Cheap Eats: Hearty dinners, Polish specialties hit the spot in Kiebzak’s - The Buffalo News
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Cheap Eats: Hearty dinners, Polish specialties hit the spot in Kiebzak’s

“Sloan is the capital of Cheektowaga, isn’t it?” a plumber once joked, when asking for directions to our Sloan abode.

Sloan is famous for two things – Camillo’s Sloan Super Market and Kiebzak’s, a corner tavern that has been around for about 70 years.

The décor is a mishmash of decades that stopped somewhere mid-1980s. Ironically, as Sloan-ites, we never think of Kiebzak’s when we need a quick bite, but we should.

No culinary boundaries are broken here, but that’s OK. The prices are cheap, and sometimes you just need a stick-to-your-ribs-meatloaf dinner with canned green beans.

Soups are $2.25-$2.75; salads, $3.25-$8.95; wraps, $7.75-$7.95; subs/sandwiches/burgers, $4.75-$8.95; and dinners start at $9.25.

Here’s a rundown of what we tried on a couple of stops.

For starters, czarnina (Polish duck soup) with kluski noodles is always on the menu, as are pierogi ($1.95 each). My dad reported the soup was tasty, and thankfully not as sweet as he’s had before, but with plenty of raisins and, he thought, apples. While no duck meat was detected, he noted that any czarnina he’s eaten out never has any either.

The hearty minestrone (listed as “ministroni”) had plenty of vegetables and tiny shell noodles. While I don’t think the pierogi were homemade, the cheese and sauerkraut were decent, served nicely browned. In a pinch, they’ll do.

The big winner was the shrimp cocktail. A bargain at $2.95, five, good-sized shrimp arrived in the classic glass with cocktail sauce that needed a little zip. Nothing hot sauce couldn’t remedy.

A Chopped Sirloin Dinner ($9.50) arrived with mashed potatoes, vegetable, bread and butter. Unfortunately, the waitress forgot the latter. The gravy was darker, but not in a bad way. Surprisingly tasty, it covered the single tender patty sitting with a large mound of mashed potatoes (we think instant, but hard to tell, so not bad), and canned green beans. An upscale TV dinner of sorts.

The Hot Turkey Dinner ($9.50/$6.95 sandwich) was similar. Slices of a better processed turkey came with mashed potatoes and a light gravy. It hit the spot, actually. We bet the hot meatloaf or roast beef dinners ($9.25/$6.95 sandwich) are just as satisfying.

Kiebzak’s serves its own version of a McRib. The Barbecue Rib Sandwich ordered with fries ($8.75) was toothsome. Served on a hearty roll, the mini-rib-looking patty had just enough barbecue sauce, and the meat was tender and tasty.

Fried bologna comes three ways at Kiebzak’s – sandwich, sub and, we recommend, as Dee’s Special with fries ($8.25). Two large, oblong sandwiches arrived with bologna cut thick, topped with grilled peppers, onions, cheese and the pièce de résistance: bacon slices. Nicely toasted, the hearty rolls encased the classic combination. Half of the duo came home.

In the seafood department, Kiebzak’s fish fry is either Orange Roughy ($9.50) or Pike ($11.50) and comes with slaw, noodle salad, potato salad and fries. A shrimp dinner runs $9.55, scallops $9.95.

The friendly waitresses were very motherly. Ours made sure Dad’s czarnina had extra raisins.

When we called for hours, a darling woman said that if we wanted breaded pork chops to “call ahead so I can get them ready, because it takes time.”

Sloan may be the capital of Cheektowaga, but Kiebzak’s is the village epicenter on neighborliness.

Kiebzak’s Restaurant & Lounge

Where: 38 Crocker St., Sloan (896-3044)

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Extras: Olympic-like torches burn in the bar.

Three pennies.

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