Unlike cinematic love scenes, food can be enjoyed in the company of parents without embarrassment. Dodge future moments of uneasiness with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Polish fare at Crocus Restaurant on South 13th Street. Crocus has been elating eaters for nearly three decades with the authenticity of its home-style cuisine. The dinner menu’s signature pork chops a la Crocus are sautéed with fresh mushrooms and onions and served with homemade flour dumplings ($16.25), and a dish of potato pancakes and kielbasa sausage ($11.95) provides Poland’s answer to the classic American pairing of hot dogs and waffles. A lunch menu featuring sandwiches and other midday munchables helps replenish the energy exhausted by late-morning matches of Simon Says.
- After two exceptional meals here, I am still perhaps mostly taken by the atmosphere. Conversation flows freely between the tables and every server and host, and even one of the owners, was always busy at work, assisting each other and greeting every guest with a broad smile and word of welcome. – Amy L. Schubert, OnMilwaukee
- Rare to find places like this in the U.S. – David Z., Yelp
Crocus Restaurant's story begins in Cold War–era Poland, when Andrzej and Elzbeita Wasielewski emigrated to America in 1964. Nineteen years later, they established the eatery, whose name refers to the crocus flower––one of the first spring blooms in the old country. Today, the Wasielewskis have passed the torch to Dorota and Joel Rewolinski, the latter being a third-generation Polish chef. In the festive restaurant, Joel and his kitchen staff keep things traditional, preparing classics such as braised-beef roll-ups, breaded pork chops, stuffed cabbage, and platefuls of pierogi.