Restaurant: Old Country Pierogi Mobile Food Truck
Cuisine: Polish/Eastern European
Last Visited: February 8, 2013
Location: Surrey, BC (Occasionally Vancouver)
Address: Various locations
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- Polish/Eastern European food
- Variety of pierogi
- Savoury/sweet pierogi
- Family friendly
- Budget friendly
- Gluten free options
- Vegetarian option
- Vegan options
- Frozen pierogies to-go
- Delivery available
- Catering available
- For locations/hours: @OCpierogi
**Recommendations: Hunter’s Stew, Polish Sausage
It has been food truck/cart madness lately with all these street food festivals, and I was continuing a hosted tour of the ones at the Vancouver Farmers Market. Next stop after Crêperie La Bohème, JJ’s Trucketeria, and ZeBite, was Old Country Pierogi.
I’ve never seen or heard much about this food truck and it is usually based in Port Moody or Surrey, BC. I actually ended up visiting this truck twice because the first time was a bit underwhelming and there was also a mix up with the order. To be fair the owner/head cook Yvonne was out of town, so I visited it again and it was better, but perhaps risky of being inconsistent.
Yvonne Paczek is the wife with a passion for cooking and her husband Robert Hubicki is the supportive husband with the persistence to make things perfect. Together they own and operate Old Country Pierogi, Vancouver’s only Polish food truck. According to Yvonne he is the visionary behind the look and she is the passion behind the food.
The menu features a large variety of sweet (available in the summer), savoury and even gluten free pierogies (not all pierogi flavours shown in this photo) and a few Polish specialities. This was quite introductory Polish food which is understandable for a food truck, but I just know they are capable of more. I found it a bit hit and miss and requests might have to be made to get things at the right level. My two visits were quite polar opposites. I have no doubt that Yvonne can cook, but I would love to see what she cooks at home and the style might be different.
Yvonne came to Canada in the early 90’s starting off as a waitress and she always thought about opening her own catering company. The inspiration for a food truck came after trying Feastro Rolling Bistro food truck while her and Robert were on vacation. Two years later and they have their own food truck operating in the same market as Feastro Rolling Bistro on the weekends. Robert believes Yvonne’s cooking is what makes their food truck unique. With no culinary experience he manages all other operations.
The brand new truck has a stainless steel kitchen with patio tables and umbrellas in the summer and a huge awning which shields the rain in the winter. The trailer is painted red and white to represent the Polish flag as well as the Canadian flag. They are very proud of their heritage and feel very fortunate to be living in a place so open to other cultures and their cuisine. They put a lot of effort into this custom built trailer and it has an impressive kitchen.
The couple is very sweet and I do feel for their effort and passion, but for some reason it just didn’t translate as well in some of the dishes. I appreciate it because it is the only Polish food truck on the street, although there are other trucks selling perogies and cabbage rolls, but this one expands on it a bit more. It is the most home style and traditional and the prices are affordable, but the ordering has to be done selectively and requested particularly for a great experience. I really love Polish food so I do thank them for giving me an opportunity to write about it. There isn’t much of it in Metro Vancouver and the lower mainland, so it is special to the food scene as a whole.
On the table:
Red Borscht – 3.5/6 (Good-Very good)
- Homemade vegetarian beet soup with sour cream, bun $6
- This is the most traditional and oldest Polish soup.
- It was served hot and made with shredded beets, cabbage and tender diced potatoes.
- It was a very classic borscht and traditionally you take the sour cream and mix it into the soup letting it melt.
- The sour cream makes for a richer and creamier soup.
- The broth wasn’t watered down and there was natural vegetable flavour with a bit of tang from the vinegar, but it wasn’t sour or too sweet.
- Traditionally the vegetables would actually be taken out of the broth and the broth served alone, but many people serve it with the ingredients nowadays.
- I prefer the version with more ingredients and this one had a lot of broth, but the broth itself was good and flavourful.
- There is also a meat version with bacon or ham hock which is fantastic, but they don’t serve that version here.
**Hunter’s Stew – 4/6 (Very good)
- Homemade sauerkraut and green cabbage stew with pork meat $6
- Bigos! This is another very traditional Polish stew and I have’t seen it anywhere in Metro Vancouver yet.
- There are many versions for it and everyone has their own style.
- Typically the stew is made from leftover ingredients and scraps of meat.
- It is Polish comfort food that is perfect for the colder weather.
- Usually it is dark brown and almost gravy like, but this one looked more tomato based.
- It is a very hearty stew and this one was made with cabbage, crushed tomatoes, pork shoulder, ham hock (?) carrots and Polish sausage.
- Sometimes it can have veal, game meats, bacon and many other meats, but this one was a bit limited.
- It wasn’t as meaty as I had hoped it would be, but they did a good job filling the bowl up with ingredients.
- The pork shoulder cubes were very lean and it had dried out a bit, but the broth helped moisten it.
- The Polish sausage were diced and they have a nice snappy skin which I love, but I wish there were more of them. They used a very good Polish sausage.
