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Friday, February 12, 2010

Anatomy of a Polish Meal

This is a really neat restaurant in Warsaw... the kitchen used to be the kitchen for a hotel and the dining area used to be the dining area for the staff so it's got this retro-look. At first I thought it used to be a hospital. Look at the industrial burners!

I was told the Poles don't eat salad, but they make awfully good salads. There is a person who washes every leaf that goes into the salad...no need to worry about worms or dirt... and the salad is beautifully presented. Oh yeah the dessert is right next to it... see that cream puff on the upper right corner of the plate? Well, it is happily sitting in my tummy right now... mmmm. Beard Papa? No competition. The Polish version is so much better.

Better view of dessert selection... I like this about Polish restaurants, you get to go pick out your own cream puff!

Here is the salad... too bad it came out blurry, cuz it was one of the best (not to mention beautiful) salads I've ever had... they put a lot of crunchy shredded beets and stuff in there, added a subtle layer of sweetness...and the dressing is not soggy at all.

The thing I like the most about this restaurant is that food is served at your table. Unlike in the US, where the plating is already done, then it is brought out to you. Here, it has a much more intimate feel. The servers and chefs bring out the pots and pans the food is cooked in and serve it to you right at the table. Here the ham is being carved (nothing like the US ham, tasted more like a roasted suckling pig) and the server is giving me some beets as a side.

Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut being served.

This is what a Polish main course typically looks like -- a huge slab of meat with some form of potato by its side. It was really good though. The onions were perfectly caramelized, the beef steak pretty flavorful and the mashed potatoes... creamy and buttery.