This post will be published out of order, since I decided that the story of my last few days in Warsaw really didn’t need to be written if I got pressed for time. As it turns out, I have found myself with some time on my hands here in Medellin, Colombia. The apartment here is nice, and I haven’t been motivated to wander around town to find fodder for my first Medellin blog post.
The following are random photos I took during the last days. I was in my normal mood of not being motivated to do anything more, after having been in one place for three months. I have noticed that I have formed a habit of being a hermit the first and last weeks I am living some place. During those two weeks, once I have purchased food, I stay hunkered down.
When my friend realized how soon I would be leaving, she asked me if there was some place I wanted to go back to, to have a meal before I left. I told her that I only place, I wanted to go back to was Mônsieur Léon to have Syrah, bread, and butter again. Of course that one choice turned into quite a few over those last days. I won’t include the very last meal since it was included in my Leaving Warsaw post.
When my friend and I went to the wine tasting at Mielżyński Wines Spirits Specialities, we had been disappointed that the restaurant there was not serving foie gras that day. We made a point of going back on a day when foie gras was being served. One thing you will notice right away, is that there are no photos taken of the restaurant, the food, nor us. It was a very disastrous meal. I suppose that I should have written a seperate post telling just how bad it was, but I am not going to.
To start off they didn’t have our reservation. The maître d’ was quite rude with me for not speaking Polish, but I must say he was just as rude to my friend for not speaking polish well. He seated us at a table crammed up against some packing crates of wine. The service was beyond bad. The waiter seemed not to want to even take our order, and refused to find out what a dish was, which we had seen served to another table.
When our food came, it was such a disappointment. How can a cook worth their salt make foie gras taste like potted meat? Rather than being served with a nice bit of toasted bread, it was served with a very harsh tasting black sesame crackers. Had the foie gras been worth tasting the flavor of the cracker would have completely covered it up.
We had planned to have a full meal, as the foie gras was an appetizer. By the time we were able to get the waiter’s attention, so we could order our main meal, we had decided to leave. He was quite busy flirting with the nice looking bartender. When we finally caught his eye, he yelled across to our table, “What do you want?” The diners are the other table were staring at him, but he stayed leaning on the bar, rather than noticing that we we were making the international sign of, “bring the check.” (Pretending to write on your hand.) We finally had to yell back.
It was a long walk, but we went over to my neighborhood Italian joint, Da Aldo Ristorante. I guess it was the disappointment of the first place, but I ate way too much at Da Aldo. As usual the food, service, and ambiance was wonderful. I wish I could remember the name of our server. She spoke wonderful english and treated us like family every time we went there.
I had the salmon with mushroom risotto. It is a good thing that I didn’t start going to Da Aldo’s until the last month I was in Warsaw, or I would have spent way too much money there. The prices were a very good value, but I would have been going several times a week.
It was a hot day. Too hot to eat out on the sidewalk, as we normally did during the day. The restaurant had no AC so our waitress seated us next to an open door. The tables which can be seen behind us are from another restaurant. The ones for Da Aldo were on the sunny side of the building.
After we parted at the bus stop, I went walking around the neighborhood to walk off the meal. An earlier post I used the photo below because I liked the various graffiti. I particularly liked the hand print.
On my walk that day, I made my way along a crossing street and realized the hand print was just an indication that the garage belonged to the Wilson Hostel. The Poles sure do love Woodrow Wilson.
Not far from my house I saw that the sunflower growing out of the sidewalk had gotten much bigger. I guess someone had been standing there eating sunflower seeds. It was, after all, right next two where men were working under the sidewalk. On my last walk through, I saw that someone had picked it. I have to admit that I had thought of picking it too.
I must have walked past the tree above a dozen times without noticing that its branches were twisted around like a basket.
One of the things I like to do when spending long periods of time in one place is notice the changes. The overgrown driveway which I featured in a previous post, on this day, was filled with yellow daisies.
I like the way graffiti art repeats around town. This image of a girl is also on a building one block from my apartment. I was always glad to see it, as it meant that I was nearly home.
I took a photo of this piece of old stone work set into a modern brick wall in front of a residence, so I could figure it out later. Google translate helped me learn that the house was once the home of Polish Architects Barbara Brukalska and Stanisław Brukalski.
