A typical low-key sunny day for us involves a trip to Rosemary’s Playground and a food stop somewhere nearby. Aneta Deli, situated a block from the playground on Woodward and Palmetto, stands out among Ridgewood’s Polish steam-table joints for a few reasons.
The first thing you’ll notice as you approach the deli is the amazing window art, like the singing, dancing lipstick- and heels-wearing trio of ham, turkey, and cheese — it’s part of a zone we’ve dubbed “Whimsical Window Row” (see below for more photos of WWR). Inside, Aneta is a standard Polish deli, selling staples like jars of pickled beets and celery root, berry syrups, interesting pretzels and cookies and puffs, and frozen pierogies. Near the back of the long deli counter you’ll see the steam table where they keep the hot food. Go here.
If you’re not familiar with these steam-table obiady (lunch) places, the deal is that you order one main item, and it comes with a potato or grain (buckwheat groats: yum) and two vegetable sides. Tip: Ask for gravy on your potatoes, and they’ll ladle a bit of chickeny or mushroomy sauce from a nearby entrée. At Aneta they serve a different assortment of hot food and (usually) cold sides; the only regulars are plain chicken cutlets and mashed potatoes, which you really can’t go wrong with, especially if the sides are good that day. Some days, though, you luck out and find artfully prepared entrées like chicken cutlets topped with mushrooms and melted cheese, or half a giant cauliflower head stuffed with rice and pork. (UPDATE 5/20/13: pic below!)
Our lovely meal today (pictured above) consisted of bass stuffed with vegetables (peppers & onions) and topped with cheese and a tomato slice. And on top of that, the salad options were choice: we picked beet salad, our fave, and delicious sauteed cabbage accented with small, tender green olives.
While it’s not our absolute favorite Polish takeout spot (that would be Cracovia Deli — a full post about their lunch options is in the works, casually), Aneta is our go-to for quick, healthy-ish bargains. The prices are among the lowest you’ll find in the ‘wood; chicken cutlet and sides cost just $5.50, and the fancier stuff like fish or stuffed peppers will set up back an extra dollar. We frequently pop in to check out the day’s offerings, and if nothing appeals to us we’ll just pick up a grapefruit Pellegrino soda or some shortbread cookies to have on hand for unexpected guests.
More window art from “Whimsical Window Row” on Woodward Avenue:
690 Woodward Avenue