It is often said the “third time is the charm,” and that looks to be so for owners Grzgorz (Greg) and Maria Goch of Europa. Its newest and third location is now on the corner in the old Café Panini building at 1527 Cole Street. The 'charm' here is clearly the measured increase in business and popularity for this blossoming enterprise.
Curiosities are piqued just from seeing the restaurant's sign outside, and as Maria states, “People see the sign and automatically feel their roots once inside.”
Maria said she is amazed at how many customers she has from Enumclaw (about 80 percent) that share her and her husband’s European background and of course, their love of authentic cooking.
Greg’s cooking background comes from his culinary experiences in Germany and around Europe. He attended culinary school in Poland while working in the construction business as well. Unlike Greg, Maria is a self-taught chef and both pair extremely well with each other; each creates their own specialty dishes and both share the same passion for cooking.
When the construction tasks started taking their toll on Greg, he realized this was not the reality or dream he wanted in life and so around 25 years ago both he and Maria moved from Poland through separate refugee camps in Germany and Italy. About 12 years ago, they made Enumclaw their home.
Through their true love of cooking, they decided to open a small café in Enumclaw around five years ago. It was inconspicuous, tiny and next to a gas station.
Not the ideal spot I personally thought when I first stepped in about a year ago but remember…don’t judge a book by its cover…or in this case, a kielbasa. ( from that location)
The food was amazing and soon the word spread about this little mom and pop restaurant which featured true European style food and daily specials. They found an opportunity to open up shop in downtown Enumclaw and soon thereafter, moved into a much bigger spot of the old Café Panini building on Cole Street. Business has been booming since.
Among customer favorites are their prized schnitzels which are breaded and fried to perfection and the cabbage rolls topped with a tomato bisque sauce which are a laborious task to make but are oh so good. Berry and cheese crepes, which used to be offered only on Sunday, are now a daily offering and have a huge fan following. As a side note, the restaurant is now open longer on Sundays.
Europa is open for lunch and dinner and Maria and Greg are excited that within a few weeks they will be able to offer European beer and wine with their steaming hot delicacies.
I’ll toast to that!
One of the attention getters at Europa is surprisingly not food-related: it’s Maria’s artwork. These works are displayed throughout the restaurant and like food, she has fervor for painting as well. If I were to describe these magnificent pieces I would have to say it is as if Cubism met a color wheel in a fanciful explosion of movement. Her works are truly extraordinary and unlike any I have seen.
Her art will be on the “to-go” menu soon as prices are being decided for these one of a kind treats.
While the business grows and prospers, Greg and Maria are quite content to keep their roots alive in Enumclaw. They moved here because they adored the small town atmosphere, its quietness and lack of crime. They are hoping once their children are done with college, they may come back to Enumclaw and perhaps take over the business—but that dream is a little further down the road.
can be reached at 360-825-0444.