web site hit counter The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo

Availability: Ready to download

A masterful blend of historical and modern fiction by a best-selling, award-winning author, THE BEST POLISH RESTAURANT IN BUFFALO chronicles a century of life in America for one humble Polish farm girl and three generations of her descendants in Buffalo, New York.


Compare

A masterful blend of historical and modern fiction by a best-selling, award-winning author, THE BEST POLISH RESTAURANT IN BUFFALO chronicles a century of life in America for one humble Polish farm girl and three generations of her descendants in Buffalo, New York.

30 review for The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    What a delightful book! It begins with 16-year old Aniela leaving her native Poland to sail to America and continues with her story of adjusting to her new home of Buffalo and making a life there for herself. Her tale is told in alternating chapters with that of her great-great-grandson Iggy who is managing the family business begun by Aniela all those years ago. Although the book was quite short at 200 pages, the author did a great job of really conveying what the immigrant experience might hav What a delightful book! It begins with 16-year old Aniela leaving her native Poland to sail to America and continues with her story of adjusting to her new home of Buffalo and making a life there for herself. Her tale is told in alternating chapters with that of her great-great-grandson Iggy who is managing the family business begun by Aniela all those years ago. Although the book was quite short at 200 pages, the author did a great job of really conveying what the immigrant experience might have been like at the turn of the last century, exploring the meaning and pursuit of the American Dream, and demonstrating the importance of family and legacy. The book is fiction but is based on the story of the author's own great-great-grandmother. My only complaint is that the book was so short. I could have happily continued reading for another few hundred pages. Thanks so much to Goodreads Giveaways and the publishers for providing me this copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    This was a very quick read and quite enjoyable. When I turned the page to go to the next chapter and discovered I was at the end of the story,I was stunned.So many times I have remarked that certain books could have been a lot shorter,this one could have been another 100-200 pages longer for me! The story is of immigrants from Poland to Buffalo NY and how they made their impact here. Story of love and struggle and determination. The author writes quite lovingly of the characters but with honesty This was a very quick read and quite enjoyable. When I turned the page to go to the next chapter and discovered I was at the end of the story,I was stunned.So many times I have remarked that certain books could have been a lot shorter,this one could have been another 100-200 pages longer for me! The story is of immigrants from Poland to Buffalo NY and how they made their impact here. Story of love and struggle and determination. The author writes quite lovingly of the characters but with honesty!Now that said, I cannot give an unbiased review of this book.My Polish grt grandparents immigrated from Poznan, Poland to Buffalo just as this family did. In this book the story goes between 1 town and a Polish/German section of Buffalo. I resided in the one most of my life and spent a lot of time in the other.I dated a Polish man from one of them as well.These neighborhoods were mine also. I know the streets mentioned and enjoyed shopping at the little grocery stores in them. My grt grandparents and grandmother are buried in the same cemetery mentioned in the book,So this book paralelled my ancestors lives in so many ways and touched my memories as well.I won't give away anything.But if you have Polish roots in Buffalo,NY you MUST read this book.If you have Polish roots in general,you will learn of the struggles of your ancestors wherever they settled. If you have Buffalo roots at all,this is also a must read. Kowalksi captures the way of life in these neighborhoods! This book was a reminder of the sacrifice they all gave so the future generations could have a better life. I am grateful for that.This book will be proudly placed on my "hometown" book shelf! Buffalo's Polonia is being preserved and traditions carried on,but the current Polonia is just another generation away from the original ancestors,just as its descendents are.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jane Rutherford

    This is not great literature, but it was an enjoyable and short read, especially for me. As a person of 100% Polish ancestry, it was special because it described many situations and attitudes of Polish immigrants that I witnessed generations after the immigration. While my grandparents (not sure about the great's) were born in the United States, they still lived a very peasant (not a typo - not pleasant), Polish life. Polish was spoken in their homes (though not exclusively) and seeing some of t This is not great literature, but it was an enjoyable and short read, especially for me. As a person of 100% Polish ancestry, it was special because it described many situations and attitudes of Polish immigrants that I witnessed generations after the immigration. While my grandparents (not sure about the great's) were born in the United States, they still lived a very peasant (not a typo - not pleasant), Polish life. Polish was spoken in their homes (though not exclusively) and seeing some of the Polish words in the book, and Googling the pronunciation and definitions of them, reminded me of my childhood. Aniela reminded me so much of my maternal grandmother, Anna: - her work ethic (Anna cleaned house for two wealthy families in town, walking across town most times to and from those homes); - feeding her family including the families of her children every Sunday noon with chicken soup and meat, tons of sides, delicious baked goods; - by baking dozens of loaves of bread and rolls and cookies almost every weekend of my childhood. Aniela and her sisters made "paczki—the stuffed yeast cakes that were so popular" before Lent - we called them "punchkas" pronounced poonchkas - my Grandma Anna was famous for hers (well, at least to my siblings and me). The older generations of my family did not talk much about the past, and this quote from the book kind of explains that to me: "There was a lesson implicit in her [Aniela's] refusal to discuss the past: live in the moment, and don’t dwell on ancient history. You survive only by moving forward."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathy D

