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
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.
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.
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