What We Ate in Warsaw

  • Restaurant Eteria: This was our first meal in Poland, and it was a great start. I ordered zucchini cakes – like my grandma makes, which came with salmon. The quality was quite good, as confirmed by the next time I had zucchini cakes: the latter ones were fairly saturated in oil. B ordered the schnitzel. We sat outside on a nice patio and watched the people go by. Recommended.
  • Dom SmakowThis was a Polish all-you-can-eat buffet that we visited because Google Maps got confused by the many restaurants with the word ‘Dom’ (house) in their names. This turned out to be a good thing, because I think B was kind of obsessed with this place. The love affair started when they had a beer special: a giant stein and a pretzel, for something like $3. The buffet itself was like a big family and friends potluck, he said. Salad ingredients, Polish hot foods, and the same Jell-o as in the US. Instead of a soft serve ice cream station, they had a made-to-order crepe station, which could have been a meal in itself. And, in European fashion, everyone lingered, so we probably could have had 3-meals’ worth anyway. And everything I just described was about $30. Recommended, at a minimum for the experience.
  • House Cafe: We wandered in here for dessert one night, but came back another night for their special: giant Turkish baked potatoes. They mash the insides with a pound of butter, and then mix in cheese, ranch, coleslaw, corn, pickles, jalapenos, and olives. It may be a heart attack in a bowl, but it is also amazing. It would help that the staff is nice, and speaks English and Spanish fluently, if I thought the potatoes needed any help. This was absolutely delicious.
  • Klukovka: This was on a Warsaw Foodie site listing, and it was decent, but nothing life-altering. The place specializes in ‘Eastern’ cuisine, meaning Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakhstani, Afghan, etc. I ordered the ‘paella’ of my childhood, called ‘plov:’ this one was Uzbeki in origin, so it had dried fruit, lamb, and spices mixed into rice. The dish was very oily, for some reason; I don’t think that’s expected for the Uzbek version, and it’s not normal for what my family makes. B ordered baked pieroshki (like a calzone, but without the cheese), and – not realizing how big they would be, also manty (like the pierogies they sell in the frozen aisle of US grocery stores). The decor was an interesting log cabin style, and the server was nice. Nothing bad: just not our favorite.
  • Hana Sushi: Given that this was a mall sushi chain, it was pretty good. Also a plus: we didn’t know it was a chain at the time. B thought the fish was very fresh, while I was a bit less impressed. Definitely the best option in the Arkadiya mall though.
  • Silver Dragon: This basic Chinese restaurant was right near where we were staying, so it was a convenient stop on the way out of town. It helped that the lady who works the counter speaks Russian. B enjoyed his ‘chop suey’ (which was chicken and veggies with teriyaki sauce), but I was less of a fan of my curry chicken. Though we did inhale the food, making my only memory one of never wanting to eat again.
  • Murzyrek?: A lunch stop during a day of playing tourist in Old Town. B had grilled kielbasa, and I had soup – despite the 80+ degree weather. Pretty reasonably-priced, given its location, and the servers were nice.
  • Bistro Fusy: Another tourist extravaganza, another stop in Old Town. Everything on the menu was breaded, so I ordered the kasha (buckwheat) I’d seen briefly on the specials board as we were walking in. Little did I realize that it came with meat and a giant bowl of soup. How do people eat this much on a regular basis? You have to take two hours to do so, or risk your stomach exploding. You will be gratified to learn that I survived this trying episode.
  • Specjały Regionalne: Our last meal in Warsaw, on another day we just wanted to get away from the overwhelming heat. So of course I had soup. No, but it was cold soup this time! And B ordered pierogies ruskiy, which the English claimed came with bacon, but the Polish and Russian translations mentioned nothing of the sort. He managed to soldier on. Decent overall.

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