Alex Nham travels the globe, mainly the part with Dallas on it, in search of new places to eat breakfast.
I wasn't in search of anything particular to eat this week; the days were long and I just wanted some eggs and fat. I could have gone to some diner down the street to quell my urges with some bacon and eggs, but where's the fun in that? I needed something different, but identifiable and substantial at the same time.
Turning onto Blackwell on my way to Henk's, the scenery changed from local business storefronts to loading docks, empty parking lots and gray slabs of concrete in every direction. I thought I had surely taken a wrong turn, but there it was, Henk's European Deli and Black Forest Bakery, hidden just out of sight from Greenville. At first glance it looked like an old motel, with a tinge of a European ski chalet motif. I would have missed it if not for the large yellow sign out front.
Walking inside, I saw a market to the right and a dining room to the left. The walls were lined with ornate steins, glass boots and beer bottles of strictly Eastern European origin. Wooden crests and cityscapes of ambiguous European cities also decorated the walls, to an effect more cheesy than authentic. At eight in the morning, I didn't really care.
The restaurant was barren, so I grabbed a table and started racing through the one-page menu. The Polish breakfast seemed like just what I was craving. I'd never had a Polish breakfast before, and I don't know what Polish people actually eat in the morning, so for all I know what I ate could have been a cultural abomination.
When my monster plate of food came out, it resembled something from the kitchen of a Southern diner rather than a sausage house in Warsaw: a Polish sausage split in half lengthwise, two eggs over easy and a slab of hashbrowns, all accompanied by two biscuits (yes, biscuits). Authenticity be damned, the plate looked good, and it was. The Polish sausage was crisp and meaty, with pockets of salty grease squeezing out with every bite. Served with a jar of spicy brown mustard, it would seem to have been more fitting for a barbecue. But it all worked. The hash browns were crisp, the egg yolks were nice and runny, and even the biscuits were light and flaky.
This didn't seem like the most accurate representation of a Polish breakfast, but that could also be said about the entire restaurant. Although the menu was filled with items like schnitzel, broodje, pickled fish, and countless types of wurst, I maintained the feeling that this was a taste of Europe in Dallas, not a portal to that side of the globe. Just don't expect large German men clad in lederhosen clashing their steins together, and you'll be fine. Henk's has a prominent Southern touch, paired with some exoticisms of Eastern Europe, and it's a worthwhile alternative to your everyday diner.
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