There are two Polish Villas in Cheektowaga, and while we suspect that Polish Villa II is every bit as good as Polish Villa I (they’re both in the family), our visits have been only to #1, on Union Rd. The menu does list burgers and sandwiches of all kinds, ham steak, and southern fried chicken, but the restaurant’s name provides a pretty strong clue as to what really matters in its kitchen. If you frequent other heartland Polish restaurants (as we do whenever possible), most of the old-country specialties will be familiar, from czarnina soup to pierogies, kielbasa, golabki, and fruit crepes for dessert. One course after another, everything we have eaten here is mom’s-home-cooking good: slightly sticky potato pancakes served with either sour cream or apple sauce (but you must pay extra if you want both); firm-fleshed, smoky sausages; crisp wiener schnitzel sided by creamy mashed potatoes, kluski noodles topped with chicken and mushrooms.
We are particularly smitten with pierogies stuffed with sauerkraut, their soft, succulent filling robed in dough that gets quick-sauteed to a crisp just before being served. And oh, the sweet-and-sour cabbage – available as a side dish for any meal; soft but not mushy, balanced perfectly between sugar and tang, it is a benchmark for all cabbage everywhere.
Such food would be good in an impersonal cafeteria. Its pleasures are enhanced by a staff of professional waitresses who really know their stuff, a hostess who is truly hospitable, and a dining room that is occupied mostly by people who, based on the language they are speaking, know excellent Polish food when they find it.