A Polska Tradycja

Jim and Nancy do not disclose the fact that they will review a restaurant before they attend, ensuring their reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by their position with the Sun Day.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we were invited to an “end of the summer” party. Jim must be slipping in his old age, since it took him a while to nonchalantly drop the fact that we are the Dining Duo into the casual conversation with other guests. As a result, we did receive a lot of good recommendations and were asked several questions. One inquiry was about a new Polish restaurant in Hoffman Estates called Tradycja (Tradition).

Nancy, being of Russian and Ukranian descent, cooks a lot of dishes that are similar to Polish cuisine. The names of these dishes were changed slightly, depending on what side of a country’s current border you resided in. Nancy has been whining constantly since Labor Day about reviewing this restaurant. Since it is a buffet, and I am a glutton, it didn’t take all that much persuasion. So we jumped into the Mini-Mobile, turned some polkas on the radio to get us into the mood, and off we went!

Tradycja Polish Restaurant

1305 Barrington Road
Hoffman Estates, 60169
(847) 882-2788

Directions: Take Rte. 47 South to I-90 East to the Barrington Road exit South to restaurant.

Estimated Travel Time: 21 minutes

When we pulled up, it looked like a typical European restaurant with its beautiful lace curtains on the windows. This building has seen a lot of different restaurants in it’s lifetime, and the previous establishment was a Mexican restaurant. This is evident in the décor on the inside with its terra cotta floor tiles and wrought iron lighting fixtures. We were surprised at how small it was on the inside. When you walk in, there is a huge area for the hostess stand. Behind it, there is a large booth to accommodate large parties, and lots of wasted space in between. To the right are the buffet tables, and around the corner is their dining area with 6 booths and 12 tables.

The waitress came over and told us the soup selections for that evening and then asked us which soup we would like. This is different from most buffets where you get all your food off of the buffet tables. We both chose the chicken noodle soup. This was a delicious homemade soup with fresh parsley on top.

Now let the games begin. Jim headed straight for the buffet, cleverly bypassing the salad section, which I didn’t. I made myself a nice big salad to start off my meal.

Their buffet had 36 trays lined up containing various Polish delicacies. Some of these Polish items were: Blintzes (Nalesniki), Dumplings (Pierogi), Potato Pancakes (Placki Ziemniaczane), Apple Pancakes (Racuchy), Stuffed Cabbage (Golabki), Sausage with Onions (Kielbasa z Cebulka), Fried Sauerkraut (Kapusta Zasmazana), Hunter Stew (Bigos), among others.

They also had such familiar items as: Fried Fish, Pork Tenderloin, Pork Chops, Baked Chicken, and Beef Stew to name a few.

Our personal favorites this evening were the Apple Pancakes, Polish Sausage with Onions, and Stuffed Cabbage. Jim really loved the Hunter Stew, but he’s still not sure exactly what it was.

At the end, our waitress came over and asked us if we wanted dessert. We inquired if it was included in the buffet, since she asked if we wanted it. It wasn’t, so we declined. No dessert for Jim tonight, since he passed over the salad section of the buffet. Shame on him for not eating healthy!

Since this is a buffet, and in our humble opinion, everything from soup to dessert should be included, or are we wrong?

The price per person for the Polska buffet was $16.99, our bill was $42.81.

Jim’s take: The Hunter Stew (whatever it was) was awesome. I could eat those Apple Pancakes all day.

Nancy’s take: Try their homemade dill pickles. They are loaded with garlic and delicious. They remind me of my mother’s homemade dill pickles. I hate to be picky, but crackers for my soup would have been nice.

Have comments or restaurant suggestions for the Dining Duo? Send them an email at thediningduo@gmail.com.

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