Gdansk Pilgrimage 2018 (5): Polish hoops, mustard soup and bison lager.


I’ve prefaced the travel narrative of our visit to Poland (itself backdated to the actual days we were there) with a series called Eight Days of Gdansk, which provides background on a European destination that’s scandalously little known to Americans.

Previously: A deeply moving visit to the European Solidarity Centre.

Fusy Miętusy, a cafe and pub around the corner from the hotel, was the choice for our only non-hotel breakfast during the trip. It was comfy; the food and coffee were good. I liked the decor, which reminded me of Joe’s interior touches at Pints&union.

There’s nothing like an afternoon pro basketball game, so we boarded another SKM train, this time past Sopot to Gdynia, and a contest between MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza and the homestanding Asseco Prokom Gdynia.

It would have been a lengthy bus ride for MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza, but American players Cleveland Melvin and Trey Davis combined for 58 points as the visitors overcame a slow start and cruised to an 86-76 win.

From 2004 through 2012, the team won nine straight Polish championships. Curiously, during the first six championship seasons the team played in neighboring Sopot, then moved to Gdynia for the last three titles. Sopot promptly created a new team, leaving Gdansk, the most populous municipality of the Tricity conurbation, without a basketball team.

The price for a beer at the arena was only slightly higher than one purchased in a typical restaurant.

It fascinated me that Jacek Winnicki, the hyperactive coach of MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza, wore both a beard and a bun.

Back to Gdansk …

 … and a return to the eccentric and endearing Kashubian eatery Tawerna Mestwin for dinner. I wanted borscht (beet soup) and an entree-sized portion of marinated herring in cream sauce. Unfortunately the borscht was gone, and I decided to try mustard soup with sliced hard-boiled eggs, something I’ve never had in my life.

It was amazing. The photo isn’t mine; phone was dead, so I’ve borrowed this view from the Interwebz. I’ll be recreating this delicious soup at home.

For a nightcap, a quick trot to the neighborhood mini-mart yielded the official beer of New Albany’s Summit Springs hilltop strip mine retail development: Żubr, a tasty beer and a species of European bison.

Dojlidy Brewery /dɔɪˈliːdə/ (Polish: Browar Dojlidy [ˌbrɔvar dɔjˈlidɨ]) is a brewery located in Białystok, Poland, and owned by Kompania Piwowarska SA, the Polish subsidiary of SABMiller. The brewery was modernized between 1997 and 1999, then in 2003 it was purchased by Kompania Piwowarska SA. The Dojlidy Brewery used to make many different brands of beer, after being bought by Kompania Piwowarska S.A. their main product is Żubr. Żubr is one of the most popular beers in Poland and is also on sale throughout Europe.

I mention Żubr primarily because Dojlidy’s excellent Porter once was a great favorite of mine, although I haven’t seen it stateside for at least a decade.

Next: Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk.