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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Krakow - Pub Stajnia - Where Schindlers List Was Filmed

Dearest hearts,

One of the most well known and critically acclaimed movies of all time, especially on the topic of the Second World War and the Jewish extermination initiated by the Nazi party, is Schindlers List. All shot in black and white - in order to make the impact on the public more powerful - except 3 colorful symbols throughout the movie, it was shot in Kraków, Poland. The ghetto no longer is available to be seen nowdays, only some parts or the wall are preserved, so some scenes had to be filmed in different locations throughout the Jewish district: Kazimierz.
The most well known/popular location is the Pub Stajnia near Plac Nowy. This location is a "Must see" and is a part of the "Jewish district tour" that many companies offer. Again, I recommend you the Free Walking Tour Krakow team as they always behave the most reasonable and human - being like towards its customers and the people around them! As I said, the tour guides that will present you Kazimierz and Podgorze will eventually bring you to Pub Stajnia and show you the outside walls of the garden covered with pictures from diverse movies shot there, including Schindlers List ;)
If you are a fan of the movie (like I am) and you know the scenes, you will have no issue in recognising the stairway under which the lady hid from the Nazis and "local Jewish police" alike, when they were "cleaning out the ghetto". It is a good place to remember that here the movie was shot, but the place was not actually part of the ghetto itself. The ghetto had quite a different location, in the Podgorze region of the city. Instead you can enjoy the story and the place where the movie was shot. Maybe even have a small break for lunch :)
The Pub Stajnia has quite a central location in the Kazimierz region of Kraków.  It's a popular place if you like to dance tango/salsa/bachata as they organise dancing nights ;) Pub Stajnia is also a lovely place to meet up over some lemonade/beer - we met our dearest Mateusz W. there to talk about the wedding picture setup. I must admit I never tried the food there until this beginning of May and I was quite pleased about the taste of it ;) and so were my friends whom I took along with me in a tour of Kazimierz :) 
The big downside for me of Pub Stajnia are the following:
1) waiting time to get the food and even the drinks - usually I am ok with waiting 10 min for the drink and max 15 for food, especially if I am hungry, but this time it took forever to serve! We even had to pickup the menu ourselves. It is true we were the last table, it was a full day, but still... :/
2) the payment options - as far as I know Pub Stajnia only accepts cash payment, which is a total bummer if you ask me :( especially for the tourists that may not be prepared to pay for the meal in hard gold. It would be nice if they would introduce at least some Visa/Mastercard option. It is true that you can probably find an ATM nearby but still... the customer should be king!
3) the toilet/bathroom - I will always have something against restaurants that have only one cabin for each sex. Pub Stajnia has one small cabin for the gentleman and one for the ladies so there is always an inevitable queue forming outside, on the corridor... not nice at all, so make sure you don't go there at the last moment :p
The fingerlicking grilled pork :)
Pub Stajnia manages to pull out over 140 reviews on TripAdvisor and catch #350 out of 1043 restaurants in Kraków with an average of 3,5 stars out of 5. You can see mixed opinions (like mine) there as well, as it's a lovely place to hang out in the garden, yet it does have quite a few hard minuses... Even when you check their Facebook page you see the opinions being split and the total of stars here is 4,3 out of 5. Nonetheless if you are in the area and you wish to relax a bit under the trees, it is worth your time. Pub Stajnia is open Monday to Thursday between 11 am and 1 am, Friday and Saturday between 11 am and 3 am and Sundays between 11 am and midnight ;) Kazimierz district usually runs on a longer schedule ;))) so you can have more drinking/having fun time after a long week at work.
The Yummy Duck
When we went last time for lunch at Pub Stajnia we had karkowka with potatoes and salad & roasted duck with Silesian type dumplings and salad. I must admit that the presentation style of the duck was more appealing than my karkowka (pork meat, well seasoned, done on the grill) but I would have never chosen that as I am not a fan of the Silesian dumplings. But my friend really enjoyed the duck and the salad - it was her first time trying duck and she said she really liked the taste and it's tenderness. Like me she did not particularly like the Silesian dumplings... for us they seem a bit too gummy... it feels as if you need to chew on them forever... My karkowka was very well done and the combination with the traditional baked potatoes was marvelous. The sauce over the karkowka was fingerlicking good, so I ate absolutely everything! :) well done, though I somehow with the karkowka portion would be a bit bigger. We combined the food with some beer or lemonade - I enjoy the lemonade there as they are served in tall glasses and they come in lovely flavours like lavender. One portion of lemonade is enough for the meal, usually in some parts I ask for another one or I simply ask (if they have in the menu) the 1 litre version. At least that way I know I'm happy :) but here there is no need.

The prices:
- Hot tea = 10 zloty
- Espresso = 5 zloty
- Cafe latte = 8 zloty
- Ice coffee = 10 zloty
- Iced coffee with icecream = 15 zloty
- Cocktails - from 12 to 21 zloty
- Non-alcoholic drinks = around 10 zloty each
- Soups = around 10 zloty each type (be it zurek or gulasz)
- Pasta options from 24 to 28 zloty
- Salad options up to 20 zloty
- Barbeque ribs with white salad and fries = 28 zloty
- Pierogi options for 15 zloty
- Zeberka and duck options were around 28-30 zloty ;) 

As a verdict for Pub Stajnia I must say that is a must see place, especially if you are a movie buff and you like Schindlers List. It's also a lovely place in the summertime to get some shade, but make sure you don't sit at the last table, as it may take you a while to get served + diverse touring agencies/companies will come and show the pictures next to your table. We had a kind enough waitress that suggested we would move to a table that just cleared up, more inside the garden, so we would escape the crowd... trust me! It is a crowd!!! Especially during summertime and if the weather is fine! I suggest you to have some fine lavender lemonade or some beer and if you are hungry and you can wait for a while... well you can give it a go ;) I usually recommend people to eat either in the Old Town or Podgorze as Kazimierz is quite a crowded and... touristic spot! But it's your choice ;) enjoy!

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that likes Kazimierz but thinks it too crowded