rozmaryn

Perogies A-Plenty (Rozmaryn Restaurant & Bistro)

Rozmaryn Restaurant & Bistro, 925 N Olden Ave, Trenton, NJ
Open W-F 12-8; Sa 12-9; Su 12-7
(609) 656-1600   Website    Google Maps

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The Polish community of North Trenton is one the last remaining, strong European ethnic communities in town. Centered on the intersection of Olden and Brunswick Avenues, there’s a vibrant (if not fully thriving) Polish community that supports a number of fascinating establishments, especially Rozmaryn (Polish for the herb, Rosemary).

Rozmaryn is the successor to a restaurant called Julian’s, purchased from the previous owner.  The new owner has changed the name, upgraded the interior, created a website, and generally spruced the place up, but it’s so similar, I’ve updated the Julian’s listing rather than scrapping it.  Keep in mind that some of the older comments refer to Julian’s.
Rozmaryn Restaurant
This is the real deal. The owner, who may wait on you, speaks English semi-fluently, but most of the customers will be conversing in Polish. Clientèle seem to be a mixture of locals: families and factory workers. The latter use Julian’s as a place for home-cooking away from home. Many are here temporarily, sending dollars back to their families still living in Europe.

The food is classic eastern European fare with an emphasis on meat, potatoes, and cabbage, although chicken, fish, and a variety of vegetable dishes are also on the menu.

The fried pork chops are excellent: boneless, pounded thin, expertly breaded and fried. There are several varieties of perogy (Polish ravioli) stuffed with cheese, cabbage, or mushrooms. The home-prepared cabbage salads are fresh and tangy. Potato pancakes to die for.  Check out the “Gypsy Special” which is a goulash slathered between two fabulously crispy potato pancakes.

Portions are ample. Prices are reasonable, though not bargain-basement.  The interior decor is pleasant if basic, and the owner is charming. Keep in mind that Rozmaryn closes early: 8 PM on weeknights. That means you really need to show up by 7. I would urge you to call before trying to show up any later: if it’s a slow night, Rozmaryn has been known to close early.

However, if you can get there early enough, you’ll enjoy another wonderful ethnic meal from hidden Trenton.

11 thoughts on “Perogies A-Plenty”

  1. Well we have since beocme regulars to this wonderful little place. It is unfair to keep it connected to the old Julian’s Bistro which always seemed to have private parties and had one of the most rude staff I have seen. The new owner is a joy. She really wants to know what her customers think of her menu which is delicious! In the old Julian’s you felt out of place if you didn’t speak Polish, but that has changed. Most of the time we have visited the customers were American of Polish decent. On our last visit the owner mentioned that she may be relocating to East Windsor where she lives because of the declining neighborhood. This will be nice for us since we are just a few minutes away. Anyway, the food is worth the trip! Support her while she is still in Trenton.

  2. CALL FIRST!!!!

    In 2007, my wife and, I found Juilian’s and the food was great. After that our luck ran out because every time we tried to go there they were having a private party. We would walk in only to be looked at like we dropped in from another world since we weren’t speaking Polish. I am American Polish.

    Eight more times we tried to have dinner there again between 2007 and 2008 only to walk into private parties. I agree with Jeff that the staff were as friendly as frozen fish. We finally just gave up. Yes we did try calling ahead, but they never answered the phone.

    On Sept 17, 09 I was riding by when I noticed the place had a new sign. When I got home I looked the place up and found their webpage which had a calendar for when they were having private parties. Sounded like somebody using their brains! It said they weren’t on Sept 18 so 7 of us drove a half an hour ony to walk into a PRIVATE PARTY once again! So much for believing their website. We ended up eating at Dublin Square in Bordentown which just opened. It was a great experience!

    The only 2 times we managed to get in the food was great, homemade and reasonable. The waitress acted like she didn’t want to be bothered with us since we weren’t speaking Polish. What was really strange is how the local Polish customers looked at us. We didn’t fit in if that bothers you.

    The new owner seems like a nice lady and the place has been cleaned up inside. The outside of the building needs work and it isn’t the best of neighborhoods. Since we didn’t get to have dinner I have no idea how the new owners food is.

  3. NEW OWNERSHIP!!!! Thank goodness too. The previous owner made great food but had the personality of a breadstick – sorry but that’s how we always felt – she didn’t have any flair for hospitality at all.

    The new owner is like a breath of fresh air on a warm spring day. Super nice and VERY welcoming with big smiles and attentive service. And the food – well it is even BETTER now.

    The new name is Rozmaryn. Here’s the Web site. http://www.rozmarynrestaurant.com/

  4. Ordered the Gyspsy Special this past Sunday for takeout – it turned a little soggy (as expected) before eating but still tasted very good, had a side of red beets which tasted very good as well. The chicken cutlet was not fresh but not spoiled – it was ok. Price is Pretty good

  5. They did reopen, but it’s a new owner and new restaurant name. It’s called Rozmaryn Restaurant now. It has a fresh look and more smiles. Cuisine is the same, but there are some new dishes from Slovakia (the new chef is from Slovakia).
    I like the place very much.

  6. Vanessa, they just reopened. Wow. You have to try it. Go for the gypsy special beef stew. My favourite is sauerkraut pierogies – the only time I had better pierogies was when my grandmother made them.

  7. We tried to go to this restaurant tonight, and there was a “coming soon…!” poster plastered across the windows for a new venue!

    so sorry we hadnt gone before, it seems we really missed the boat on eating at this delicious-sounding place!

  8. Gypsy special is our favorite. Though don’t let this stop you from ordering and devouring their Hunter’s Stew, Stuffed Cabbage, or pirogies.

    I can’t agree that the staff is attentive or thoughtful. Perhaps this is true if you are Polish or hold your private party there (they do a lot of these for the Polish community).

    They just don’t seem to really know what to do with “walk-in American couples looking for a Polish cuisine experience. I wouldn’t say that they are rude – but they are also not what I’d call attentive. The waitress is the owner and perhaps she is consumed with handling all sorts of things in the kitchen for big take out orders – and so can’t effectively juggle a mere table or two out front.

    But the food is very good. So definitely go there, preferably a bit on the early side – say 630 or 7pm. If on a Friday or Sat, make sure they are not reserved for a private party.

    It wouldn’t take all that much to turn Julian’s into a more successful spot. It could definitely use use a fresh look – and lighter paint. A bit more table service with a smile and some marketing would do wonders for Julian’s.

    And we hope that the owner does improve it – but we’ll still go now and again … the food brings us back.

  9. My family and I had a terrific meal here on Father’s Day. Everyone really enjoyed the food…we had stuffed cabbage, pierogies, and the Gypsy special (potato pancakes and goulash). The restaurant was cozy and clean and the staff was thoughtful and attentive. The prices were extremely reasonable. We will definitely be going back.

    Kudos to this website for informing us about this little gem of a restaurant.

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