While visiting Edmonton in February I became aware that they have a large Eastern European population. I decided that I wanted to eat some eastern European food, if that was the case. I was staying at the Super8 in the south end of Edmonton so I began asking around at the hotel front desk, the gas station, and at the grociery store and one answer came back in common: Wendy's Gourmet Perogies.
With that name, I immediately thought of a very fancy (read expensive) place that was Americanized. I asked the manager at the hotel to tell me more about this place and he said that it was not a fancy place at all, in fact, it was in an industrial park. That I had to go to experience it. So, feeling adventurous, I invited my Canadian host to lunch at Wendy's.
Sure enough, the place was as he described it. An industrial park that would make most people keep right on driving and looking for another place to eat. I had to fight the desire to keep on driving and turned into the parking lot. My local guests were shocked that I was actually thinking of eating there. I assured them that this place was highly recommended and they would not be sorry if they came inside and gave it a chance.
We walked in and I have to tell you that my heart sank. The place is not much to look at and it was empty. I do have to be clear that it was 2:30 p.m. when we walked in but I expected to find at least a few people there. But I found no one. I was beginning to doubt the recommendation by now.
We were greeted personally be Wendy who took the time to explain the menu and the different specials she had. She was such an engaging person that we soon began to forget about the drab decorations and began to think about our lunch. I told Wendy to order for us and to give us a variety. She looked at me and said, "you will have the 8 perogies with sausage and sauerkraut." She looked at my friend who is older and smaller build than I and said, "you will enjoy the 6 perogies with meatballs and your wife will have the 3 perogies with kielbasa sausage."
I had to laugh out loud at her personality. She knew what we wanted just by looking at us. I then shot back, "what if 8 perogies isn't enough for me?" She answered immediately, "then I will keep making perogies for you until you are full, on the house!" Now she had my attention. If she believed so much in her product that I was not only going to like it but that I would be satisfied by the portions then I was at the right place.
After a short wait, we were served our plates. Wendy had done a mixture of 3 different types of perogies for us so we could get a taste of the place. I took one bite and I was hooked! They were incredible. Soon our apprehension turned to enthusiasm as we began to compare our dining experience with each other. Before we knew it the physical aspect of the building didn't matter one bit because the food was to die for.
I paid $9 CAN for my meal and my friends paid $8 and $6 for theirs. It was well worth it. I recommend this place for a very casual lunch with a group of friends who feel adventurous. I do not recommend this place for any type of celebration dinner where the atmosphere plays a large role. But if you 're looking for a good lunch at a decent price, try Wendy's Gourmet Perogies. I hope to have an excuse to go back to Edmonton so that I can try her food again.
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