After a dramatic period of openings and closings on Krucza the past few years, it seems that the street is slowly holding fast as a culinary mainstay. All within a few blocks, one can enjoy a decent cocktail, good pizza, peruse a meat lovers menu, be part of the foodie scene, savor a delicious Pad Thai, indulge your sweet tooth and even dive into a milk bar (granted, not in one day). One new place to add to this rue da flava is quite a different take on the cafes you see scattered around Warsaw with their cool logos and smart interior design. While it appeals to the fashionistas and hipster crowd, there is no need to have that feeling of self-doubt when crossing the threshold. Quite the opposite, in fact, which is a testament to the people of Niezłe Ziółko.
Translated literally, the name Niezłe Ziółko means “herb fair”, but as an idiom in Polish it means something along the lines of “aren’t you clever”. Both meanings make sense as the store display pots of herbs (and fresh flowers as well) to pleasure the aromatic senses, while the actual concept of the cafe is pretty smartypants and all: it’s a shrine to pure and healthy eating.
While the same lunch special might not be running by the time you read this, the zł. 15 made-on-the-day quiche and soup became an October favorite of mine. Besides the deals, the salads, cakes (made without sugar) and smoothies make it worth tracking down. And not only do they brew a good cup of Joe, but they produce their own yogurt and bake their own bread. Once inside, sit in the loft to look down on the shoppers scurrying from Mokotowska, and on the way out, check out “grandma’s cupboard” in the corner. Fill the gap between trips to Niezłe Ziółko by stocking up on jams, spreads and olive oils for home. (KD)