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Feb 5, 2012 04:57 PM

Unexpected New Surprise In Warren - Polish [DTW]

Just in time for momskitchen, who will spend months* in Warren trying to sell a house (momskithchen’s Mom’s house), a new Polish restaurant opened up on Van Dyke, just north of 696, named IzaBela’s Kitchen.
*momskitchen, I’m not trying to be pessimistic about the home sale, but I’m fresh off a very agonizing experience of my own from seven months ago at 13 Mile and Lorraine…

IzaBela’s is in a typical Warren mini strip mall, and has three tables and a TV, but primarily sells takeout (no delivery). The family who runs the place speaks with a Polish accent, and all the menu items are listed in both Polish and English. The offerings are not exotic. You can find most (not all) of them at the average DTW “Polish” joint. But IzaBela’s food differs in that it exceeds expectations rather than disappoints. IzaBela’s does Polish in a very modest, though truly homecooked manner, as opposed to using the cover “Polish” to schlep awful cafeteria food under the guise of “ethnic cuisine.”

I usually go for the combo plate at a Polish restaurant, but a combo plate at IzaBela’s basically means you get two a la carte items at the regular price, plus 50% off on a side of mashed potatoes. I’d like to see more creativity on the combos, particularly at lunchtime. So, I just picked from the a la carte menu. The stuffed cabbage was very, very nice ($1.75 for a nice big roll with mild tomato sauce). It screamed fresh homemade, and was precisely/delicately herbed. Not gourmet, but a must try.

I thought the kielbasa was good. My friend thought it was excellent. Izabela apparently thought it was excellent, too, because she became incredulous when my friend tried to find out from where he could source the sausage. The kielbasas are cross hatched and then (seemingly) deep or shallow fried until the surface is mahogany and crispy. The pierogies are a must have! I tried the one filled with farmer’s cheese and it was topped with sautéed onions and bacon. Yum. Six for $4.50. The beet salad seems made in house from roasted beets. Very earthy. Maybe a little too salty, though. Otherwise, a quite healthy choice.

The soup du jour was Sorrel soup. Again, winning and very homemade-ish. I can’t wait to try more of their homemade soups, particularly the pickle soup served on Wednesdays. I also tried the “hunter’s stew” (Bigos). Not being an expert, this left me confused. It simply was sauerkraut that had been sautéed with little pieces of sausage until all free liquid had been boiled away, just leaving it still a bit moist/mushy. I almost thought they gave me the wrong thing, but I guess it was a legit version of bigos. And I liked it, regardless.

If you are already in the area, and drop by with reasonable expectations, you will leave very full and and even more happy. 27540 Van Dyke. Closed on weekends!!!

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  1. > Closed on weekends!!


    1. @VTB I can't wait to check this place out, but I find myself in the "homeland" usually on the weekends. Boo!

      1. When you're right, VTB, you're right. This place is a great find.

        You completely forgot to mention how *clean* the place is! Yes, it's a modest establishment, with minimalist accoutrements, but the place is, to this eye anyway, *very* clean. That's extremely important to me, especially with a first impression. The front's clean, and what I can see of the kitchen looks spotless as well. It sets my mind at ease a bit.

        When I stopped today, I made mention of the fact that dill pickle soup was only available on Wednesdays. Not anymore! She told me that it was available today, and every day, based on the feedback she'd received. And it's a very good thing, too. I ordered a pint of it, and it's very good. A sold B/B+, in my book, certainly in the league of PVC. It's a bit different than PVC's (not as salty, for sure), but the quality is there. Lots of pickle, carrot, potatoes, and dill. For $1.85, I was only too happy to polish that bad boy off. It was served with some humble little pieces of bread, and the bread was anything to write home about, but it was fine, and absolutely fresh.

        I also had the stuffed cabbage you referred to, and you're right: definitely made in-house, and plenty good. It's made with care, and I can't attest to its authenticity, but I can say that it was quite good, and I ate it and liked it a lot. It truly isn't much to look at, but it's got good flavor and texture. Dirt stinking cheap, too, at $1.75.

        I can see what you're saying about the combo/dinner prices being a bit out of whack, but that's only because the a la carte prices are so stinking low! $1.75 for a single stuffed cabbage, $2.75 for a single pork chop, $2.50 for a polish burger, $4.50 for 6 can easily work your way around the polish staples by ordering all your choices a la carte, and it'd be very reasonable! Had I been just a bit hungrier, I'd have tried a pork chop as well.

        Needless to say, I'm going back. Very impressive, and it's definitely got the "Little Train That Could" vibe going with it. I spent less than $4 out the door, and it was worth more than that.

        Thank you for the suggestion.

        3 Replies
          1. re: gan911

            I believe PVC = :"Polish Village Cafe"

          1. re: boagman

            Heehee. Thanks for the link. By the way, without specifying either way, the next time I was served my pierogies deep fried rather than boiled. Don't get them deep fried. Way better the other way. PS--the meat and bean stew is good.