I wouldn't have remembered, but last Valentine's Day was also snowy and cold. I looked up my last Valentine's Day in Chicago Suburbs post to see what I wrote about. Can't remember what I did, though.
My husband asked me to think about where I wanted to go on Valentine's Day. Not one regular restaurant popped up in my mind (only visions of waiting an hour to get seated no matter where we went). I hate waiting in restaurants.
Then I thought about the places I really love. Places my friends would not accompany me to (well, they did once for my birthday and complained loud and clear). I love Polish buffets. My first choice was Bobaks in Chicago but I gave a second choice of The Batory Buffet, a Chicago Ridge restaurant located at 10135 S. Harlem Ave. I didn't think there'd be any waiting since it's got plenty of tables and has never been crowded, even when a wedding party was starting to set up one time we were there.
Not being crowded was an understatement. There were only two tables occupied when we arrived (and this was around 6:00). Soon we were the only two diners in the place. My husband had his Polish beer and I had iced tea, which tasted like real brewed iced tea.
The food was good, as usual. I love Polish food but even though I'm a dessert lover, their desserts are probably my least favorite. They always seem dry and bland tasting. They did have some kind of an apple struedel-like square which was tasty and moist. I had no idea what it was until I bit into it.
They also didn't have labels over everything although you could figure most of it out. They seem to be missing theentire glass "awning" over one side of one of their buffets. They have a salad buffet area and then two different main meal buffets filled with dumplings, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes and vegetables (my favorite of the night), pierogies (I forgot to take one!), rice, buckwheat, and meats such as shank, beef, chicken, fish, meatballs, beef stew and ribs. And let's not forget the different versons of sauerkraut. The stuffed cabbage was my second favorite item of the night.
I don't know how they stay in business. There is never a crowd which is a shame. But it made for a fun and relaxing Valentine's Day for my husband and me and it almost felt like he reserved the whole restaurant for me! All we needed was an accordian player.
We also stopped at the Polish deli next to the buffet but didn't buy much. In fact, I laughed at some of the packaging as I wouldn't know how to prepare half the stuff as it was all in Polish. Both establishments close at 8:00 and there was a rush right at closing time. In fact, one gentleman tried going into the buffet and didn't seem too happy when he was obviously told it was closing (and it was only 7:50 - I guess she didn't feel like staying open for one person).