TAUNTON — While Taunton’s annual summer Polish Picnic ended in 2008, those longing for a fresh cabbage-filled pierogi or a plump golumpki are now in luck.
Mark’s Bay Street Take Out set up shop in Pulaski Square in the Whittenton area about a month ago, and has since been doling out kielbasa, kapusta, meat pies and more. The food truck is located at 314 Bay St., in the Polish American Citizens Club parking lot.
Proprietor Mark Guzman, inspired by the cooking of his Polish-Italian mother, said his takeout truck has filled a niche for delicacies of the Central European variety, while also serving up American-style favorites like hamburgers and french fries.
“We were missing the Polish food since the Polish Picnic at Holy Rosary Church stopped about three years ago,” said Guzman, a Taunton native. “There are a lot of Polish people who couldn’t get Polish food around here. We figured it’d be a good thing to bring the Polish food back to Whittenton.”
Guzman said business has been good, and is picking up. He said sales so far have mostly come from members of the Polish community in the Whittenton neighborhood.
“The Polish people around here make my business,” he said. “They are still around even though there used to be a lot more.”
Guzman said he often goes to the Polish American Citizens Club and thought he knew all the Polish people around. However, since he opened the cart he said more Polish folk have emerged.
“They are starting to come out,” Guzman said. “I always thought the only Polish people around here were at the club or at meetings. But I’m noticing that there are more out there than I thought.”
To anyone craving some Polish food, or for those looking to try something new, Guzman recommends the “Polish Plate.” It contains a hefty rice- and beef-filled golumpki, three pierogies, a slab of kielbasa and a slice of rye bread.
The cabbage that fills the pierogies achieves an ideal middleground in its texture — soft but not mushy, while retaining a degree of crispness. Guzman said the pierogies are prepared in a kitchen upstairs at the Polish club.
“He even has the grandkids eating Polish food, too,” said Laurie Guzman, Mark’s wife, who works in the truck. “My grandson loves pierogies.”
Guzman also recommended the kapusta, which contains mostly cabbage, along with pork and kielbasa.
“It’s one of the things we wanted to make sure we had because people really liked it at the picnic,” Guzman said.
Colby Correira, 17, works next door at Whittenton Hardware and was picking up lunch from Guzman on Wednesday afternoon. Correira said many of his co-workers have indulged in the Polish food since the truck opened.
“It’s great,” Correira said. “It’s an excellent place. The prices are good and the people are nice.”
Jason Quigley, who lives down the street, says he has been coming to the food truck everyday it has been in business.
“The food is so good,” said Quigley, while picking up a bacon cheeseburger and a meat pie. “It’s like homemade food. It’s not like fast food at all. It’s my favorite around here right now. I love little places like this.”
The truck is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Customers can call ahead at 774-218-5762 for takeout.