- The savoury soup is also quite tangy from the sauerkraut and tomatoes, so it has a more acidic broth, but it is not sour.
- It didn’t necessarily taste meaty, but it had very good flavour which developed over time and I enjoyed it very much.
- I found it a very healthy and light version of a traditional Hunter’s Stew and it was heavier with vegetables than meat.
- Sometimes there are also prunes, plums and mushrooms in it, but this one was catered towards Canadian tastes. It was approachable and a bit simplified.
- Pierogi (4pcs), potato pancake, sausage, Hunter’s stew, pickle $12
- This offers a bit of everything, so you can decide for yourself and it is a nice sampler plate.
- It is a decent deal and filling for lunch or dinner, but some of the items suffered a bit.
- If I ordered it again I would make special requests.
Potato and Cheddar Cheese Pierogi – 2.5/6 (Okay-Good)
- 8 pcs $8
- This is their most popular pierogi flavour.
- They come boiled instead of pan fried so just be prepared. Many Polish/Ukrainians enjoy them boiled.
- I would definitely ask for more fried onions and bacon next time because otherwise the pierogies are a bit bland.
- They are hand made by Yvonne and the dough was thin, soft and tender which I liked.
- The potato and cheddar cheese stuffing was light, fluffy and soft, but I couldn’t taste the cheese and I could have used more salt.
- Traditionally it should be made with farmers cheese, but their customers prefer cheddar so Yvonne has altered her recipe to suit Canadian tastes.
- I did rely on the toppings and sour cream for flavour.
- In the summer they offer dessert pierogies filled with local berries which I would love to try.
- The last pierogi place I wrote about was at Baba’s Perogies.
**Sausage – 5/6 (Excellent)
- It was my favourite thing on the platter, but it was sourced from a local Polish sausage shop in East Vancouver.
- I really love their Polish sausage though and I was happy that they sourced it from a great supplier.
- It was plump, juicy and meaty with a snappy skin and the inside was moist and it tasted like Christmas ham.
- It was a very substantial sausage and it was the same one used in their Hunter’s Stew.
Potato Pancake – 2/6 (Okay)
- This is a traditional Polish pancake – see descriptions below.
- This ended up being very oily and soggy, but when I reordered it on my next visit it was perfect (see below).
- I would suggest making a request to have them fried crispy and less oily (just to avoid what could potentially happen).
Sauerkraut – 4/6 (Very good)
- I know it sounds simple, but I actually really enjoyed their sauerkraut.
- It was traditional and delicious and made with bits of pork hock so it was savoury as well as tangy.
- It was shredded green cabbage and carrot and they used it in their Hunter’s Stew.
Potato Pancakes – 4/6 (Very good)
- Homemade with sauerkraut salad and sour cream (3 pcs) $7
- I came back to order it a second time and they knew it was a bit oily and soggy the first time, and this time it was perfect!
- This is Polish comfort food and it is very easy to make and satisfying if made well.
- It was crispy, well seasoned and soft and tender in the centre. The flavour was just as good the first time as well.
- The centre and inside can get a bit gummy if the pan is not hot enough, but it is not offensive.
- It definitely should not be doughy or floury, or dry, or fried to a crunch.
- There are many versions of this in Poland, but this one was made from grated potato and onions.
- The potatoes and onions are mixed with flour and egg to form a sort of hash brown batter.
- Traditionally they are eaten with sour cream or sprinkled with sugar.
- It is very kid friendly food and my Polish friend used to make them as a midnight snack.
- Think of them as Polish style hash browns of latkes.
Eastern Europe food has always looked pretty hefty to me (in terms of the amount of carbs and fat). but this looks good. I have never had pierogi before and this post makes me intrigued about it.
And boy, the beet soup and the stew do not look too pleasing to the eye…. It looks like old russian grandma comfort food. To each their own !
@Sara – most of this is “old Russian grandma comfort food”… stews never look that appetizing though, but visuals never bothered me… Chinese and Indian food don’t look too good either, but I love both 🙂 You’re in Montreal right? I think there is an Eastern European restaurant across from Olive et Gourmando that is worth a try! Let me know what you think. It is hefty food for sure!
You know my city better than I do! Never actually put foot in Olive and Gourmando either. But will check out what they have in front of them…! Thanks for the suggestion.
Thank you for a very honest and balanced review of our operation.
We’re happy that you liked several of our menu items and that you see
the potential despite some growing pains. We are a new business and we truly appreciate
the constructive criticism from someone with your experience in this field. We have already made several adjustments to our procedures based on your suggestions. In fact, the very next Saturday following your visit we had a customer asking for “extra crispy” potato pancakes and we immediately knew she read your review. 🙂
Thank you for recommending us to the Cloverdale Sunday Market. They are just down the street from us and we’d love to work there.
@Robert Hubicki – Thank you so much for the comment and updates! I have the same respect for you and only hope to see your business grow!! So exciting that you will be part of the Cloverdale Sunday Market! I knew it was in your hood! Thank you for reading my post just how I wanted and I can’t wait to try these improvements and share the update with others. All the best!