March 20, 2013 by Jessica

The shortest and most direct route to Poland is East, one mile up Congress. And the newest way into my heart is to be neatly wrapped in pasta or cabbage. Now you know.

I don’t know what it is about the people of Poland, but they are alright with me. My oldest friend Sarah is super Polish, and in addition to her loving all kinds of sausage type meats, I really came to experience the versatility of the potato first through her childhood home. As someone who has always been heavily involved with pasta, but never really embraced the potato, I didn’t really  understand that a potato could be something besides mashed, and I definitely didn’t have a thing for Polish food. (YET.) It was a lot of white and in my mind….it seemed bland, and like an unnecessary amount of carbs. Unless, of course,  it was Easter and we were having piergoies and kielbasa. But as you might know, Jesus is only resurrected once a year, so it never really caught on with me.  I’m not sure what the affiliation is with Easter and  pierogies…. I should google this but instead I’ll just catch episode 3 of THE BIBLE and hope I can clear this up. Anyway, Sarah’s family had potatoes in everything and I really wasn’t sure how I felt about this.

(I now feel great about this.)

I’ve walked by (yes walked) Muza many times, and had heard it was quite charming and authentic. Still, it wasn’t summoning me allllll the way (1 mile)  up Congress street. It seemed like something that was really wonderful for some people, but not something I personally was interested in. Like kittens. Or matching tattoos. Or valid drivers licenses. Not my thing. But one day…the sun was shining…and I realized there were still so many rocks I had to turn over in Troy, and what kind of enthusiast was I if I stopped at the rugged shoreline? I needed to forge onward and inward, slaying uncharted territory and discovering the rest of America I mean Troy.

Screen Shot 2012-06-08 at 10.26.05 AMMuza is cute. Not like trendy cute, but Grandma cute. My grandmother isn’t even Polish, but she is 80 and cooks a lot and had wood paneling in her house and wants to feed everyone all the time… I see the connection. When we walked in here, there was almost a slight awkwardness just because it was so tiny and exactly like a living room…..I really felt like I just showed up to someones house for the first time and was wondering where to put my coat. But all of that went away really quickly because everyone was  completely charming and very nice (and very Polish.)

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.01.26 PMThe menu was confusing me at first because everything seemed like the same foods just rolled into different combinations and shapes (I feel the same about Mexican food and Italian too, so this is obviously a personal problem and not a testament to the menu at all.) In order to most effectively get as many different foods as possible into our mouths, we ordered the Polish Feast, the Polish Sampler, and extra pierogies. Also tried the mushroom soup which I totally forgot about and now need to attempt to make immediately. Anddddd for the boozy folks, there are Polish beers….I had one….but it tasted like any beer to me that is not an aggressive IPA. The bottle was super cute and I loved it for that reason and that reason alone.

So….the food. I believed it would be GOOD,  just not that it would be something I was personally captivated by,  but I was so wrong. Again. I seriously could not get enough of everything and tried really  hard to not made a sad face inside when the food was gone (100% gone). I guess it’s good that there were no leftovers,  because I would have ate them immediately and then needed to take a long winters nap….and nobody has time for that.  This food just made me really happy….and ask CMAXBY, I’m not even almost a food person. It was like happiness wrapped up in cabbage filled with your Grandmothers love. Or something. Don’t quote me on that one. Please.  Just know that MUZA is authentic, affordable, delicious, off the beaten path (this can be a gooooood thing), and you should go here immediately. Don’t go on a time schedule…….everything is prepared to order and they DO have time for that, but definitely get here and get your Polish on ASAP.

POST BY Jessica
There was a void in her life. A spicy, meaty void . And the desire to fill that void led her across the river from Albany, to Troy, NY. It was there that she finally found it. Jamaican Beef Patty perfection. And lots of it. Late at night, I Love NY Jamaican Beef patties fueled her shenanigans. During the day, the premade frozen beef patties at the 3rd St bodegas kept her energy up for back to back yoga sessions. Like the Bee Girl from the Blind Melon video, she finally found a place with people like her. Except she’s a ginger. And not chubby. Slowly, it dawned on her. Troy, NY was meant for her and she made the purchase that would ensure she could remain, pockets filled with spiced meat encased in preservative laden dough: white curtains to put in her windows so as not to run afoul of the Troy Historic District’s guidelines. She could breathe easy. This was home. *****************************************************************************************************