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Missing Grandma's Place
Entering the Babci Maliny restaurant, fondly referred to as "Grandma Maliny's place" a visitor goes through the courtyard of a building, just on the corner of Sławkowska and Św. Marka streets, in Krakow, the former capital of Poland. Some choose to refer to it as the Babacian Malina-Poleca restaurant.
Indeed, just as you descend the stairs, you are faced with a crossword-puzzled Babcia, who looks more like an old woman. She is in fact, the old grandma who welcomes you in, to a sumptuous meal of traditional Polish cuisine. The setting in here is such that you get a feel that you are not in just any kind of restaurant. I visited the Babci Maliny in July in the company of my friend Anna Korzec. I was glad I did.
In fact, if you visit Krakow, without trying out a dish at the Babci Maliny, then you owe Krakow a second visit. For many reasons, the restaurant prides itself as one where you can savour traditional Polish dishes in a uniquely quaintly traditional Polish setting at very little cost.
At the entrance of the restaurant itself, are old-fashioned plates and pictures hung on the wall. There’s an unused bed, which is set in a manner that gives you the impression that this is “grandma’s place”. The setting is complemented with a colourful effigy of Babcia - the grandma, welcoming you into the restaurant, and who is set to regale you with beautiful tales made only in Poland. Sometimes in the evening there could be a one-man musical band giving soft and melodious tunes to entertain guests. There are also photos of prominent Polish individuals, like sportsmen and politicians, hung on the walls, in recognition of their visits to the restaurant.
Unlike a typical restaurant for tourists, the tables and chairs are made of wood. Lanterns attached delicately to the roof, provide lightning for the restaurant. Here, you make your order, then take your seat, until your number tag is indicated on the wall. Meanwhile, you can admire not only the feel the setting gives you, but also the big creepy fish in a circular aquarium in the center of the room.
Of course, the meals are typically Polish cuisine. But don’t forget that this is grandma’s place. So you’ve got to pack your plates after eating, to a small enclave created just at a corner of the room, where it would be picked up for washing.
Jekuye (Thank you in Polish).
- Your Pal
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