One of the things that I love about going to a new country is trying out the food there. Not just the local dishes that would be new to me but also local twists on international favourites. So here is one day’s food from Szczecin.
Breakfast is always an odd affair when staying in a hotel. We try an avoid their breakfasts as they are usually overpriced and at that time of the morning an all you can eat European style buffet just doesn’t appeal. So I left the hotel to find somewhere that was going to deliver a light breakfast and a cup of tea.
There is a really nice bakery just along from the hotel serving really great looking pastries. The first time I was in Szczecin I went in there and ordered a croissant. I handed over my Polish currency only to be met with frowns. Turned out I handed over my loose Croatian coins. There was much confusion and embarrassment which ended in them telling me just to take it and have it for free. I was mortified and have never been back.
So it was that I found myself in the local Starbucks, somewhere I would never set foot in back in the UK but here it represented safety. They also delivered a very nice croissant filled with cheese, ham, rocket and tomato with an English breakfast tea on the side. I always get strange looks when I ask for some cold milk on the side but they are always obliging.
Lunch is always a real low point on these trips and today wasn’t anything different. Yesterday’s lunch consisted of a packet of crisps and a Snickers bar from the vending machine. Today some ordered in Vietnamese chicken dish delivered direct to the office by some Polish equivalent of Deliveroo. The vending machine won.
Perhaps because developers being developers food is taken at odd hours. I was surprised on previous trips that I seemed to be the only one eating at lunchtime. This could well be that their late arrival means that they had a late breakfast and so lunch isn’t so necessary.
The timing of today’s lunchtime meal turned out to be important, not that I realised it at the time. We ate at 1pm and I did not get through all that plastic tray of food by any means. Ironically the bit I enjoyed the most was probably the pickled cabbage which had no origins in Vietnam at all.
There had been some debate as to where we should go for dinner with the team settling upon a local restaurant called Radecki that they had never been to but had heard good things about. It was without a doubt the culinary high point.
What I hadn’t realised was that the table was booked for 16:30 so only three and a half hours after my lunch. I was not ready for dinner but I soldiered on manfully.
I chose the pork tenderloin in a cream sauce with onion while the three developers went for the “Lumberjack dinner” which was rolled pork sirloin, fried potatoes with bacon and onions and gherkins.
What arrived for me looked very much like a loaf of bread on a wooden board. At first I thought that either I had ordered the wrong thing or that they had brought the wrong dish. But there was a real ta dah! moment when I broken the surface of the “bread” and saw below the pork swimming in its cream sauce. It was wonderful.
Meanwhile the developers were racing through their “lumberjacks dinner” (no problems for them that lunch had only been a short while ago it seemed). It was served on a skillet and on the handle was what I initially mistook for an old insulated cover or, perhaps, some charred marshmallows. Turned out that this was the bread that accompanied the dish and had been cooked around the handle!
All agreed that Radecki had been a great choice and I thoroughly recommend it. Because of the exchange rate a meal consisting of five excellent main courses and five soft drinks came to only £48. A real bargain.