Tasty Cultures (TC) is a restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida that features German, Polish and Eastern European cuisine. The two owners, Iwona and Robert Palussek are Polish and German respectively. They opened TC in 2014.
Living in Naples, Cape Coral is somewhat Terra Incognita to me, but I had heard great things about TC that my dining companion and I felt compelled to go and take a peek.
I was very intrigued by TC’s Dinner Menu and had not seen food such as this for some time as I did when I lived in the midwest.
After perusing the Wine and Beer Menu, I found some beer selections rarely seen in the area. I decided on a Ukrainian porter by Lvivske brewers. It was heavy duty, delicious and perfectly complemented our upcoming meal of mostly starches and meats.
To drum up business in the slow season in Florida (summer) they were offering a free serving of pirogi, those Russian pillows of dough filled with sweet or savory fillings. We chose the potato and cheese filling, served with sour cream for a condiment. It was very good and a nice start for a meal.
My dining companion loves macaroni and cheese and all of it’s variants. As such we ordered the spatzle, those lovely miniature egg noodles with cheese and bacon. It was not my thing but dining companion loved it. Just more comfort food.
It was excellent, served with bread and herbal creme fraiche. Alas, I wish there were more of it!
Before our mains, we sampled two of the restaurant’s soup offerings included with our dinner. One of these was white borscht. This is a classic Polish dish with a cream/vegetable stock base and incorporates potatoes, carrots, pork and undisclosed seasonings. It was delicious and highly recommended.
Even better was the mushroom soup. I have made mushroom soup before and the sine qua non with this this is to roast your mushrooms before preparing the soup. The restaurant appears to have done this, but rumor has it one of the owners receives dried Eastern European mushrooms from the Polish forest, monthly, to incorporate into this dish. This was easily one of the best bowls of mushroom soup I have had in a restaurant. If you go here, a must do. You will not be disappointed.
Totally disregarding out “satiety thermostats” at this point, we tried a couple of the entrees. The first was the Schweinshaxe.
This was an over the top delicious serving of pork shank with a horseradish and honey glaze served with mashed potatoes and the vegetable de jour, zucchini. If you can share a few dishes when you go here, make this one of them! By the way, if you clicked on the schweinshaxe link, it led you to www.forvo.com, a website for foreign pronunciations. Highly recommended.
We finished with bigos, a wonderful stew of chopped meat, in this case pork, with sauerkraut and mushrooms among other ingredients. This is also known as a “hunters stew” and is considered a national dish of Poland. It, like the schweinshaxe, was incredible and highly recommended.
The food at TC is excellent and if you have not been there, please go. Based on the offerings sampled, it is so good and so filling you many need a gurney to transport you to your car after all is said and done. I am glad Tasty Cultures was on my radar, and I would return without hesitation.