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Xmas05

Polish yes; polish no

Posted on 2011.07.10 at 17:10
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Long Tall Glasses - Leo Sayer
I still don’t know the name of the place. There was none stated on the menu. The only words I recall seeing on the building read “Home Cooking” or some such. Oh, it probably has a big sign out front that I simply missed, but it doesn’t matter. If you really want to go there, it’s 2 doors west of the Chopin Theatre on West Division – you can see the precise address at the top of the menu pictured here. Incidentally, that isn’t the whole menu; it’s just a part of it hastily snapped with my iPhone.

Now, as for the phrase I just used – “If you really want to go there” – let’s talk about that. It’s not every day you can go to a real Polish restaurant and get real Polish food served by real Polish people. The lady at the table next to me even placed her order in Polish and chatted with the waitress in Polish – there’s some ethnic color for you!

So let’s talk about the food. If you know me, you might guess that I’d ordered the fried fish, and you’d be right. I ordered the full dinner. The soup was described as tomato rice. Well… it had rice in it, I’ll give them that. It also contained various vegetables, most notably several great slabs of potato. All of this floated in a yellowish liquid that seemed to contain equal parts chicken broth and dishwater. If I hadn’t been pressed to make a 7:30 curtain at the Chopin, I might have sent it back. Instead, I mostly eschewed the soup, reasoning that it was just as well I should leave room for the main course.

Next came the salad. It mostly consisted of iceberg lettuce. Do I need to keep going? Oh all right. It also contained slices of tomato and cucumber. And that completes the ingredient list. The salad was coated with a mysterious white, milky substance. I suppose they might have called it ranch dressing. The real mystery was that the white substance possessed no discernible flavor. I picked away at the tomato and cucumber and once again reasoned that I was saving room for my precious fried fish.

At last, the fish arrived, three sizable pieces. As the waitress went to set the plate in front of me, I pushed the soup and salad far away. “You don’t like my soup?” she queried accusingly through her accent. I smiled and passed off my aforementioned excuse of saving room for the main course. I don’t think she believed me (Note to Self: Work on lying skills). But you know what? The fried fish was pretty darned good. Even given my restrained intake of soup and salad, I barely had enough room left to get all the fish down.

So if you’re going to see a show at the Chopin and you want to have dinner before the show, you have a few options. There are a lot – and I mean a lot – of Mexican restaurants within a few blocks of there. But if you’re looking for something a little, uh, different, you now know about the No-Name Polish restaurant.

[THE PRECEDING POST IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. NO RECOMMENDATION OF THIS RESTAURANT IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.]

Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2011-07-11 00:14 (UTC) (Link)
Chuck, you live in Chicago. It IS every day you can go to a real Polish restaurant and get real Polish food served by real Polish people.
Chuck
charlesofcamden at 2011-07-11 03:20 (UTC) (Link)
OK, but I'll say this much: I wouldn't go to THIS Polish restaurant every day! In fact, next time I'm looking for dinner before a show at the Chopin, I believe I'll be fully prepared to take in some Mexican food... though there is a Wendy's nearby as well.
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