A Taste of Poland
Chicago has long been a popular destination f or Polish immigrants (currently,
about one million Chicagoans claim Polish ancestry). It's somewhat mystifying,
then, why they haven't made much of an impact on the city's dining scene. There
are Polish restaurants here, but they tend to be small, casual, family-run affairs in
residential neighborhoods far removed from the usual tourist attractions. If you'd
like to try some hearty, stick-to-your-ribs Polish food, the best-known restaurant
is Red Apple (Czerwone Jabluszko), 3121 N. Milwaukee Ave. ( & 773/588-5781;
http://redapplebuffet.com). Dining here is strictly buffet, and the lineup includes
Polish specialties such as pirogi (meat- or cheese-stuffed dumplings) and blintzes,
as well as a huge selection of roast meats, salads, and bread (there's even fruit,
should you feel nutrient-starved). Best of all is the price: $8.50 on weekdays and
$9.50 on weekends for all you can eat.
4 THE MAGNIFICENT MILE &
THE GOLD COAST
Yes, the M ag Mile is all about designer shopping—and designer eating—and y ou'll be
pleasantly surprised to discover that plenty of those eateries welcome kids. In fact, a great
many families who visit Chicago nev er stray far fr om the M agnificent M ile and the
adjoining Gold Coast area. From the array of restaurants, shops, and pretty streets in the
area, it's not hard to see why.
American Girl Place Cafe AMERICAN Dining with dolly has nev er been
done in a more appealing manner than at the cafe inside the American G irl Place store.
Not to be sexist, but most bo ys will be less than thrilled about spending time her e sur-
rounded by girls, dolls, and dresses: It's really best for a girls' day out. With an eye-pop-
ping black, white, and red striped decor, the cafe has loads of kid appeal. The view of the
Museum of Contemporary Art and surrounding street life from the second-floor cafe is
wonderful. Parents and daughters can bond over lunch, dinner, or tea, and dolly (only of
the American Girl species, of course) can join in, settled on a special booster seat. Treats
on the menu include fr esh cinnamon buns, quiche Lorraine, chicken Caesar salad, and
tic-tac-toe pizza. Top your meal off with chocolate ice cr eam accompanied by a brownie
heart, and homemade sugar cookies, and wash ev erything down with a pink lemonade
or hot chocolate. American G irl Place is a prime destination for many families visiting
Chicago, so plan w ell in advance to avoid disappointing the American girl in y our life.
The cafe recommends booking 8 to 12 w eeks in advance.
835 N. Michigan Ave. (inside Water Tower Place mall). & 877/247-5223. Highchairs, boosters. Reserva-
tions required. Prix-fixe menu (includes g ratuity) lunch $17, t ea $16, dinner $18. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V.
Lunch seatings 11am and 12:30pm daily ; tea seatings 2:30 and 4pm daily ; dinner 5:30pm M on-Thurs,
7:30pm Fri-Sat. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State.
Bandera SOUTHWESTERN The open-range ambience her e is cr eated b y the
chicken roasting over a hickor y-burning fire. Some complain that the r oom even gets a