Aggie Be's brings Swedish pizza and Polish pierogies to Milford
Aggie Be’s, a new take-out or dine-in restaurant in Devon, has introduced local diners to a dish they may not be familiar with — Swedish pizza.
“That’s the first question from some of our customers,” said Agnetha Brandin, or Aggie Be, as she is called.
So she has the answer written right on her menu.
“Swedish pizza is a thin crust pizza, crisp and soft at the same time, made with a semi-soft yellow cheese rather than mozzarella.”
When it comes to toppings, Swedes are not afraid to go crazy – “we like to call it, pizza without borders,” she says on her menu.
Swedish classics include the kebab pizza, made of kebab meat and Swedish kebab sauce, steak pizza made with beef filet and béarnaise sauce and the chicken Bombay pizza made with chicken, banana and curry powder.
“That’s a great pizza,” said one new customer. “I never would have thought of putting those together on a pizza, but it was really good.”
The two-month-old eatery also features Polish pierogies, plus some other Polish and Swedish specialties, such as stuffed cabbage, grilled kielbasa and Swedish meatballs.
Brandin, the owner, was born and raised in Sweden to Polish parents. She came to New York at the age of 16 and has been proud to call it home ever since. However, with Sweden and Poland always in her heart, she wanted to embrace both countries and cultures and decided to open Aggie Be’s Pizza and Pierogies. The new venture took her to 11 Berwyn Street in the Devon section of Milford.
Brandin finished her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at Hofstra University, but along the way worked in catering, as well as in numerous New York City restaurants.
Growing up, cooking used to be a fun, family-bonding time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother, who simply loved to cook. So, from a very early age, Brandin often found herself in the kitchen.
It was during her college years and beyond that she developed a true love and passion for the food and restaurant business. Pizza and pierogies are two dishes Brandin holds very dear to her heart. As a little girl she spent a lot of time at her mom’s pizzeria in Sweden, and as far as pierogies go, she used to make them with her grandmother every year for Christmas.
For those not familiar with pierogies, her menu defines them too. Polish pierogies are “soft, semicircular dumplings, stuffed with fillings such as meat, cheese and potato, sauerkraut and mushroom or fruit, and either boiled or fried.”
They are served with sautéed onions, sour cream and/or apple sauce.
“My dream was to own my own place, but I wondered should it be Swedish or Polish food. Then I thought, why not combine the two,” she said.
She started looking for a location for the restaurant she had in mind, and actually found the Berwyn Street listing on Craigslist. She traveled from her home in Queens to the spot, and knew right away that it was perfect.
The 800-square-foot building has a separate kitchen and small dining area with seven tables, and it was where Joey C’s on the Boston Post Road got its start.
“I just walked in and I could feel it was right,” Brandin said.
She decorated with rolling pins. There are 120 rolling pins decorating one wall in the dining room, and she also incorporated the rolling pin into her logo.
“I picked the rolling pin as my logo because you use a rolling pin for both pierogies and pizza,” she said.
Business is good. Initially she was just open for dinner, but now she offers lunch too.
“There are lots of people with Polish and Slovak heritage in this area,” Brandin said.
Aggie Be’s is open Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday.