Buffalo, NY

Polish Villa Keeps Cuisine Authentic

J.M. Lesinski

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A shot of the front entrance of Polish Villa restaurant in Cheektowaga, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

When it comes to Polish cuisine, and what is inarguably now an integral part of authentic Buffalo cuisine on whole, Polish Villa in Cheektowaga, New York is one of the timeless standards. Known for having some of the area’s best classics for any meal of the day, the Polish Villa does the one in the same traditional Buffalo Polish cuisine proud.

Breakfast at the Polish Villa is one of their busiest times, and for good reason. The breakfast staples like steak and eggs, bacon and eggs, sliced ham and eggs, ham steak and eggs, and sausage and eggs are all exemplary on their own and bring in a good deal of word of mouth traffic from the interstate just a few miles away. The strictly Polish specialty breakfasts of kielbasa and eggs and kiszka and eggs bring in some very devoted locals, as well as the occasional hipster or foodie.

The Polish Style Omelet features freshly smoked kielbasa as the core ingredient, as well as peppers and onions for a stunning arrangement. The Western does the same with smoked ham, while the classics like bacon, ham, cheese, or veggies are packed to the brim. All come with the standard sides of home fries and toast of choice.

The usual suspects are present in the breakfast specials, alongside two Polish Villa specialties one cannot find anywhere else, the kielbasa egg scramble and kluski scramble. The kielbasa egg scramble is a harmony of flavors, showcasing the famed Polish meat, while the kluski scramble brings in the doughy dumpling texture common to the cuisine as well.

Moving into the lunch and dinner realm, the Polish Villa showcases the same traditional cuisine swimmingly in their appetizers. Potato pancakes are a highlight, grated and fried fresh each day, seasoned lightly with onions and special spices. Pierogis are hand-pinched, fried up just a touch brown around the edges, and served with butter. The stuffed mushrooms are stuffed about as full as they can handle with bacon, peppers, onions, cheese, and casino mix.

Soup du jour is available on a rotating basis, but the czarnina is always available. The traditional Polish soup may not be familiar to casual eaters, but those who know the sweet pungency of it will be thrilled to see it. Composed of prunes, raisins, and kluski noodles, the semi-sweet broth reanimates the fruit and softens up the unique texture of the noodles in perfect harmony.

The sandwich menu at Polish Villa is fairly extensive, featuring a healthy mix of traditional Polish fare alongside Buffalo classics like the Beef on Weck, which yes, features the iconic kummelweck roll. Similarly, the Reuben features New York Rye, as well as house sauerkraut – a subtle blend of vinegar and crunch that is sure to satisfy.

The Polish bologna steak sandwich highlights the most underestimated lunch meat ever. While regular bologna is more rubbery than thick, the Polish bologna is thick sliced and much more hearty than its deli aisle brethren, before it all comes together by being smothered in onions.

The sausage sandwich showcases Polish Villa’s incredible kielbasa once more, with fresh or smoked options available. Any open sandwich on the menu is sure to please the eyes and the stomach, as will the corned beef, which also features the New York Rye like the Reuben.

For those seeking the big meals, the Polish Villa plates are an answer sure to excite. Much like a traditional BBQ plate, each meal comes with two sides and bread and butter, only at Polish Villa the sides are strictly a choice of potato and vegetable. The kielbasa plate again offers a chariot to try the famed Polish meat, while the barbecue hamburger plate is an interesting, deconstructed burger meal option.

The golabki plate brings its namesake cabbage roll to center stage, where the juices within simmer to the surface with each herbaceous bite. The kiszka plate showcases four slices of the old-fashioned country sausage, while the pierogi plate permits choice of two pierogis any style. The cake plate features two potato pancakes as the potato option, smothering a portion of either roast beef or hot turkey between each before being doused in thick, delicious gravy.

Menu dinners will burst one’s belt if they are not careful. The hot ticket item to try is the Polish Platter, which comes with one golabek, two kielbasa, and two pierogi of choice to really get a good sampling of the cuisine in one fell swoop. Similarly, the pierogi platter offers four pierogis of choice to compose a multifaceted dinner plate.

The breaded pork chops at Polish Villa are superb, encrusted just right with the perfect blend of pepper and spice. Options like the pork chop and kielbasa or pork chop and pierogi offer a great way to try two different, equally tasty entrees. Like the pork chops, the golabek has similar dual offering options, including the golabek platter with two of the zesty cabbage rolls.

Pasta fans will adore the chance to try out the kluski noodle dinners. The thin, flat noodles come in two options, topped with marinated chicken or beef. Both dishes feature the same mushroom wine gravy, ladled with care over the dish with grace and poise.

With Buffalo now synonymous for a good place to get a good fish fry during Lent, it should come as no surprise that Polish Villa does an incredible one. Served only on Fridays year round, the expanded seafood menu packs the restaurant that magical one day a week. The Fish Fry Lunch Special crunches the time even further, while also shaving four dollars off the price compared to the same meal outside of the eleven in the morning to two-thirty in the afternoon time frame.

The Polish Villa’s Famous Fish Fry and lunch special share the same core components of breaded or beer-battered fish served with macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, French fries, and bread with butter. The broiled fish is also an option with the same sides, while the shrimp in a basket comes with just potato of choice and coleslaw. The stuffed haddock is a one-two flavor punch, featuring crab, cheese, and spinach wrapped in haddock and topped with Pachio sauce and served with choice of side.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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