Abigail's Cafe was established in 2008
to bring good food, good drink and
good music together under one roof.
Abigail's Cafe is a great choice for a first date, a birthday party, or just a fun night out with friends. You will also find friendly service and affordable prices.
Abigail's Cafe menu features mix of European and American dishes. From Portuguese steak to Schnitzel ala Warsaw. Polish popular food, steak on a stone, pierogies, salmon Alasca and Paella.
We invite you to join us for lunch every weekday
and dinner any night.
We Are OPEN:
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu
from 11 am - 12 am
Fri, Sat. from 11 am - 1 am
and Sundays from noon till 12 am
AT GAS STATION
Week Days from 11:00am - 4:00pm
Lunch Special $7.95
Entree and Soup
Senior Citizens on all meals
Monday - Buy one dinner at regular price get 2nd at half price
Tuesday - Buy one dinner at regular price get one appetizer at half price
Wednesday - Ladies Night
Thursday - Sangria Day
Large Sangria (Red or White) only $20
Happy hour - 3 pm - 6 pm
$4.00 house drinks, $3 Corona
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If you have a special event that you would like to book or have us help you plan at Abigail’s Cafe, please call or e-mail your information.
You are welcome to make your
reservation directly with
Abigail's Cafe by:
The very best 'Taste'
Recession-friendly eats are all over the map
TASTE OF NEW JERSEY
Brooke Tarabour FOR THE STAR-LEDGER
Published: January 4, 2012
"As I read over various "best of" lists the past week or so, I found myself arguing out loud with the writer. No doubt you'll feel much the same as you read what I consider to be the best food finds of 2011, but I will offer a caveat: My emphasis is "eating your way through a recession without going broke." So some of my choices are based on good food at good prices. There's also not a preservative or additive in the entire list.
"If you can't decide on a specific cuisine, try Abigail's Cafe, (804 W. Elizabeth Ave., Linden, 908-523-0777). There are two chefs, one Polish and the other Portuguese, so it's paella and pierogi, garlic shrimp and goulash. Many dishes are influenced by the "other" chef, and somehow it works beautifully.
Try the hunter stew, grilled kielbasa on fantastic, sautéed kraut and cabbage with fresh garlic and chunks of moist, braised beef. The indecisive can order Abigail's Plate, a sampler platter of popular dishes. The prices are reasonable, the portions are huge and even the bread is extraordinary."
June 29, 2011 - ROBERT SCIARRINO/THE STAR-LEDGER. Abigail's Cafe's eclectic menu includes pierogi, stuffed cabbage, Polish kielbasa with sauerkraut (foreground), chicken Cordon Bleu, left, and grilled filet mignon wrapped with bacon and served with sauted mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
Two chefs walk into the kitchen of a restaurant where the blackboard specials are spaghetti with meatballs and collard greens soup. One chef is Portuguese and the other is Polish. The Portuguese chef begins to make the evening's paella and the Polish chef starts rolling dough for pierogi. So who makes the meatballs? I have no idea, and normally this culinary confusion would have me heading for the door without waiting for the punchline.
But in May, my friend Lenny insisted we go to Abigail's Cafe in Linden. "Paella and pierogi," he said. "How can you pass that up?"
Abigail's is a wild and crazy place. There are definitely two chefs and the menu leans toward Polish and Portuguese, but there's also Italian, Austrian, French, Hungarian, German items - even a dash of southern soul food, along with some vegetarian dishes.
"We want to appeal to all of our customers," says owner Barbara Chutnik, who, with her husband Chris, bought the place almost three years ago from the previous owner, a friend. "It was a Portuguese restaurant and we're Polish, so there you go."
It still has an Iberian feel - dark wood and brick with a lot of wrought iron - but there's light rock 'n' roll playing at the bar, a host of martinis on the menu, and most of the beers on tap are Polish.
