Fast-casual restaurants are the most popular (and probably the most practical) option for a weekday work lunch. Although the location might seem like an odd choice, a lot of these eateries can be found smack dab in the middle of industrial areas, where plenty of hungry workers, eager to escape their bullpens, can be found.
The People's Perogy is such an example, located northwest in a mainly industrial area. The restaurant is quite new, having been open for only a couple of months now. They're family-owned and -operated, with mom and her collection of longtime family recipes behind the kitchen.
Signage isn't too obvious, so just look for Long & McQuade; the People's Perogy is located in the same strip mall, occupying the last bay. Inside, the restaurant is quite spacious. Simple and clean, warm wood accents, and lots of natural light flooding in through the big window.
You order and pay at the counter first, then move to another counter where you can pick up utensils and dispense your fountain drink. Afterwards, simply sit and wait for the food to be delivered to your table. Besides one other patron, we were the the only ones there around 4:00, so the wait wasn't too bad. Apparently they've been having more timing issues during lunch rushes, so I'd be more patient if going in at a peak time.
On the menu: perogies. Simple as that. There's tried-and-true classic flavours, unique fusion recipes, and even dessert perogies. A bowl of borscht here, a cabbage roll there, but really, the perogies are the star of the show. You can even pick up a pack of frozen ones ($9.00/dozen) to enjoy at home!
AL went for combo #2 ($11.00), which comes with six classic perogies of your choice, a cabbage roll, and a fountain pop. All classic perogies come with a side of sour cream, caramelized onions, and (real!) bacon bits. AL is a tough person to please when it comes to perogies, believing that homemade is always best, but she was quite pleased and enjoyed the potato cheddar flavour that she picked.
The cabbage roll that came as part of the combo was absolutely massive. Stuffed with pork and rice, the cabbage roll comes topped with your choice of tomato or creamy dill sauce.
I went with combo #1 ($10.50) with six classic perogies, sausage, and a fountain pop. You can mix and match flavours, so I chose to have three of the loaded potato (potato + cheddar + bacon + chives) and three of the jalapeno cheddar (potato + cheddar + roasted jalapeno). I also opted to get them pan-fried, rather than boiled, for an extra $1.25 surcharge.
To be honest, I couldn't really taste any difference between the two flavours since the jalapeno was super subtle and the perogies came topped with bacon anyways. Regardless, the perogies were pretty tasty. The perogy dough was soft and tender, with a good ratio of dough to filling.
The garlic sausage, with a side of coarse grain mustard, was also pretty good. It had a nice snap from the outer casing which had been crisped up from the grill.
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On our first visit, we opted to get dessert at nearby Scoop N Roll, so we didn't get a chance to try out their dessert perogies. However, after seeing my photos (and drooling), my sister decided to drop by on another day and pick up some perogies for take-out. Aside from an order of classic ones, she also picked up a few other varieties to try.
The deep-fried perogies are a unique item on the menu, and I'd consider them to be more as an appetizer for sharing rather than a meal. They come in an order of four ($6.00) or six ($7.50), with flavours such as buffalo chicken, braised beef, and pulled pork. Menu items do tend to rotate, and last I checked, they've also begun offering a deep-fried taco perogy!
My family tried the pulled pork version which was smothered in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and topped with bacon bits.
It wasn't my favourite thing to eat, since I found the pulled pork to be a bit dry and stringy. I thought the BBQ sauce was also quite overpowering, so I'd probably skip these and just stick with their their classic perogies instead.
And finally, dessert! The apple pie-rogy ($4.00) seems to be a popular choice, featuring three deep-fried apple cinnamon perogies, coated in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with caramel sauce. The perogies were quite reminiscent of the apple turnovers from A&W, a crackling dough just covered in copious amounts of cinnamon sugar. But I'd have to say, the caramel was probably the best part. If I could describe it, it would be Werther's Originals in liquid form. You really can't go wrong with making room for these.
There's lots of choices for perogies in Edmonton, but I'd say that the People's Perogy is a respectable contender. With new extended hours (open from 11:00-7:30 M-F), it's now easier to get your perogy fix!