In Old Montreal around the corner from the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Stash’s is a comfortable Polish bistro with a traditional menu that ranges from beet borscht to bigos (hunter’s stew) to chocolate poppy seed cake. It is a polite place with flowers on every table and gracious old-world service, but it is in no way fancy. Seating in the center of the dining room is on benches at long tables, making this a great spot for a small party or family dinner.
Indeed, the food tastes like it was family-made … if your family happened to be a bunch of excellent Polish cooks. Oh, what good potato pancakes, available as a main course or as a side dish, to split. They are crunchy and golden with creamy insides. Sour cream is the usual companion; apple sauce is also available. The pierogi are good, too, but not quite as buttery as we like. The showstopper meal here is weiner schnitzel, made the “a la holstein” way, which means it is topped with a fried egg. The cutlet is tender and moist, its crust wickedly crisp, and its companion shredded pickled beets sweet and earthy.
Dessert choices include various old-fashioned multi-layer poppy seed cakes, nut cake and a choice of delicate strudels: apple and peach.
The variety of ethnic eateries in Montreal is staggering. If you are looking for a meal of Polish comfort food, Stash is a great place to go.