Sunday, December 14, 2008

Review: Eva's European Sweets

Name: Eva's European Sweets
Address: 1305 Milton Ave, Syracuse, NY
Neighborhood: Far West-Side
Cuisine: Polish, European, Pastries
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11 AM to 8 PM, Friday 11 AM to 9 PM, Saturday 12 PM to 9 PM
Parking: On-street
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Takes Reservations: No
Alcohol: Beer & Wine Only

Despite only opening in 1997, Eva's feels like it has been located at a storefront on Milton Ave for generations. The interior feels a bit more like a cafe than a restaurant, but has that sit-down and homey quality to it - complete with Eastern European knickknacks and paintings on the walls.

The menu is really unique and has an extensive list of European and Polish specialties like Goulash, Potato Pancakes, Goloabkis, and Hunters Stew. The beer list should also not go unnoticed and features an interesting variety of European beers from Poland, Russian, Ukraine, and Germany. (Note: Eva's should really be given some much deserved credit for having these kinds of beers here, because most, if not all of them, you can't find anywhere in Syracuse).

There are two staples you MUST get when ordering for the first time at any Polish restaurant... say it with me: kielbasa and pierogis.

The order...

Zywiec Porter (16 oz): $4.50
Kielbasa Sandwich with onions and sauerkraut on marble rye: $7.75
Pierogis with sauteed onions, bacon, sauerkraut & butter: $6.95
Slice of Banana Mousse: $3.50
Total Money Spent with Tax & Tip: $29.52

The porter was good - a heavy, Polish beer with a slight chocolate and coffee taste to it.

The kielbasa sandwich on marble rye (served with pickles and homemade mustard and garnished with a cherry tomato, olives, and parsley) was the best sandwich that I've had since starting this blog - juicy kielbasa with a crisp and snappy casing combined with the sweet onions and tangy sauerkraut. It was really hard to put this sandwich down and try anything else. The homemade mustard was a bit more like mayonnaise and horseradish than mustard but gave the sandwich an overall, nice kick. And I liked the pickles too - way better than that place that claims to serve awesome ones...

The pierogies were delicious - sauerkraut boiled in a soft, doughy casing and topped with parsley, onions, sauerkraut, and crispy bacon. I had never had pierogies that weren't filled with potatoes before, so these were a nice change of pace. Very filling too.

Aside from the actual restaurant, Eva's also serves their own homemade pastries as well. The pastry menu changes daily, so you'll have to see what's at the display case for yourself. On this stop, there was a nice range of chocolate and fruit cakes available. I went with a slice of Banana Mousse to-go.

The mousse was very light and airy, filled with chunks of banana and topped with a chocolate frosting. Mmmm. No picture for this one... mainly because I ate it so fast when I got home.

By no means is this fine dining, but overall, I thought Eva's was excellent and essentially flawless: a nice variety of traditional food, a nice drink list, and a homey and comfortable atmosphere with extremely friendly service. It's even good enough for a date, but more importantly has that sense of home style atmosphere where you almost feel like you're part of the family while dining. Not a bad feeling to walk away from after only my first visit. Welcome, Eva's, to my list of Syracuse's best dining experiences.

My rating of Eva's European Sweets:

Your rating of Eva's European Sweets:


Lonnie said...

Every time Dave and I eat at Eva's, we decide all over again that it just might be the best restaurant in Syracuse. Every detail is right: delicious home-made food that is consistently superb (year after year!), lovely presentation, friendly service, delightful decor, the right lighting, happy diners, possibly the best beer selection in town, home-made desserts of the highest caliber plated with flair. Soup to nuts, appetizer to sweets, this place has it all. No off-putting music, by the way. Oh, and you won't break the bank going here, either. It's not super fine dining (you can get that elsewhere in Syracuse) but it is by far the best value. Long live Eva's!

Andrea said...

I love Eva's Emporium I eat there as much a I can it is my favorite place and I am not even polish. I always ge the pierogies. Ruskie's are my favorite. The service is great and the desserts are all homemade and very tasty. Prices are comparable to other places but the food is not as it ROCKS!!

Robert Platt Bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Platt Bell said...

We just returned from there with two Polish friends. A tough crowd to please, as they tend to say about any Polish food, "Well, it ain't like Mama made it" (perhaps not with the southern accent). But they loved it, which says a lot.

I had nearly the same meal pictured here and the Zywiec Porter (9.5% alcohol content) was very impressive. The Kiebasi were great as were the Perogi. And the desserts....

This place is a real hidden gem in Syracuse, and I'm ashamed to say that in the decades I lived in the area, never discovered it until now.

If you live in Syracuse, or are visiting Syracuse, or can even spell Syracuse, you have to go to Eva's!

RICHARD said...

I have been to Polish Restaurants in Chicago, Clevland, and Detroit no doubt Eva's is the very best. I am so glad my daughter went to Med School at Upstate so I can go to Eva's 20 times a year when I visit. With the combination of food, Ziewiec Porter, and atmosphere one would think they were in an Oid Town Warsaw cafe.
Richard from Michigan