The first hint there's something special going on in the kitchen is the bread - warm and crusty Portuguese rolls, which sets the tone as you navigate the menu. Please, be open-minded enough to imagine Portuguese dishes with Polish ingredients and Polish dishes with a Portuguese twist, and that it actually tastes good. Some of the dishes may sound a little off, but I promise you, it all works.
A perfect example is shrimp in garlic sauce ($9.95). The Polish chef butted in while the Portuguese chef was sautéeing the shrimp, and the added cilantro, heavy cream, white wine and fresh herbs results in a surprising depth of flavor. As he finishes the last morsel, my pal Lenny says, "There's nothing quiet about this food. Flavors pop and there's a lot of impact. It's inspired cooking."
After we mop up what's left of the garlic sauce with our bread, it's time to taste the pierogi ($7.95; choice of potato and cheese, sauerkraut and mushrooms or meat). We didn't realize they'd come boiled, but you can request pan-fried; both come with yummy sautéed onions. Abigail's pierogi are plump and flavorful, and the potato and cheese one is outstanding.
Of course, we have to try the house signature dishes, so we go for a Hungarian pancake ($11.95), which turns out to be a giant, crispy potato pancake folded in half and stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth beef goulash. We groan with every heavy but delicious bite, but it doesn't slow us down.
We also can't pass up the stuffed cabbage ($9.95) and Lenny happily finishes my portion when they don't quite live up to my friend Rena's sweet and sour gems.
Hunter stew ($10.95, called bigos in Polish) is another surprise. Described as pieces of beef and sausage mixed with sauerkraut and cabbage, it arrives as grilled kielbasa on fantastic sautéed kraut and cabbage with fresh garlic and chunks of moist, braised beef. It is so good we force ourselves to stop and ask for a to-go container.
If you can't settle on one dish, order the Abigail's Plate ($11.95), a sampler platter of pierogi, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and that killer kraut.
On the vegetarian menu, there's eggplant Parmigiana, vegetarian paella, potato pancakes and veggie burgers ($6.95-$9), or you can choose from several salads. If you're in the mood for soup, there's tripe, chicken, borscht, sour soup with egg and yet another contradiction, collard greens soup. This turns out to be a terrific rendition, with shredded greens, linguiça and a hint of cream.
Abigail's also serves steak on a stone ($22.95; filet mignon with a choice of sides), Portuguese steak ($14.95; sautéed shell steak with garlic, olives and white wine topped with ham and eggs and served with Spanish potatoes), and Vienna schnitzel ($11.95), among other choices.
Poultry lovers can choose from among chicken Francaise ($12.95), cordon bleu ($13.95), and a few other dishes. If you're in the mood for seafood, try the paella ($22.50), with lobster, clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp or sautéed sea bass in a garlic butter sauce ($14.95).
If you have room for dessert, the only homemade offering is tiramisu ($5), not my favorite. But the combination of light cake, hint of espresso, creamy mascarpone and chocolate ganache is as good as any.
Outdoors, there's a softly-lit patio blocked in by trees and a fence, and I'd suggest you make reservations if you want to sit there. Lunch is served until 4 p.m., and the prices are lower, but you can order from the dinner menu if you wish. Abigail's averages 250 dinners per night, so call ahead.
The Chutniks named the cafe after their young daughter Abigail and realized their Linden neighborhood might not attract a crowd willing to try non-mainstream food. But word-of-mouth has done wonders, and Barbara Chutnik says one family travels from South Jersey every week just for tripe soup.
She and Chris are on the premises at all times, and he plays in a band that sometimes jams there on weekends.
Make no mistake, Abigails serves peasant-style food. The F word - fusion, that is - is not spoken here. There's no snob factor, just good, honest food in a working-class neighborhood. (Park in the lot across the street if there are no available spaces on the street.)
All in all, the Chutniks have created quite an anomaly in this improbable location. But it works and it certainly makes for lively conversation. I guess Lenny says it best: "Heaven is somewhere between Poland and Portugal."