I think the cast iron lawn ornament above makes the point. Funny that it is in english. No is Nie in Polish. I took the photo these unusual burglar bars below, because I thought the photo would make a nice jigsaw puzzle. It did.
A train, above carrying a fleet of military vehicles. Below, doesn’t Chloe in Secret Lives of Pets 2 look an awful lot like Pusheen?
A few days later my I met up with my friend and one of her friends to eat at a place, where I hadn’t gone before, just because they were said to have the best perogies around. My friend told me that of all the touristy places to eat in Warsaw, Zapiecek was the one that got the right balance of kitsch for the tourist (girls in skimpy silly looking bavarian costumes), and good nostalgic food for the locals.
We all had perogies. They were very good, the best I had in Warsaw, but I noticed the meat on the menu. I knew that if I had a chance before I flew out, I would make it back there.
The perogies were served in little sillets that couldn’t possibly be the ones used to cook them. They were served with an onion bacon sauce and grated cheese. I ate most of the sauce, but none of the cheese. The menu lets you mix and match flavors. I had half camembert and blue cheese and the other half mushrooms. You were given a choice of fried or boiled. I had fried of course.
A couple of days later I contacted my friend on the off chance that she was free for dinner. She was, but only if I could join her in an hour. Normally it takes me an hour and a half to walk over to that side of town, but I had some left over bus tickets I needed to use up. When she asked where I wanted to go I said. Zapiecek so I could get some of that big meat I had seen on the menu.
On the bus ride over, I marveled again at how nice the transit system is in Warsaw.
We both had pork ribs stewed with vegetables and served on a bed of the best sauerkraut I have ever had. It was so good.
The next day was the fourth of July and we agreed to meet again for a late lunch. I just had to return to the Granada Bar, to have Cava, fried anchovies, and roasted peppers again. On our way to the restaurant, as we walked past the Russian Embassy, we saw a huge orange cat (above). I wish there had been something near him to show scale. He must have been 20+ pounds. I am sure his name is Boris.
The anchovies were as good as always. This time since it was only the two of us, we only had one bottle of cava.
The peppers used in this dish are the ones that don’t make me sick. The only peppers, no matter how hot or mild, I can’t eat are in the nightshade family. The peppers are on a bed of homemade potato chips and topped with coarse sea salt. The wooden skewer is how you eat them.
We asked the waiter to take a photo of us, so we didn’t have to put up with that selfie look to our memories.
As is our habit when we go to the Granada Bar, we wandered over to Mônsieur Léon’s for drinks, bread, butter. This didn’t count as our having a meal at Mônsieur Léon’s, so we made a reservation for the sunday before I was to leave.
When we returned, I asked the waiter about buying a bottle of my favorite wine to take home, only to find that it was box wine. That is funny, since it is the best wine I had in Warsaw, even at the wine tastings. My dinner, on that second visit, wasn’t very pretty, mackerel paste with toasted baguette and the bread with butter. However my dessert was cute so I took a photo of it. It was like a whipped cream with graham crumbs fresh cherries and basil. It was very good.
I am not ignoring my desert above. I was talking to my friend’s friend. This one didn’t like having her photo taken so no image of her. My friend was supposed to be taking a photo of my desert, but took one of me too. For some reason my phone wouldn’t turn on. I had turned it off to save battery before using it to guide me home.
On my way home from Mônsieur Léon’s I noticed a shattered candlestick on the sidewalk. I picked up one of the crystals and left it in a drawer in my place. Why? Just to give a future tenant something to wonder about.
The next day when I was getting ready to go on my walk, I noticed that the kitchen dining area was reflected on the ceiling heater. I thought that this image would be a good one to recall a lot of memories of the little place in the future.
For a long time I thought these graffiti tags read Fukow 79. I was perplexed trying to figure out what it meant. Eventually I realized that it was a european “1” not a “7” as I was reading it. At that point I decided it must be a graduating class tag, but I haven’t been able to locate a school with that name. Fukow seems to be a Polish last name, so maybe this is just some guy’s tag for this year.
The bridge I always walked over to get back and forth to the city, went over the Warsaw Gdansk train station. One day, I want to go visit Gdansk.
Well, this is the last post for Poland. It is time for me to turn my eyes to the city that is outside my window.