When you think of pierogi, and well who doesn't, you don't normally think "oh, let's go down to the Mission and get one!" Not to mention going deep 'hood at 24th and Mission, but that's exactly what me and the SO did one late Saturday afternoon because...why not. Our destination was Stuffed (they don't have a website, just a Facebook page). But what is a pierogi you say? It's a dumpling of unleavened bread with a filling that is boiled and then either baked or fried in onions and butter. Think of it as the Eastern European version of the pot sticker. And it was this little item that brought us to one of the more unique corners of this town.
It's a long narrow space with a bar down one side and a small sitting area out front, which was perfect on this warm day to relax and watch the parade of fascinating city life that wandered by us. They have about 9 filling types to choose from and you can mix and match any two for a dinner plate which is what we decided to do. We went with the buffalo chicken, bacon cheddar, avocado and spicy sausage and finally the mushroom. All dishes also come with purple cabbage, sauerkraut, sour cream, sautéed onions and a choice of asparagus or cucumber salad--we got one of each.
With one glaring exception, me and the SO enjoyed 3 of the pierogi and the side dishes. I particularly liked the purple cabbage slaw which had a nice tangy sweet flavor to offset the pungent sauerkraut. Each pierogi was made to order so they were hot and fresh. The bacon cheddar also had potatoes inside but you could still taste the smokiness of the bacon, kind of like a baked potato especially when you added in the sour cream. The mushroom had an earthy meaty flavor I liked combined with the slaw and sour cream. The SO was a big fan of the spicy sausage and avocado and I was on board with the sausage part but the avocado was a little too odd a combo for me so I pretty much let him have all of it. The buffalo chicken, however, was something neither one of us liked. I gonna chalk it up to the bleu cheese used, it was pungent, slightly bitter and just overpowered everything and not in a pleasant way. I thought I was okay with bleu cheese crumbles but I must have always had the mild variety, which this was not. We mentioned it to the owner and she said yes it was a love or it flavor of what they served but it did have many fans with the late night crowd. Which explained a lot, tastebuds dull the drunker you get so you need extra spicy, extra strong, extra whatever to get flavor so I guess if it works and she sells 'em so be it. Though keep in mind--I did warn you up front. As for the rest of the sides, the cucumber salad was creamy and light mixed with yogurt like the kind you get with a gyro. The asparagus was fresh and crisp with a little bit of oil and seasoning. I think all the sides are meant to be a bright crunchy companion to the boiled dough so you get all sorts of texture and flavors.
All in all we had some good food at Stuffed and if you just happen to been in the neighborhood you should give them a try. Though more likely you'd be there on a pub crawl or some thing and you might get hunger pangs crying out for something to soak up all that booze and pierogi would be a good alternative to something from the vast array of taquerias in the area, thus the reason they are open till midnight on weekends. Plus they have beer so you don't have to slow down your liquid intake on your weekend stumble through the Mission.