Tonight I had dinner at Wesele. This is a fine restaurant in Kraków, right on the rynek. It is only a few blocks from our hotel. Yes, we are very fortunate in that we are right in the heart of things for all our hotels. That is very good.
I went to dinner early with Chris as he was meeting some friends there. Anna, who helped us mail stuff earlier, was already here, and we walked over. A short time later several other friends of Chris’ joined us. Now most of them did not speak English, though Anna speaks some. And later Yurik came, and he spoke very good English, having lived in Chicago for 11 years. But even though I was not sure what all was being said, it was fun and interesting and occasionally I’d catch the gist of the conversation, or someone would catch me up.
Wesele is a very interesting restaurant, and it has a bit of a history. According to my Polish-but-not-in-Florida friend, Ewa,
“Wesele restaurant (Wierzynek in polish from the name of the first owner many centuries ago) is a historic institution. The latest history – during the early 20th century all Polish intellectual elite: writers, painters, journalists, philosophers, etc., representing so called period of ‘Mloda Polska’ gathered there, drank, and discussed the meaning of life to no end, and created. They were mostly poorer, the ‘church mouse,’ so often they payed with their painting or poems, that were worthless then, but cost millions today. Kind of like Paris was an impressionists Mecca. Fascinating people, fascinating times. My favorite art periods: art deco, art noveau. Mloda polska. I dinned there once. It was an awesome experience.”
So we dined at a place with a “history” as it were.
We dined on the second floor. It is very nice there and looks very “Polish.” You will have to see my pictures whenever I get to it, I have some. Since we were there early, we started with a bit of Chopin (vodka) and I had a beer. Eventually the rest of the group arrived, many of them fresh from the afternoon tour of Oścwięcim (Auschwitz). But we will not discuss that today. Our meal was very good.
We started with a soup. I am not sure the name of it, but it had a tomato base but no cream, and had short pieces of angel hair pasta in it. I believe also garlic and paprika. It was good and was a huge bowl. Of course there was also some chleb i masło to go with it.
Prior to our next course, several small salads were set out on the table. The each consisted of a bit of mixed salad greens, quite a variety and very fresh. The salad was dressed lightly and was very good. Our main course consisted of three elements. First as hand mashed potatoes, the kind with the little lumps in them, with dill. They were very good. Then there was a bed of braised read cabbage—it was excellent—and on top of it two slices of pork loin. I thought the pork loin would be dry but it was not, it was very tasty. Overall, it was a pretty good dish.
For dessert we had a type of maybe a cherry bread pudding, I’m not sure exactly what to call it. But it was very good. It was garnished with a piece of star fruit (carambola) that was not at all ripe but looked good. And of course we had kawa and herbata for those who wished.
After dinner we were entertained. Well, a Polish “Krakovian” group played and and for another group near us, so we got to enjoy as well. There were I think three instruments and two dancers, whooping and hollering. It was very entertaining.
So once again we had a nice meal, this time in Krakow. You cannot say we starved to death or did not eat well, we’ve eaten all too well. But we’re on vacation and will do it again a few more times, I think. Thankfully….