Opinion

WALLY'S WORLD: Good food moves downtown

One of the best things about living in a metropolitan area is your ready access to a multitude of ethnic restaurants. That’s especially true in cities like San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, which have some of the finest cuisine on the planet.

Nevertheless, for a suburban community of our size, Enumclaw has a relatively broad selection of restaurants. There’s a Thai, a Chinese, a few Italian, some pizza parlors scattered hither and yon, five Mexican cantinas, and certainly more American restaurants than anything else.

However, with the exception of Italian cuisine, until recently we didn’t have any establishments that served other European foods;  that is, you couldn’t experience German, Polish, French or other European dishes unless your grandmother happened to know a couple of recipes. In particular, there isn’t a French restaurant anywhere in the vicinity and chefs and critics alike generally agree that French cuisine is among the best in the world. (That’s surely been my experience, even though some French concoctions are a bit to rich for my body to digest in a dignified manner.)

My friends, I’m happy to report, this has changed!  Welcome to Europa.

During the last couple of months, you may have noticed the place tucked in those cramped little facilities behind the Chevron service station and store at McHugh Avenue and Porter Street. You might even have gone inside and picked up some cabbage rolls for dinner. (Take out food was all the place offered because there wasn’t any room for tables.)

It’s different now. By the time you read this, Europa will have moved into the restaurant facilities at Collectibles On Cole. More than take out now, you can sit down and enjoy a brisket sandwich for lunch, a cheese crepe for dinner or any other of the many foods available.

Of course, if you live in a major city you can go to a German restaurant or a Polish restaurant, but I hardly think such specialized cafes would last long in a small community like ours. However, a single restaurant that offers a sampling of food from many European nations is an establishment we can probably support.

Owner Grzegorz Goch (called Greg for obvious reasons) was born and raised in Poland, but has lived and worked as a chef all over Europe.   He came to America in 1989 when he was 20. After living in New Jersey for a few years, he moved to Florida, got married and he and his wife Maria had twin boys and a girl. The family didn’t care for the Florida climate and there were too many illegal drugs and too much crime in their neighborhood, so Greg pursued some contacts he had in Seattle and the family moved out here. They left nearly all their possessions behind;  Greg simply opened the front door of their house and posted a sign that said everything inside was free. In about 15 minutes the place was empty.

Greg is a humorous and interesting fellow with a lot of funny stories. Drop by some afternoon and say hello. And while you’re at it, have some Italian macaroni salad or some potato pancakes (latkes) served with applesauce and/or sour cream.

Within the next few months, Greg will obtain a license to serve California, Washington and Rhine wines (German, of course) and Polish and German beer. Nothing more need be said.

Cheers!

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