09.23.2014 - by Steve
Mom's Perogey Factory
& Ann's Perogey Palace
Too many perogies
I had one task to complete before leaving Winnipeg and heading back into the States. I had to eat some perogies. No, not "pirogues," you literalist. That's not how they spell it here! Anyway, New York has its pizza, Kansas City has its ribs, Boston has its chowda. Winnipeg, it seems, has perogies. But in an odd quirk, and twist on the regional food formula, you don't necessarily get perogies at restaurants. The best perogies are purchased in what are essentially Ukrainian delis, but are mostly just perogey factories. In fact, the most respected perogies in the city (not counting
the ones that some church makes and sells only once a year) are from a place called Mom's Perogey Factory
. So that is where I went. A completely boring looking building in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Mom's does not even care to try to impress you. You walk in and are greeted with industrial tile, big freezers, a barely legible "menu", and an angry old Ukrainian guy. He must be "mom." And through the door behind him, you can actually see a kitchen full of old ladies hand making the perogies!
It's actually terrifying. I did not know what I was getting into, and this guy had no patience to deal with some dummy from "the States." Turns out, when you buy perogies at a place like this, they are cold. Frozen, in fact. I assumed you'd order a dozen, and they'd fry them up or whatever. But they just sell frozen bags of them, and assume you'll fry them up at home. So like an idiot, even though I was already packed and in my car ready for the 8 hour drive home, I bought a bag of bacon perogies. And I got out of there fast. I'm an idiot. But
, only a half mile away from Mom's, as I was trying to find my way back to a highway, I drove past another unassuming corner building with a sign that read "Ann's Perogey Palace." At the very least, I hoped they would sell non-frozen ones so I could actually, you know, eat
them. So I entered, and was greeted by Ann. She was much more pleasant than Mom. And they sold un-frozen (but still not fried) ones! So I bought a bag, got in the car, and began my long drive to International Falls. Along the way, I ate Ann's perogies. Many of them. Unfried. No dipping sauce. One after another. They weren't great. You could barely make out the fried onion. Sort of sad. But that's what I ate. But then, a couple hours later, I realized that Mom's frozen bacon perogies had thawed! I dug in. They were much
better than Ann's! Delicious, even! And I drove, and I ate perogies. And I drove, and I ate perogies. All I ate all day was perogies. And my road trip through the great Canadian west came to an end, with a starchy stomach ache.