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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Krakow - Goscinna Chata - Regional Polish Dishes

Dearest sweethearts,

Today I wish to present you #37 of 1,301 Places to Eat in Krakow as per TripAdvisor: Goscinna Chata, regional Polish restaurant, located on ul. Slawkowska 10. Goscinna Chata received from TripAdvisor the Certificate of Excellence for 2016 ;) so I figured out it was about time I would present this place on the blog. We have been there a couple of times, alone or with friends/family and we loved the food everytime. It's true it's a bit more expensive than the other restaurants I usually introduce you to, but it's worth your time and money as it has some regional specialties that you can't try anywhere else (I have a list of prices and items lower, in the "The Prices" section). 
The location of Goscinna Chata is central, in the Old Town, on the Slawkowska street. It's a very traditional regional "karczma" (=inn, pub, in Polish language) with specialties that you cannot find everywhere, in every restaurant. It's a perfect location for quite a fancy meal, if one wishes to indulge. It's true the menu can resemble other traditional Polish food places - maybe even Babcia Malina, that is almost right next door to it, on the same street - but somehow it also has one of a kind pieces that makes your visit there worthwhile (I will leave a list of a couple of dishes that actually need to be ordered in advance below, so you could form an opinion).
The setting of the place is very much Polish regional traditional and it's very eye pleasing, with different compartiments indoor/outdoor that allow quiet and intimate spots for both couples and groups. There is a long table for about 8 people in the corridor, as you enter the karczma. As you go further, to the right there is the entrance in the main room that holds tables from 2 to 10+, depending on how the waitress joins the table and the clients come in. By the wall there are nice wooden long benches with pillows embroided in traditional models and colors. All furniture is wooden and looks handmade. The inside is made to resemble an old style inn, with ceiling also remade with wooden beams. As you enter, after the long table, if you want outdoor seating you can choose from the wooden tables & chairs and small garden outside. It's lovely when it rains though, and you are indoor and the doors to the garden are open... :) It's my favourite place and time to be there: summer rain and a 2 person seating by the doors to the garden = love!
There are also further seating options below, in the cellar, but the minus there is that you will have no cell phone reception and no WiFi possibility like above. The password for the WiFi is goscinnachata2012 and the Internet is very nice, not dropping, allowing me to do upload/download quite fast ;) The seating options in the old cellar are also comfortable. As you go down the stairs, to the right there is a very intimate small nook/room for a party of up to maybe 8-10 people. Further on you need to go even lower under ground and there is a bigger room, with 5 tables for 4 person each. Very close to that secondary big room is the toilet option - one room for the ladies and one for gents. The toilet was always clean, with fresh towels and toilet paper + washing solution.
Even the menus are nicely done, marketing team was hard at work on setting up the place as traditional as possible ;)  The menus are wooden cutting benches on to which the menu files were attached. The menu itself has the same traditional models that you can see in the karczma - including on the embroided pillows. As an entree, we usually get for free the house specialty to try out: white cheese with tails of onion cut & lard (with pieces of meat and bacon) + homebaked bread. Fresh baked bread and preserved meats / cold cuts are actually smoked and baked in their own inn in Wysowa Zdroj - and to tell you the truth, the bread with lard reminded me of my childhood and my granny's cooking.
The prices:

Specialties to be ordered one day in advance:
- ram baked in honey, served with buckwheat = 58 zloty/kilo
- veal marinated and baked in vegetables with baked potatoes and grated cheese with herbs = 58 zloty/kilo
- baked duck stuffed with groats, meat and giblets supplemented with apples, raisins and prunes = 55 zloty/kilo
- baked goose stuffed with groats and meat, with raisins and almonds in orange sauce = 62 zloty/kilo
- baked rabbit in cream with carrots served with roasted potatoes = 70 zloty/kilo
- kompot = 5 zloty per glass
- mietownica (drink with mint, apple and honey) = 5 zloty
- bottled beers from Grybow region - traditional recipe = 9 zloty per 0.5 l
We tried there the following:
1) Sheperds loin with a slice of sheep cheese and bacon served with baked potatoes and vegetable salad - 35 zloty
2) "Placki po gospodarsku"- potatoe pancakes with a slice of pork neck in gravy with pickled cucumber vegetable salad - 29 zloty
Besides that we recommend you to try the traditional kompot or mietownica ;) that is served fresh and cold, perfect for summer days and cooling down. Marek also tried the regional brewed beer, but I am not such a huge fan so I can't tell you how that was... but he liked it ;) It was approved!

Overall Goscinna Chata is the kind of place where you take your friends and family when they come from abroad, in order to try out something traditional Polish in an unique environment. It's a bit more expensive than the regular Babcia Malina where familes come to have their weekend meals, it's a bit more fancy, but it's worth to give it a go. The food is not as big portions but it's enough for a grown person and it's tasty! Your taste buds will thank you later on ;) especially if you are a meat fan like we are!

** This post was made out of love for Polish places to eat good traditional Polish meals in an authentic Polish environment. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! **

Yours sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that enjoyed Goscinna Chata

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