Battlin’ Perogies (Henry's Deli and Luncheonette)

Henry's Deli and Luncheonette, 916 Brunswick Ave, Trenton, NJ
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(609) 392-3537   Google Maps

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From the outside, Henry’s looks like an old-school luncheonette, which went out of fashion in the early 1960’s. However, peer through the window, and you see something’s up with the large, modern cooking area, and nicely stocked shelves. Then you realize all the packages have Polish labels, and you remember that you’re at the very epicenter of the Polish section of Trenton: European Bakery is next door, Cosmo Food Market is across the street, and Rozmaryn Restaurant is around the corner.

Henry’s menu is schitzoid. Half is a classic American diner, with an extensive breakfast menu, sandwiches, burgers, and cheese steaks. The back page is in Polish. According to the people behind the counter, whose English skills are intermittent, these items are all translated into English in the small print in the “specialties” section. But a quick visual inspection suggests it’s not true. Never mind.

One Polish specialty which does show up in both languages is the perogies: cheese and potato, potato, sauerkraut and mushroom, or meat. They come with sour cream and either applesauce or bacon and onions. Henry’s are home-made on the premises, and can be purchased for eating-in, or are available frozen to cook at home.

Now here’s the deal: Henry’s perogies are peasant food. My favorites are sauerkraut and mushroom and the potato and they’re delicious. But they’re not light. Rozmaryn’s are lighter. Cosmos also sells frozen perogies to cook at home (for about $1.70 more a dozen – $6.95 instead of $4.95-5.25 as at Henry’s). I confess not to have tried them, though they look pretty good.

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3 thoughts on “Battlin’ Perogies”

  1. The staff at Henry’s can be a little brusque, and most don’t speak English, though I find I can communicate enough to get what I want. Eastern Europeans can be a little rude-seeming, but I think that is just a cultural thing. They’re basically nice and very accommodating there. (I went with my handicapped Dad once, and they bent over backward to help us find a seat). Their food is terrific, and their pierogis are as close to my Grandparents’ as I’ve ever found. Henry’s is WELL worth a stop.

  2. I have to second Lidia’s comment. I tried to eat lunch at Henry’s today with four colleagues, at 12:30 pm on a Friday. We figured even if the local rumors were true, and the staff was a little surly, they would appreciate the business. We were met with sneers and rolled eyes from the old ladies behind the counter, and sat for ten minutes without ever being served. Finally one old lady indicated a menu on the counter with a curt turn of her head. We took that as a cue to leave, and had an enjoyable lunch at Villa Polonia instead. I plan on going back when my anger subsides, and asking, did we miss a social cue or something? I am sensitive to cultural differences, but this was outrageous.

  3. get very rude older lady behind the counter. check your receipt! they tend to ring different prices for the same item!

    Editor’s Note:  I was in Henry’s last week with my 21 year old son and a friend.  The older woman is normally the cook…we were served by a delightful Slovakian woman with a 4 year old girl playing quietly nearby. Sorry you had your experience.  I continue to be happy with mine.

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