It’s not always easy to explain the style of cooking in a country to people who have never been to this country. So when a friend from Madrid asked what people eat in Poland (the country I was born in) I couldn’t really explain it. I tried to explain the ingredients they use and that due to the low temperatures the cooking is based on cabbage, meat and fish. But this was not really the picture I wanted to give her of the Polish cuisine, and so I searched the internet fora shop with Polish products or a restaurant serving Polish food. I did find both and so we went. The we went to restaurant is called La Polonesa. It is a family business, and is situated 10 minutes from Atocha. When you enter you’ll find a bar where you can have a drink, some “Polish Tapas” and buy a glossy magazine witht the latest gossip from Poland. On the right they have a corner with Polish products including food, beverage (they sell Polish beer) and my favourite: The Polish chocolate bars, Prince Polo.
At the end of the room is the entrance to the restaurant. When you go down the stairs into the room you will find a piano on the right followed by a sofa and two arm chairs, which invite you to have a coffee after you have eaten, and 6 to 7 tables.
The room is decorated with paintings of Polish landscapes and family pictures from the owners of the restaurant. In one corner you even have a traditional Polish dress which people in Poland still wear for special occasions. The tablecloths, made by stitchery, are also typical for Poland.
It was up to me to decide what to eat. I decided that we should first have some tomato soup as a starter and later on we would have some pierogi filled with mushrooms and cabbage. There are probably not many people who haven’t tried a tomato soup in their lives and so everyone knows how it tastes. But thepeople would be surprised by the Polish version. We put pasta inside and decorate it with parsley but that’s not very extraordinary. The difference lies in the addition of vinegar which makes the taste a bit sour, and makes it rather different from an ordinary tomato soup. When I tasted it I realized that this kind of tomato soup is something I would always associated with the Polish cuisine.
The second dish was pierogi and they came decorated with roasted onions. From all the dishes in Poland I would say that pierogi is my favourite. There are many different versions of stuffing, with meat, cheese and mushroom-cabbage stuffing. I also like the blueberry version which is served with cream and is sweeter than the others.
When another friend arrived she told us that she immediatly liked the restaurant and that she felt like at home in her living room. Her order was white sausage with potatoes and it was served with mustard and chrzan which is a cream of horse radish and very spicy. Chrzan is also a typical Polish product, but eaten only by people who like it spicy. They add it like mayonnaise or ketchup is added in other countries. As dessert she had Charlottka, a typical Polish apple cake.
My friends told me that they really enjoyed coming to La Polonesa and that we should come again and try some different dishes. The staff was very friendly and they speak Spanish and also English if it would be necessary.
Before we left I bought me some Prince Polo and we got some Polish vodka to try.
More pictures of the tasty food!
C/ Narciso Serra 3, 28007 Madrid
Metro Menéndez Pelayo
Monday till Sunday from 13h to 24h