Walking into Warsaw Inn in Lynwood is like visiting a family home in the Old Country.
The atmosphere is warm, the decor is folksy and pleasant and the menu stars hearty, Polish comfort food.
Warsaw Inn, established in 1980 by Angie Golum, is a quaint eatery featuring buffet dining. Starring on the menu at the restaurant are homemade ethnic favorites featuring Golum's family recipes for everything from soups to hot entrees and pastries.
"Everything is homemade and it's Old World food," Golum said in a previous interview. "People don't make food like this too much anymore." Golum's parents operated a Polish-style buffet during the 1970s in Calumet Park, Ill. and she's patterned her restaurant after the family's former eatery.
Patrons of the eatery visit from Chicago, the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana with many repeat customers flocking to Warsaw for their fill of the popular ethnic cuisine. During a recent Saturday visit to the restaurant, servers warmly greeted quite a few people who had been to the restaurant before.
Our Saturday night visit to Warsaw proved satisfying and our hostess and server were attentive and cordial. We got to the restaurant in time for the early bird special (patrons receive $1 off from 4 to 5 p.m.) and were conveniently seated close to the buffet line, a perfect location from which to make repeat visits to the buffet table.
Golum's menu of more than 60 items features not only Polish favorites but standard American fare such as ham, roast beef, fried chicken and other staples. On various days, chef's specials and daily specials are highlighted.
On Saturdays, guests will find popular specials such as BBQ ribs, sauteed liver and onions, chopped steak and fried perch. Guests visiting on Tuesdays will find foods such as roast duck, dressing, fried perch and potato dumplings while Friday specials include baked fish filet, fried shrimp, catfish, perch and lasagna.
Among other items on the menu which we enjoyed that night were beef dumpling soup, Polish sausage, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, chicken Marsala, cheese and potato pierogi, stuffed cabbage, creamed pea salad, sweet carrots, green beans and navy bean soup.
The ribs were tender and were bathed in a sweet sauce while the chopped steak featured a delicately spiced flavor and the stuffed cabbage was also a flavorful hit at our table.
Dessert choices included kolacky, ice cream, Jell-O, various pastries and potato chip cookies, which were a favorite at our table. Warsaw Inn even sells the potato chip cookies in containers to go.
We took our time eating and made three visits up to the buffet throughout our meal. The Polish-themed supper was the perfect choice for such a bitter winter day.
In addition to the buffet, guests may purchase carry-out items and catering is available through Warsaw Inn as well.
FYI: Warsaw Inn is located at 2180 Glenwood Dyer Road, Lynwood. Call (708) 474-1000 or visit angieswarsawinn.com. Hours are 4 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays; 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. Call or visit the website for prices.