- Bar Targowy: This was a ‘milk bar.’ We trekked to it, out in a decidedly non-touristy part of town; the moment we walked in, eyes were on us. I imagine they were wondering who in their right mind would make a trip to see something that would be reminiscent of a US high school cafeteria. I ordered surówki (pickled cabbage) and a random soup, which turned out to be made of rice and dill. B had gołąbki (meat wrapped in crabbage) and naleśniki (fruit-filled crepes). I managed to communicate all in Polish! Sadly, the concentration required to do so made it difficult to keep up a running conversation in English with the lady in line in front of me, who was very excited to find other Americans there – and quite peeved that I was not being as friendly as Californians are reputed to be. Sorry lady: no one gets between me and my food at 3 pm, when all I’ve eaten before that are three pieces of cheese, half a tomato, and two gummy candies. In short, I wouldn’t trek far to go here, but the food is solid, and the memories of my childhood made it that much better.
- Bar Górnik: Our second milk bar excursion, this one was more of an accident. I managed to get us (purposely, I maintain!) lost while killing time before the Stained Glass tour, and we stumbled on this. No breakfast for me again (because it was corn flakes and bread only at the hotel), so I was hungry enough to order an entire prix fixe lunch. That’s one large bowl of soup (same as the day before, since the others looked questionable), one turkey goulash with many boiled potatoes, one small tomato salad, and one fruit juice. I left this place feeling like a turkey stuffed for Thanksgiving! Did I mention that everything I ordered cost $4 all together? That’s not a typo.
- Cora Coffee and Cakes: Who needs lunch when you can have ice cream and pastries instead? One scoop of vanilla, one raspberry milkshake, one sernik (like unsweetened cheesecake), and one meringue later, our sugar level could have propelled us around Disney for a few hours. Recommended.
- Restauracja Oranżeria: A splurge! B found this place, which had a great view of Wawel Castle and was open past 11 pm on a weeknight. I got the zucchini cakes with creamy mushrooms and roasted veggies. The cakes had a cardamom flavor – so not like my grandma’s, and the veggies were cut into rounds – like an artisanal show plate. That isn’t to say that it was bad, but it felt like a chef trying to make it into guidebooks. Plus, any issues were saved by the mushrooms, with which I have an obsession (see below). B ordered a local soup and a beef tartar, neither of which seemed to leave him in raptures. Maybe come here for a drink (the house wine is good, B reports) and dessert instead, to enjoy the pleasant view.
- Fortuna Bis Hotel Restaurant: As we walked from the tram to our hotel, we smelled some good, homemade smells – so we returned here in search of them. This is likely not where they came from, but we were hungry enough not to step into every restaurant in the air for a sniff test. Here, B ordered the chicken roulade and got stuck eating my steak because I pretty much just wanted the mushrooms that came with it. (Various internet sources suggest that mushroom cravings could be correlated with a deficiency in Selenium, Vitamin B, Magnesium, Copper, Beta-glucans, or Potassium. I think I just like mushrooms.) Overall, nothing to write home about.
- Chmiel (Bar): So, we didn’t actually eat here, but B had a giant beer and played pinball games. The service was above and beyond, and they have 200 different beers to choose from. Recommended.
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