Part 2:My fast food on Grodzka street.
In Kracow Grodzka street is very important place for everybody. This street connects Market square and Wawel castle. When I lived in Cracow I was on this street every day because it was my way to my job. Grodzka street is beautiful and has long and rich history. But today I'm not going to write about it.
Today I'm writing about one place on this street. This place is a milk bar “Temida” (eng. Themis). I like this bar and it was important for me. “Temida” isn't sophisticated but it always has fresh food and staff serves quickly. I know “Temida”since my childhood. My parents took me sometimes for diner after city walk. During communism time this place was open for everybody and was cheap and good and it was in the city center. When I was a student often I had a fast lunch and also ate there in the breaks in my city guide job.
What does Milk bar mean? “Bar mleczny” (direct translation – milky bar) was a government owned place to sell as many fast meals as possible. Something like a Communistic Fast Food – a McDonalds for working class, always hungry people, students who wouldn't`t have much money or homeless people. After that time places like that became famous for cheep and good meals, so the same class of people would eat there. In this particular one you can still see an university lecturer along with students, or people straight from work. Food remained good and really cheap, maybe not the most sophisticated but really tasty.
Why this common place has name of an ancient Greek goddess? I'm not sure but I guess why communist governors called that place in this way. They usually called milk bars with ordinary names like “Daisy”, “Miner”, “Central” etc. It was different in Crakow, where council had and still have high opinion of oneself so all milk bars in Crakow had fancy names like "Barcelona", "University", "Europe", etc. Probably the Themis (pol. Temida)milk bar owe its name to location. There is a university faculty of law in the same street so maybe the name of Greek goodness of law was the best name for this place.
What can we find in Milk bar menu? We find Polish food, simple and tasty cuisine. In “Temida” I recommend “pierogi”. There are a few kinds of pierogi. Pierogi with meat, cabbage and mushrooms, with cottage cheese, and “ruskie”. “Pierogi Ruskie” are my favourite, there are stuffing with potatoes and cottage cheese and this dish is served with fried onion and malted butter. I loved them.
There are many kinds of soups. Soups in Polish tradition are very important and we can find all soups which are traditonal meals served during important Polish holidays. There are mushroom soup, beet root soup, żurek, and of course rosół, tomato soup and borsch.
Sometimes I took my visitors for fast lunch and we ate typical Polish dinner composed of soup, main course with meat and salad and kompot. Kompot means a drink with cooked fruits served sometimes hot, sometimes cold - as you like. Typical meats in main course are kotlet schabowy (meat with pork breaded), kotlet mielony (like hamburger), zrazy (beef roulade), and others.
But I also like vegetarian food there. There are many kind of salads, I recommended salad with beet root, spring salad, or salad with lentils. My favourite dishes are: placki ziemniaczane, they look like pancakes made of potatos, dumpling and pancakes with cottage cheese and strawberry.In the second branch of “Temida” on Poselska street they serve variety of pancakes, but this is only kind of meal that you can order in that branch.
There is also a wide selection of breakfasts in “Temida” milk bar. We find there eggs served of many kinds, sandwiches, sausages and other meals.
“Temida”has still the same style of decoration typical for the communism. Even though it is busy place it's always clean and tidy inside. There are four rooms: the first room is serving area. Milk bars are always self-service. You'll take a tray and line up. Queues are sometimes long but don't worry, staff works very quickly and you have a meal in a few minutes. Once you paid and got your meal, you need to find a free seat. Sometimes it may be a problem because people don't like strangers at the table but when you are alone you'll find a place quickly. When you are with companionship it's a good idea to split a task. One person is looking for a place and the rest is waiting for a meal in queue.
Currently in “Temida” we can meet students, professors, workers, clerks, homeless and turists but all are kind and polite to each other. I met a lot of interesting people there and I heard amazing stories.
I recommended you “Temida”if you need to eat during a tour. Maybe we meet there? Enjoy.
Ilona thanks for your help. Your photos are really great.
My subjective guide on restaurants in Cracow - part 1
My subjective guide on restaurants in Cracow - part 3 - My zone around Bagatela theatre.