Taste Europe in Arlington. Guy Fieri Did.

Categories: Food News

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A few weeks back, when Guy Fieri and the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives crew stencil-painted the metroplex, tracking their movements was sort of like tracking a spiky-haired, loud-mouthed Santa. But when I heard they filmed an episode at a spot that I've driven by no less than 100 times and never once even considered stopping, I paused. Really?

Hate all you want, but this is the potential of DDD. I've found an eclectic diner right under my nose that I would have otherwise never visited.

Set among car repair shops and fast food joints, Taste of Europe is in a nondescript white building with neon writing on the windows that yells out to busy cars full of busy people gunning past it on Pioneer Parkway. But the wonders inside this place are literally a trip.

Owner Mikhail Frumkin moved to the United States 32 years ago from Belarus. He owned a store at the Galleria for 12 years but left Big D for Arlington to be closer to his home and warehouse.

Frumkin is one the biggest local importers of Russian collectibles and goods. In 1991 he even brokered a deal with the Soviet Army for four Navy containers full of old uniforms, hats and military collectibles.

Which needs explaining, because Taste of Europe is three different things: restaurant, deli/grocery and antique shop.

In terms of the restaurant, they take an unabashed Eastern European route, meaning the menu has no safe items, nor is it designed to suit the tastes of the American palate. As the sign out front reads, it's a Taste of Europe. That and just that.

The house-made, bright red borscht is a popular dish with chicken, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, beets and onion. In the summer they offer cold borscht with pickled beets, boiled egg, cucumber and green onion. Supposedly a couple from Austin drives up once a month just for a bowl.

The cabbage rolls also have a following. They're made with ground beef or chicken with rice and carrots, wrapped in cabbage leaves, which are then cooked in a tomato sauce.

Other items include German Schnitzel, Siberian Pelmeni, Ukrainian Pirogues, Russian meat blintzes and "old Russian recipe" beef stroganoff.

When Frumkin got the call from DDD over a month ago, he had to go through several phone interviews, including one that was over two hours long. Then, when the DDD crew arrived in mid-December, they filmed for what Frumkin described as an exhausting 20 hours. He still doesn't know how the DDD research department initially heard about Taste of Europe, but he's excited about the attention.

When asked if he's nervous about the show, "I'm too old to be nervous," said Frumkin with a boyish grin.

If you're in the market for anything Russian -- tea, chocolate, meats, pickles, a badass Russian Army officer coat, fedoras or a hot bowl of borscht -- Taste of Europe is the place to be. The show should air in a couple weeks. You've been warned.

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Cabbage Rolls

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Borscht

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30-piece nesting doll set.


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8 comments
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Rvm_morgan
Rvm_morgan

I loved that place and ate there a lot when we lived in Grand Prairie. Mikhail and his wife are awesome people, the food is great, and the selection was awesome. I paid them a visit when I was back in the Metroplex a couple years ago. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

Despite the platinum-spiked freak's graffiti imprimateur, this looks like a cool place worth a trip to Tarrant.

potted meat product
potted meat product

I never knew about this place either- I usually take a bi-monthy pilgrimage from Duncanville to Plano to eat at Taste of Poland since my wife has gotten me to develop a taste for her food- I looked at the menu there and everything is right up my alley.  Definitely looking forward to trying them out this weekend.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Don't know about this place, but Guy's other stop in the Big A was Chophouse burgers..I've been there twice since y'alls write up and have their regular Chophouse patty rated as #1 on my IBPRS (independent burger patty rating system). 

The burger doesn't rate quite as high, but damn that patty is opulence. Sweet potatoe fries were also the bomb. Still haven't tried their fancy butter, but will do so at my next opportunity.

Storm_71
Storm_71

I've ate there a couple of times. Meh. It is a pretty cool place to look around though.

Bjorn
Bjorn

This place was yummy. I so want to go back.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Ill have a cabbage roll, a fedora, and the runs for 2 days, but damn its good food.  LDD making it out to arlington, woot.  Have you been to mellow mushroom yet? try the Kosmic Karma and get the spinach artichoke dip appetizer.  Wash it all down with an Abita Turbo dog.

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