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Which ingredients/vegetables/fruits/meats are nonexistent in traditional Polish cuisine?


DominicB - | 2,645    
18 Apr 2019  #121
There are a few chains now with burritos and other Mexican stuff

That's a good example of what I mentioned above about returning emigrants. The inspiration for them is a pi$$-poor chain of wannabe "Mexican" fast food restaurants in Chicago called Taco Burrito King. For some bizarre reason, this chain became very popular among Polish immigrants in Chicago. There is plenty of great authentic Mexican food in Chicago, but it is TBK that has cemented the idea of what Mexican food is, and should be, in the mind of countless Polish immigrants.

By the way, I've eaten at TBK in Chicago, and found it amusing how many of the other patrons were speaking Polish. I wasn't amused by the food, that's for sure. Better than Taco Bell, but then, what isn't?

Chipotle, another "Mexican" chain started by McDonalds, is another chain popular with Polish Americans. Why, I don't know. It's bland and lifeless, and a far cry from real Mexican food. When I returned to Chicago from Poland, though, my Polish friend there was quite enthused about it. I told him he's nuts and took him to several real Mexican restaurants. He was not impressed because it did not conform to his perception of what Mexican food should be, namely Chipotle.

He was also enamored of the hamburgers at a chain called Five Guys. When I took him for real good hamburgers, he was disappointed that they were nothing like the chain version. For him, the ultimate burger was Five Guys, and anything else was judged based on its similarity to their product.

On the other hand, I have taken three trips to Puebla, Mexico with my Polish friends, and they absolutely loved authentic Mexican food. Puebla is the culinary capital of Mexico and the food is ultra-diverse and to die for. However, I suspected they appreciated it so much is because their minds and palates had not yet been poisoned by the likes of TBK or Chipotle.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
18 Apr 2019  #122
The inspiration for them is a pi$$-poor chain of wannabe "Mexican" fast food restaurants in Chicago called Taco Burrito King.

Maybe the kind in shopping precincts; the same sort of thing that you'll find in such places the world over.

There's 'The Mexican', a small chain in Warsaw that is more of a Polish take on it (time for pol-mex!), plus another small chain that's much more authentic; there's one just off Rondo Wiatraczna.
DominicB - | 2,645    
18 Apr 2019  #123
There's 'The Mexican'

Ahh, The Mexican. I took some of my friends to the one in Łódź. When the food came out, it actually looked apetizing. But after one bite, I said "Polak to zrobił". "Pol-Mex", as you said, though there wasn't anything even remotely Mexican about it except the appearence. There was a better take on Tex Mex in Gdynia, of all places. And in Wrocław, there was a place that gets a solid E for effort. Not bad, but not great. And there was a The Mexican right next to the university, but I never stepped foot in there after the fiasco in Łódź. I've also been to an OK-ish place on the square in Kraków.

Unless a lot more Mexicans move to Poland, or a lot more Poles travel to Mexico, any concept of "Mexican" food in Poland is going to filtered through knockoffs of American fast food joints, adapted either for Polish tastes, or more likely those of American tourists and ex-pats. It's no accident that restaurants of these types are found almost entirely in tourist areas (except the one in Gdynia which was weirdly off the beaten track, go figure).

If you want to experience a good authentic international food experience in Poland, try the Georgian and Armenian restaurants along the highways (NOT Chaczapuri, a chain that you find near town squares). They were opened to cater to truck drivers from Russia, not locals, and the food is great. And authentic, as confirmed by an Armenian friend.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
18 Apr 2019  #124
When the food came out, it actually looked apetizing. But after one bite, I said "Polak to zrobił".

When we went there, there were cakes coming out every few minutes and people singing Sto Lat.

Loco Meksykana in Praga is/was excellent. Some unusual dishes.

Armenian

There's a decent one on either Wspólna or Hoża (the western bits), and there used to be a couple of excellent Bulgarian restaurants.
Miloslaw 6 | 1,514    
18 Apr 2019  #125
I would say that some of the best restaurants in Poland for good food that is a little bit different from the norm are Armenian and Bulgarian.


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