North Strand restaurant serves up timeless Old World favorites
You won’t find trendy new dishes at the International Kitchen, but what you will find are traditional favorites made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Owned and operated by the Fiut family, the restaurant has doubled in size over the last 10 years. A large, local following are treated like old friends by Mieczyslaw (Pops), Elzbieta (Mom) and their son, Marek. Mom was originally attracted to the southeastern United States from geography classes in their native Zaklikow, Poland, and they now have experienced the American dream since moving here in 1994, bringing their traditional recipes with them.
Starting off the journey, around-the-world salads include Greek, Caesar, Chef or Asian with a large selection of homemade dressings (all under $10). Everyone who has ever tasted the award-winning pickle soup ($4.99 with freshly baked roll) will agree that it is worth the trip alone. Mildly tart, shredded dill pickles with diced potatoes and onions (plus some additional secret ingredients) join forces to create a flavor that will satisfy even the most discriminating taste bud.
Some of the locals’ favorite entrees include Golabki ($12.99) and Jaeger Pork Schnitzel ($14.99). Golabki are traditional Polish cabbage rolls stuffed with beef, pork and rice, hand rolled and baked in a homemade tomato sauce. The texture of the cabbage is perfect and rolled tight to preserve the integrity of the inside ingredients. Pair it with a Polish Zywiec porter dark brew and life is good. The Jaeger Pork Schnitzel is a lightly breaded silver sterling pork loin served with potato pancakes, apple carrot salad and mushroom jaeger sauce. Take one bite, close your eyes and you can imagine yourself sitting at a cafe on the Rhine. An assortment of American fare is also available for lunch or dinner.
A trip to International Kitchen is not complete without trying one of Mom’s homemade desserts. They include her out-of-this-world cream of coconut bread pudding, special carrot cake, banana cheesecake or one of the daily specials (all under $5). Holiday special orders start in October for Mom’s Babka, a made-from-scratch Polish sweet bread.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, the food is excellent and the prices are extremely reasonable. Give it a try and experience what locals on the North Strand have known for years.
2126 S.C. 9 E., Longs
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday