For a hot minute, it looked like Eastern European food was going to be The Next Big Thing in Columbus. There was Babushka’s on the north end, Yogi Perogi in Grandview and another ethnic eatery at the North Market.


Today, only the North Market remains in the game with Hubert’s Polish Kitchen.


There are good reasons why Hubert’s survives. It’s got a lush array of colorful treats, all proudly displayed at its counter in big buffet burners. And the service is personable and lightening fast.


Since Eastern European food is the topic, it seems best to get the inevitable pirogi discussion out of the way first. Pirogi is/are on the menu (there’s always some difficulty in working with pirogi in plural form and there are at least three spelling variations: pirogi, perogi and pierogi). Frankly, the local obsession with the pasta has always been puzzling. It seems an awful lot like ravioli, and you don’t see people fussing over ravioli.


But, as far as the pirogi culinary art form goes, it’s good at Hubert’s. A sturdy pasta crescent holds a rich, oniony cheese and potato filling ($1.50). It is what it is.


That’s over with: let’s talk cabbage rolls and chicken schnitzel.


The aforementioned Cabbage Rolls ($7) are pitch-perfect. Bigger than a human fist, they’re wrapped in several layers of soft-cooked cabbage. Inside the cabbage is a dense mixture of seasoned meat with a little rice. When the rolls are topped with the house stew, it ties the flavors and textures together in a way that works insanely well for both adventurous types, and also those who seek comfort foods.


For the nugget crew, there is Chicken Schnitzel: giant flattened pieces of boneless chicken, wrapped in a thick coat of cracklin’ breading. You can score it in a sandwich ($5) or with sides as a meal. ($9)


There is also a traditional stew: Bigos (a pint is $8). It has a pronounced tanginess to it (a contribution from the thick cut sauerkraut), it’s a reddish stew with giant chunks of carrots, turkey and an occasional mushroom slice.


For sides, there’s a colorful array of salads. The beet salad and red pepper salad are both pretty, but the icy white cucumber salad wins on taste alone. It’s heavily populated with fresh dill that makes all the difference.


You can find Hubert’s Polish Kitchen at the North Market at 59 Spruce Street.