Upon hearing the rumour that an American-style burger joint had opened in Kazimierz last month, I gathered two American colleagues and set off for Love Krove (“krowa” is “cow” in Polish) with one mission in mind: to see if there’s finally a good burger to be had in Krakow.
Now, Love Krove is a far cry from a McDonald’s or a Burger King, which to me is a good sign. I must first of all congratulate the eatery’s graphic designer on the whimsical and aesthetically pleasing illustrations gracing the walls and menus – a clean and modern scheme that stands out in vintage-loving Kazimierz. But another characteristic you won’t find at a fast-food burger place is the variety of ingredients available to garnish your burger: salsa, avocado, pesto, guacamole, rucola, gorgonzola, and chorizo, just to name a few.
When time came to order, I settled on a bacon and guacamole creation, while one colleague decided to have theirs smothered in salsa and the other kept it simple with a slice of cheese. Now, Love Krove is not the cheapest place for lunch: a burger will set you back between 12 and 17 złoty. However, the burgers are large enough so that it is physically impossible to eat one with your hands – and they come with a bowl of the most perfect potato wedges this side of the Atlantic – so the price is justified.
For the non-meat lovers, there are three salads to choose from, though as I am inclined to laugh at anyone who would go to a burger place and order a salad, no one in our party dared to sample one. However, the item that seemed most promising on the menu next to the burgers turned out to be the biggest disappointment: a beverage advertised as a “milkshake”, but quite clearly of the “smoothie” variety. My only hope is that this fruit and milk concoction is relabelled as the smoothie that it is, or even better, that an actual milkshake, made with real ice cream, is introduced in the future. On the plus side, the dessert offerings included a brownie topped with vanilla ice cream – a promising treat for anyone who manages to still be hungry after their main dish.
But what about the burger, you ask? Is there hope for burger-lovers in Krakow, or will we continue to get by on the horse hooves and discarded pigeon bones* that make up the main dishes at McDonald’s? Luckily, the burgers themselves were deeply satisfying, and with the exception that they were cooked too rare for my preference (which can be fixed by specifying your wishes when you order), I could not fault them. In fact, as soon as the burgers arrived, this is how the conversation went:
“Ok, this is not a handheld operation.”
“It’s too big to get my mouth around!”
“That’s it, I’m just gonna fork-and-knife it.”
“These might be the best potato wedges in all of Poland.”
“The meat’s a bit red, but otherwise… mmmmmm!”
All in all, Love Krove is well worth checking out, but if you’re like me and prefer your meat to be burnt to a crisp rather than still mooing, be sure to ask for your burger to be well done when you order.
*These are (probably) not the actual ingredients of McDonald’s hamburgers. Please don’t sue us.