A Polish Feast

The other day, we got together with Julia and Bruce for lunch. As much as Julia and I both love to cook, every now and then we like to take a break from our own kitchens to see what’s cooking in other kitchens as well. And we love trying new ethnic and exotic foods too. This time we decided to go Polish, and we chose to go to Cracovia Polish American Restaurant and Bar, in Westminster, Colorado. It had been a very long time since I was last there, and Larry had never been at all. The food was even better than I remembered. It was AWESOME and amazing and quite a spectacular feast!!!!!

At first, we were the only ones in the restaurant, which means we were really taken care of well. It didn’t take long though before more people started coming in.

Cracovia boasts of offering almost 100 types of vodka, and counting. Obviously, I did NOT try all of those varieties, but I did have to try at least a couple. I mean after all, when in Poland, do as the Polish do, right?!

Our server Melissa was so fun and so friendly, and one of the vodkas offered was called Melissa Vodka, so in her honor, that was one of the vodkas I tried, along with the Huckleberry vodka. Both were good, but I really liked the Huckleberry vodka a lot. I only had a tiny smidgeon of each though. They came to me in ice-chilled shot glasses.

However, I did enjoy a full glass of the Polish Kiss which was made with lavender vodka and had lavender sugar rimmed around the glass. Again, when in Poland ….. This was very tasty.

We kind of went a little overboard when it came to ordering the food, and I think we literally got to sample most of the menu. All of it was totally scrumptious too! We even got to meet and visit with Chef Jutta. She was a lot of fun.

OMG!!!!!!!! Everything was so good, and the food just kept on coming. When I say we feasted, believe me we FEASTED. For as much food as there was, we didn’t leave much behind at all. We must have been really, really hungry. 🙂

Everything is made in-house, using recipes passed down many generations. We started off with the sausage sampler platter that came with a spicy homemade mustard on a sizzling platter.

The sausage sampler platter was the first of many dishes that were brought to the table. Now mind you, we all SPLIT everything, and only had little bits of everything, but a lot of little bits still adds up to A LOT OF FOOD.

Everything came with either soup or salad. There was a pickle soup, the traditional beet soup and the house salad that was topped with cucumber and Mandarin orange slices.

These were followed by the pierogi samplers, with both fried and poached pierogis, and cabbage rolls, again, both fried and poached. They came with plain beets, horseradish beets, a chilled sour cream and dill dip, sour cream, bacon, mushroom gravy and tomato sauce.

We didn’t stop there. Oh no, no, no. There was still a lot more food yet to come our way. Next came the goulash pancake with mashed potatoes. And we ate everything Melissa placed in front of us too.

And then came a grilled meat and rib platter and a fruit drink that was a palette cleanser and more mustard sauce.

And last but not least, a delicious custard filled donut. We barely had room enough to split it four ways, but we did. We just had to try it. It was the perfect ending to a perfect lunch.

Melissa kept offering the back room for us so we could stretch out and “sleep it all off”. We were very tempted to take her up on her offer too. I think we all needed to be rolled out in wheelbarrows. We were SOOOOO full, but as I said, everything was absolutely DELICIOUS! Bruce and Julia said they did not eat anything else for the rest of the day, and the only thing we had, and it was much, much later, was popcorn.

Cracovia Restaurant & Bar is a family-owned and operated restaurant that prides itself on being the most authentic Polish-American restaurant in Colorado. [They} use only the finest ingredients in [their] kitchen and ensure each dish has the warmth of a traditional home-cooked meal.  The owners are the executive chefs, immigrating from Poland about 27 years ago and bringing with them over 20 years of cooking experience. [They] have been recognized by Urbanspoon’s Best of Denver, Yellow Scene, The Denver Post, The Best of Yelp, Westword and other publications. [They] have also been labeled Best Polish Restaurant Denver, as well as Best Polish Restaurant in Colorado!”

Cracovia Restaurant opened in September of 2008 at the peak of the recession, in hopes of uniting the Polish community that is dispersed through out the metro area. Owners Lester and Maria Rodzen escaped from Communist Poland in the 80’s in hopes for a better life. Shortly after, they started their own business in real estate. After the fall of the housing market, it was time to return back to what they knew. They started the first Polish newspaper in Denver called Echa Kolorado. Soon after, they began to envision a place where people from the community could come enjoy great food, strong drinks, live music, and talk about their polish roots. It didn’t take long to put the plan into action. In less than one year, the front doors of Cracovia Restaurant opened!”

“The name Cracovia is derived from the second largest city in Poland. Krakow, is a culturally vibrant metropolis, where Lester & Maria first met. Specifically, Cracovia means that something is “of the essence of Krakow”. If you should ever visit the beautiful city, you will find an abundance of hotels and restaurants with a similar name”.

A big HUGE thank you to Melissa, Chef Jutta, and Cracovia for welcoming us into your “home” and for treating us like royalty. It was such a fun lunch and you all made it very special as well.

Cracovia Polish Restaurant and Bar is located at 8121 West 94th Avenue, Westminster, Colorado 80021. You can call them at (303) 484-9388 or visit them online at http://www.CracoviaRestaurant.com. When you go, bring your appetites, your sense of fun and adventure and good friends or family to help share the meal. We ordered the variety sampler platters, and you can see how much food we got. Everything was FANTASTIC! We will definitely be going back again very soon.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

21 thoughts on “A Polish Feast”

  1. How did I go this long not knowing about Cracovia Restaurant & Bar? Mom was Ukrainian/Polish and her family emigrated from Krakow. The photos look like dinner at the relatives’ house (only better). Next time in Colorado….

    Liked by 1 person

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