I’m a born and raised Edmontonian, and I consider myself to be quite in-tune with the city. It’s hard to believe that a restaurant can be open for 12 years, and that I’ve only took notice of them recently. It becomes even harder to believe because this restaurant pumps out incredible potato filled dumplings which must be shared with the entire city, yet, they are quietly idling in the background.
I work and live on the south side of Edmonton. I take the exact same road to work every day, and drive down bumpy, pothole riddled 99 street from 51st avenue all the way to 34th avenue 10 times a week. I first noticed the small Wendy’s Perogies sign on my drive home about a year ago, when I started work with a new company, but never really thought much of it. The shop is very modest looking from the outside, and unless you are visiting the lawyer’s office next door, there is no real reason to take note of this sunken in strip mall covered by lawn signage. I always thought Wendy’s Perogies was a store front, and it wasn’t until a month or so ago that a billboard advertising restaurant hours caught my eye. Instantaneously, lightbulbs went off – you can eat in there!
How this little shop looks on the outside, basically carries the same theme onto the inside. It’s a humble little place with dated wooden chairs and cafeteria style tables. The serving area has a lunchroom feel as a small bain marie hides inserts of cooked perogies. From afar it doesn’t look like much, and if you’re the first customer of the day, you may even think the restaurant is closed. Don’t be fooled by the décor or its meekness.
The menu is simple. You get the choice of 8, 6, or 5 perogies, with either 2 meatballs or kubasa, and a dollop of sour cream. The perogy flavors change daily, and yes you can mix and match! Cheddar, and bacon and cheddar are always on the menu, and 2 other flavors rotate so that customers can try a variety each time. The complete list of choices include:
- Bacon and Old Cheddar
- Old Cheddar and Spinach
- Dill and Swiss Cheese
- Feta Cheese and Spinach
- Old Cheddar Cheese
- Sauerkraut and Bacon
- Jalapeno and Old Cheddar
- Cottage Cheese and Dill
- Sheppard’s Pie
- Tex Mex
Dill and Swiss cheese is the favorite of the bunch. I was skeptical at first, but the combination of dill and Swiss made the perfect sweet potato medley. I was even impressed that the dough itself had bits of chopped dill. Bacon and cheddar came in second place boasting a sharp cheddar filling with noticeable pieces of bacon. Tex Mex was very interesting. There were bits of corn inside, and it definitely had an American-Mexican kick to it. The flavor was great, although I don’t think I could eat too many in a row. Cheddar, although it was 4th in line for favorites, is by no means in last place or inferior. It is a well done, classic perogy, with traditional filling, and I would eat it in a heartbeat. The potato filling was light, there was obvious cheddar flavor, and it was creamy. The perogies are fairly large and tossed in butter, so if you feel that 6 isn’t enough for lunch, you might be shocked to find yourself in a food coma in the afternoon. The dough on all favors are amazing. It was sturdy, yet not too chewy, and each handmade perogy is carefully crimped and closed so that the filling is perfectly encapsulated inside.
Did I forget to mention the kubasa? It was good, but nothing extraordinary. Just a good balance of sausage in between the perogies. The meatballs are smothered in gravy, but I have yet to give them a try.
And lastly, don’t forget to buy a frozen container before heading home. You never know when you need a midnight snack.
Wendy’s Gourmet Perogies
4532 99 Street NW