We only had 24 hours in Poznan on our Easter trip to Poland, so we didn’t get to visit many eateries. The town centre was as beautiful as the other cities we visited, but it was a bit further from the tourist trail, so whenever we went into a cafe we could see looks of terror on the faces of the staff who explained that there was no English menu, and they themselves could barely speak English, but they would try to explain. The vast majority of Europeans start conversations with this caveat about their English ability, and then explain their menu/medical procedure/insurance policy perfectly clearly. So despite their alarm, we had absolutely no problems understanding the menus and getting excellent service wherever we went.
We ate our evening meal at Kwadrat (UPDATE: closed May 2017), an all vegan restaurant near the centre of town. We’d spent the afternoon wandering around there, so it couldn’t have been a better location. It was really brightly coloured inside, and there wasn’t a menu, but the specials were written on the chalkboard and explained to us perfectly. On the day we visited there were two soups and three main courses.
I had the pasta, which was in a creamy sauce with really delicious tempeh and some big black olives, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It was solid, but (as I expected with a pasta dish) not mind-blowing.
Dr HH chose the more impressive option: sweet potato and carrot curry. The sauce was sweet and creamy, and everything was well-spiced. On the side were some tofu and chickpea kofta, which we also loved. All in all, it was a convenient, friendly place and the food was great.
In the morning we were seeking a big breakfast to fuel us up for a long bus ride back to Prague. Fortunately, Je Sus (UPDATE: closed 2017) was on hand to help us out. Again, there was no menu, but the staff came over and nervously explained what we could have. There were two breakfast options: an omelette, or pate and bread. Who can say no to an omelette?! It arrived looking a little healthier than I usually like my breakfasts, but it was really delicious! The omelette didn’t have that eggy taste from black salt that you sometimes find – instead, it was well seasoned with herbs and full of veg. It came with a couple of slices of bread too.
And just to make sure we would last until the evening, we snaffled a couple of slices of this as well. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a cake: it was more of a sweet bread bun topped with sticky, delicious fruit. The dates were the best. We left feeling really satisfied.
Our bus journey home, however, was horrendous. The first leg was in a minibus, driven by a teenager who barely put his phone down the whole time. Some of the lowlights were: drifting frequently into the wrong lane because he was too busy texting; some debris on the road flying up and hitting one of the side windows, cracking the entire pane but not actually falling through; being locked in the van while the driver ran off on a frantic mission to find duct tape; and the bus rolling away when the driver got out again without putting the handbrake on. Somehow, all passengers survived.
Poland had its ups and downs, and even though I definitely wouldn’t go back to the north, I’m glad we went. It was an interesting and beautiful country, with a fantastic vegan scene. And the vast majority of people we interacted with were really nice, particularly in Krakow and Warsaw.
Our next holiday destination should also be great for vegan food: we’re heading to Spain in July. (And then England – woot!)