Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Red Apple of My Eye Is Bigger than My Stomach

This week's restaurant outing took us (my trusty co-eaters Terry Feingold and Tom Mannis at my side) to the Red Apple Restaurant (Czerwone Jabluszko) on the city's Northwest side, for an astoundingly bountiful buffet of traditional Polish food (and some other items too).

For a very reasonable $8.49, you can stuff your gullet with all kinds of hearty stick-to-your-ribs (read fattening) foods. The decor is very homey, and has an appropriate central European feel. The waitstaff is very attentive and friendly, and you'll never have to worry about the dirty dishes stacking up on your table.

The meal starts with soup, and you have a choice of chicken noodle or sauerkraut -- I definitely recommend the latter -- then the free-for-all begins. There's a selection of salad bar items, if you want to fill up on vegetable matter (it also includes pickled herring, which Terry and Tom liked), but I went straight to the meat and potatoes.

The array of meat-related items available on the day we visited was impressive: pork shank, pork roast, pork schnitzel, polish sausage, chicken gizzards, veal stew, baked chicken, fried chicken, chicken roll, stuffed cabbage, fried fish, fried shrimp, fish cutlet. There's also mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, blintzes, dumplings, pierogis, sauerkraut and creamed spinach as side complements (click on the image below to see an animated GIF that shows the variety). My favorites were the stuffed cabbage and the pork roast in dill gravy, but everything was good.

I was approaching a state of food coma within minutes. My eyes glass over again just recalling the vast quantities consumed. The buffet includes ice cream, and there's a dessert selection of cookies, cake and pudding, but if you can make it that far, you're a better man (or woman) than I (Tom was).

The Red Apple has two locations in Chicago:

3121 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60618
Tel. 773.588.5781
6474 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60646
Tel. 773.763.3407

Thanks as always to Tom Mannis for the fine photography, and we'll be back on the food trail next week exploring the nooks and crannies of Chicago dining.

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