Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the Herbarium

When you're a kid, summer is all about camps, right? Band camps, girl-scouts, or just summers at grandmas. When I was a kid, I spent many a summer at a camp with first and second year Biology or Geography students who had to determine random plants found in the fields and forests of bountiful Estonia. I guess my parents brought me and my sister along for educational purposes, some of the Latin names of the plants rubbed off on us, but mainly we had a really annoyingly educational effect on the college students. We loved running off to the far-away corners and showing up with the rarer species, that my mom could then hold up and ask: "Who can tell me the Latin name for this." Later on all of these would have to be carefully dried between sheets of newspapers to then end up in the beautiful herbariums.

This week in Warsaw, my dearest colleague took us to this really cute cafe in Warsaw. It is called Zielnik (OdyƄca 15, trams 4, 18 and 36 go there, it's about 4 stops from Centrum), i.e. herbarium in Polish. It has herbarium pages all over the walls, the music is silent enough so you can talk and the chairs are really comfortable. A perfect place for a long, long dinner and some girl-talk that draws on for hours.

Some of the food was really good and some was just OK. I had sizzling prawns with roasted garlic and a goat's cheese salad. The latter was a bit boring (and the cheese was a bit overcooked), but the prawns were nice. I was told that the pierogy with veal were really good (Polish dumplings served with melted butter)and the three of us shared two desserts - a meringue layered caked (good but gives you a sugar induced twitch) and a Charlotka (Polish version of apple-pie) with ice-cream. The latter was a roaring hit.

All in all I really recommend it, for a nice tete-a-tete or a dinner with a bigger group of people.

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