, we decided on the table d’hôte: which comes with a choice of appetiser, main, dessert and tea or coffee. 

It was Friday night and I was hungry. 

For the appetiser, I decided on the barszcz (not a clue in the world on how to pronounce that, and the waiter corrected me without making me feel too awkward). My partner in crime had the soup of the day: chicken and barley

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Both soups were divine, hearty and tasted like they were good-for-you. I had half and then my partner in crime and I did a switcheroo. 

Probably not the way you’re supposed to do it, but I wanted to try as many things as possible. It was hard to pick my favourite between the two. But, I love barszcz; and have no idea how to make it (yet), so I’d recommend that over the chicken soup. 

And then it was time for the mains.

I chose the menu de débutant: a mixed plate of pierogi, placki, krokiet, and bigos (vegetarian options available). This dish is perfect if you want to try a little bit of everything. 

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I LOVED it. It was real good and I have no complaints whatsoever about any of the items pictured above.

On a side note, the krokiet was unusual for me. When I looked at it I was expecting a hash brown type thing. But that was no hash brown. That was the king of of hash browns. I have no idea how they made it or what’s in it - but yes, I was pleasantly surprised. 

My partner in crime ordered the rôti de sanglier: a roast of wild boar served with braised red cabbage and potatoes with a prune and red wine sauce. 

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Wild boar is not something you find everyday on a restaurant menu. It’s not like any other meat I’ve ever tasted. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but it is different. The wild boar was cooked to perfection and I throughly enjoyed it. 

Despite the novelty of the dish, I personally preferred the menu de débutant and would recommend that to other diners. 

And then it was time for a sweet finish. I switched the fruit cobbler on the table d’hôte for a hazelnut cake, and my partner in crime had the apple strudel and crepe with cheese. 

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All three were really good - but the hazelnut cake was out of this world. It was decadent and filling and enough for two people. But I had it on my own - and as awesome as it was, it was just way too much for me. 

I left Stash Cafe with a food high. It’s the perfect place for a romantic date or a nice sit down dinner with the family. 

Big compliments to the chef. 

I’ll be back. 

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