Hungering for the foods of my heritage, I decided to make the drive out to Black Diamond one Saturday afternoon and try out Europa. Was I glad I did!

I’m half German and half Polish, and it seemed that everything on the menu harkened back to one of those two cultures. On offer were pierogi, schnitzel, rouladen, gołąbki (Polish cabbage rolls, pronounced “go-WUMP-kee”), and other delights that brought back memories of my childhood and my travels overseas.

As it was lunch, I decided against ordering the Polish sampler plate, which my server recommended. It had gołąbki, pierogi, kielbasa and potatoes, but that seemed a little heavy for a midday meal. Instead, I opted for one of the lunch specials, which I was pleased to learn they offer even on weekends. So many places only offer lunch specials during the week.

My lunch came with a cup of the soup of the day, which happened to be Hangover Soup, followed by a gołąbki in tomato sauce with a scoop of mashed potatoes.

Hangover Soup with a roll and beer (of course!)

The soup was a delicious blend of bacon, Polish sausage, potatoes and a garden of other vegetables. Just the thing for a cool, rainy afternoon.

Just as I was about to lick the bowl to get the last bit of soupy goodness, my server brought out the main event. The gołąbki was so tender, I thought the kitchen had taken the filling out of the cabbage leaf before ladling on the tomato sauce but no, it was just that well prepared.

Gołąbki with mashed potatoes

The tomato sauce could have had a bit more flavor to it and the potatoes needed a dash of salt, but those are my only critiques – I don’t even want to call them “complaints,” because that would be overstating the case.

It’s a cozy little place, with about 35 seats in a front area complete with wooden furniture that reminded me of a mountain cabin. The gas fireplace, the antler chandelier and the stuffed animal heads made the ambiance complete.

For larger parties and events, my server said they have a larger room in the back.

I grew up eating my Polish grandmother’s cooking, and I have to say the food at Europa was even better than she prepared (Przepraszam, babciu!). I’ve also traveled in Poland and Germany, and can say of a certainty that the food here is just as good as I’ve had there, if not better.

They also have a few German beers on tap, with wine and other beverages available.

Why this place isn’t packed out every minute it’s open is a complete mystery to me. Whether you’re Polish, German, or just a lover of good food, you owe it to yourself to try out Europa. I will definitely be back!

Europa is located at 29030 216th Ave SE, Black Diamond, WA 98010. Phone (360) 825-0444.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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