Get yourself to Bielava Summer Resort & Campground's restaurant in Knox, Ind., before it closes for the season (second weekend in September is the last opportunity for 2014).
If you're not in the know, Bielava's, owned by Andrew and Mary Bielak for the past 19 years, features a campground and resort that's been around for a century, and restaurant open only on Fridays and Saturdays for lunch and dinner, and Sundays for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Bielaks take pride in serving authentic, fresh Polish food made from scratch according to Old World recipes in their spotless dining room. That means all the light-as-air kopytki dumplings and pierogi are rolled and filled by hand. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Diners are served a choice of soup (excellent mushroom or potato, in my case) before they belly up to the all-you-can-eat buffet. If you have the room, you can start with a traditional American-style salad or pickled beets or other Polish-style salads. But I saved room for the big guns.
The food was simply amazing and served in pristine fashion -- gołąbki (stuffed cabbage), kotletki ( Polish hamburgers), meatballs in dill gravy, real mashed potatoes, fresh Polish kiełbasa, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, creamed cucumbers, roasted pork, potato pierogi, meat pierogi, potato dumplings, local veggies, and more.
You really have to pace yourself because the food is so good, you want to try everything and a lot of it. For dessert, you can avail yourself of the beautiful fresh fruit or homemade kołaczki (fruit-filled foldovers), kremówka (custard sliced), wafer torte and szarlotka (apple cake).
The price for all this munificence is $7.95 for the breakfast buffet on Sundays and $11.95 for Sunday dinners, and a mere $10.95 each for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Beverages are not included.
Getting to Bielava's is a lovely ride in the country and, if you want to do more than eat, stay awhile in one of the cabins (equipped with cooking utensils, dishes, silverware, pillows, and bedspreads) or bring your own motor home for hook-up in one of the spots along beautiful Bass Lake. Many amenities exist, including a swimming pool and recreation center.
The service is friendly and accommodating. If you speak Polish, you can practice in this largely Polish enclave but, no worries, English is spoken. I'm definitely going back with a large contingent of my family. Hopefully, I'll see you there! By the way, call ahead if you're bringing a large party.
Bielava Summer Resort & Campground
4257 South 675 East, Knox, IN 46534
Lunch & Dinner: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays only
Breakfast: 7 to 11 a.m. Sundays only