Ellen and I met the Mayor of Chicago Chowhound, Vital Information, and his youngest Chowhoundita for dinner at Halina's for delicious, and inexpensive, homestyle Polish. Halina's is located in a small strip mall and has a modest, yet comfortable, interior. Halina's also sports the seemingly mandatory television and, of course, a pretty young waitress wearing clothing that is more appropriate for midnight club hopping than dinner hour waitressing.
I started with red borsch with egg roll, an interesting, and delicious, mix of blintz rolled in bread crumbs, stuffed with meat and pan fried. (Disclaimer, our meal was a few weeks ago and my memory may be slightly faulty) Da Mayor had red borsch (Halina's spelling) with dumplings, which was also delicious. Very nice chicken soup came with the meal, but Da Mayor's and my borsch were extra.
We split an order of mixed pierogi as an appetizer, a generous portion of quite good pierogi and each ordered a main course. The ever engaging, she regaled us with song during dinner, Chowhoudita had blintz, Da Mayor potato pancake with applesauce and sour cream, Ellen mixed Polish combo, and I had pork shank with horseradish and potatoes.
Vital Info brought an excellent Polish beer, very kind of Da Mayor, and his daughter turned us on to to the wonders of Halina's fruit drink, a bit sweet, but quite refreshing.
The older couple at the next table, charmed by the Mayoral presence and enchanted by both Ellen and the young Chowhoundita, engaged us in conversation. What was a bit humorous was the fact that they were Chowhounds, though I am sure they never heard of Chowhound, and possibly not even the Internet, but in short order they were giving Da Mayor restaurant tips.
Unfortunately, the tips were of the variety of the best dish to order at Cheesecake Factory and how to get the Kitchen Table at, ummm, I forgot the name, but it was one of the Italian chain restaurants in Oak Brook Mall, but people were really very nice. The Mayor, showing the good manners which got him elected in the first place, simply nodded his head and said thank you very much for the information.
I don't remember the exact price of dinner, but I think it was right around $40 for what amounted to 5 main courses and 2 side soups. A great deal for well made homestyle Polish food, made all the better by the company of my wife, Da Mayor and one of the Mayoral Chowhounditas.
5914 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, Il 60630
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