Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's not all Pierogi!

I came to Poznan to enjoy in particular the Historical Museum housed in the magnificent City Hall, but a combination of the heat and arthritis has caused me to limit my walking. I have eaten most of my meals in the Puro Hotel, where I'm staying, and oh my! I'm eating well. I chose this hotel for its close location to the Stary Rynek and also for the fact that it has an in-house restaurant and free coffee in the common area, so I knew I would be fine if the arthritis problem became difficult.

In May when I was on a Global Volunteers program, one team member was of 100% Polish ancestry and lived in a Polish-American community. The May program was his first time in Poland. He told me his biggest surprise about the "real" Poland is that people don't eat pierogi for every meal. Pierogi are good, but there is so much more!!!!

The first evening after arriving in Poznan I went downstairs to the Nifty 20 Restaurant. One doesn't have to be afraid about ordering. An English menu is readily available in restaurants in large and mid-size cities. I remember once though when I got a Polish menu and was sure I had ordered pasta with fruit, thinking fruit was a bit different than vegetables with pasta for the mid-day meal. When it was served I thought I had surely made a mistake reading the Polish menu, that is until I bit into something I thought was a cherry tomato and it turned out to half of a strawberry. Hey, I did read the word for fruit correctly.

Below is not the greatest photo I've ever taken but it does show that menu is available in English.

My first evening here I chose the baked trout. This is somewhat common dish in Poland, but I think this is the first time I've ever had it. Just look at the beautiful presentation.

I finished this meal with one of the many cakes available for dessert.

This one had a pastry crust, almost like the crust for an American pie. The filling is smetana, hopefully that is spelled correctly. Smietana is all purpose word for anything between sour cream and whipped cream, and one has to figure out in context what it is. For example, one wouldn't put whipped cream on a potato. When it is the sweet version, it is less sweet than American whipped cream. And look at the beautiful fruit.

When it is hot in Poland, the drink I like best is Lipton Peach Ice Tea. Here I ask for it is ice and one time the waiter asked me too if I wanted one from the refrigerator or the room temperature shelf. Oh, yes, please the refrigerator.

My first breakfast is about like any others I have had here.

Very good scrambled eggs, excellent bacon, very nice pastry rolls, and this time only naleśninki. I put my fork beside the naleśninki(hopefully spelled correctly in Polish, this is a word I stumble on all the time) so one can see how tiny (maletki -- a new word I learned from my students when I taught them the word, tiny) they are. 

At 1:00 in the afternoon on my first day I met friends at a cafe on the rynek. I had the pork salad, chosen because I've never had a salad with pork before -- yes, chicken, shrimp, etc, but pork was new. This salad had small pieces of roast pork as well as small pieces of ham. I was so busy talking I forgot to take a picture. 

Back at the hotel I tried the carrot soup for supper. It was perfect with just the right amount of ginger. 

The next morning I had the scrambled eggs and bacon, but added this instead.

It was cool enough to enjoy a cup of cappuccino in the garden area after breakfast.

This gave me a chance to see the back side of a tenement in Poznan.

On another day of my stay I decided to have whole orange rather than orange juice. Check the label as to its origin.

On Tuesday of my stay I was running out of cash and needed to find a Bank-o-mat. That forced me to take my gimpy leg out into the heat and walk down to the Stary Rynek.  I found the Bank-o-Mat easily enough and then had to sit down in a cafe to rest.

There I ordered mrożona -- ice coffee. Well technically frosty coffee. It took me some time to figure out the word for ice coffee comes from the Polish word for frost rather than the Polish word for ice. Anyway it is a wonderful drink on a hot day.

Because I had enjoyed the above about 12:00 noon, I thought a light mid-day meal was in order so I asked for the Caesar Salad with chicken.
This was very good.

In the evening I tried the pork chop entree.

Again this was a great choice.

Now I can't remember if I had the dessert below at mid-day or in the evening. Ah, the problems of travel -- so much good food, one can't remember which meal!

This was loaded with nuts and chocolate bits.

A new thing I tried another day was a typical Greek Salad with feta cheese and olives, but as you may be able to see in the photo, also watermelon. I've never thought about adding watermelon to this type of salad.

On another day I was really hungry for the mid-day meal so ordered from the weekly special menu. This dish was called Chicken Supreme.
In the evening of the same day I had an amazing hamburger.

I don't like onions so ordered it without. Instead the chef created a layer of radishes. I ate this in layers with my fork and knife. This certainly wasn't a burger one could pick up and eat like we do burgers in the United States.

Overnight there was a rain shower and the temperature cooled down into the 80s. Thus I thought my excuse was gone -- I could walk a bit. I started out to the rynek to find a restaurant for the mid-day meal. However, about two blocks from the hotel I walked by a Why Thai. There was a sign out front saying that today's special was a chicken and cashew stir fry. I was hooked.

 The restaurant is decorated in a minimalist Asian style.

Here's the stir-fry.

I finished off this meal with an ice cream.

 One might assume this is vanilla ice cream, but again it is a version of smietana. Its flavor is a bit different than vanilla. And I'm certain this is the first time I've had star fruit as the fruit with the ice cream.

So you can see, pierogi may be wonderful -- but there is so much more to eat. And it's all so very good.,


Lake Mary Food Critic said...

I am glad i stumbled upon your blog and specifically this post. You are right, there is a lot more to Polish food than pierogi. Thanks so much for the pictures, you had my mouth watering, and your descriptions were excellent. Keep up the good work and great picture taking. Poznań is on my bucket list (since my grandfather was born not too far away from there) but i have not yet visited there--on my next trip, i hope. tell me, did you have any excellent mushrooms yet? They are the greatest, though it may be just a bit early for this year's picking, though I think some have started....

Thanks again! Smacznego!

Lori said...

I haven't seen mushrooms here and you are right it is a bit early for picking mushrooms in Poland which is the late summer and early fall rather than spring like the midwest area of the United States. Below is my blog is a post about mushroom farms. Mushrooms are a huge agricultural crop in eastern Poland. On the mushroom farm I ate one right out of the growing medium. We had mushrooms in dishes several times while I was at language camp at Dom Pracy Reymontowka -- another place with fine food. And in Polish there are two words for mushrooms -- one for mushrooms from the forest and another for mushrooms grown on a garm.