    This was a light and easy read, and I very much enjoyed the many, many Polish references. I knew quite a few, growing up in an area full of Slovak, Polish, Italian and Irish. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t go into how the restaurant really started; the section about Iggy and his wife wasn’t needed at all. Pages could’ve been better spent focusing on how the restaurant began. Still, a quick read that i enjoyed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    As a granddaughter of immigrant Polish grandparents, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into their world. What a brave adventure they took in coming to the "land of promise;" their "work ethic" was just natural! Characters portrayed a beautiful insight into our grandparents world & ours. The "last supper" was very effective. As a granddaughter of immigrant Polish grandparents, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into their world. What a brave adventure they took in coming to the "land of promise;" their "work ethic" was just natural! Characters portrayed a beautiful insight into our grandparents world & ours. The "last supper" was very effective.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marleen

    Having great-grandparents of Polish decent myself, who settled in Flanders, my home country, I was curious about this story. Admittedly, this was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, the background and history of what happened to the Polish people for centuries; being oppressed by the Prussians, Germans, Russians; was quite compelling and educational; no wonder that most of them wanted to flee the country. Then there's the story of Aniela and her sisters and mother, seeking a better life, boardi Having great-grandparents of Polish decent myself, who settled in Flanders, my home country, I was curious about this story. Admittedly, this was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, the background and history of what happened to the Polish people for centuries; being oppressed by the Prussians, Germans, Russians; was quite compelling and educational; no wonder that most of them wanted to flee the country. Then there's the story of Aniela and her sisters and mother, seeking a better life, boarding a ship, in 1908, to go live in America, leaving father and brothers behind, because in their eyes, the women were no more than slaves. It was unusual for women to travel alone, but they did it. Once settled in Buffalo, they lead hard-working, simple lives, continually saving money to give a better life to the next generation. Honestly, these women worked themselves to death for their families. Then, there's the other story-line about the great-grandson, Iggy, struggling to keep Aniela's restaurant open. That part was rather depressing - of course this book is not really a work of fiction and I had to keep this at the forefront, so as to be able to better appreciate this read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda Rozanski

    I was interested in this story because my Grandmother immigrated from Poland to Chicago as a young teenage girl, and like Aniela, she also cleaned homes for wealthy people. I wish there had been more depth to this story rather than skimming through the years so I could perhaps have gained insight about my Grandmother’s past that she never talked about. I think this had the potential of being a very moving impactful story, but I feel like it only scratched the surface. All said and done, I did en I was interested in this story because my Grandmother immigrated from Poland to Chicago as a young teenage girl, and like Aniela, she also cleaned homes for wealthy people. I wish there had been more depth to this story rather than skimming through the years so I could perhaps have gained insight about my Grandmother’s past that she never talked about. I think this had the potential of being a very moving impactful story, but I feel like it only scratched the surface. All said and done, I did enjoy this quick read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janet Tulley

    Reminiscent of my Polish upbringing This novel was a sweet story of what I know to be a Polish family and the spanning of the heritage from Poland to America. It was wonderful reading about Polish food and how it played such an integral role in the nourishment for the family, but more importantly how it marked family milestones. It is a quick and simple story that can evoke tons of memories.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    I really enjoyed this book because it gave me a peek into what my grandmother, Anna Szeliga must have went through when she emigrated to this country. She and my grandfather, Adam, raised 11 children in a small house in Buffalo. My father was the baby. He was bilingual and did not talk much about the old country. I grew up feeling ashamed of my Polish heritage and Polish jokes and this book gave me a sense of why the people of Poland were so oppressed and suffered so much. Also, many of the name I really enjoyed this book because it gave me a peek into what my grandmother, Anna Szeliga must have went through when she emigrated to this country. She and my grandfather, Adam, raised 11 children in a small house in Buffalo. My father was the baby. He was bilingual and did not talk much about the old country. I grew up feeling ashamed of my Polish heritage and Polish jokes and this book gave me a sense of why the people of Poland were so oppressed and suffered so much. Also, many of the names and stories included in this book about the Buffalo area were familiar to me growing up. A great read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Short read integrating several generations of Polish-Americans to illustrate their struggles and successes in the 20th Century. From the difficulties and trials of the old country to the successes and tribulations in Buffalo, New York. The story flows back and forth between generations as it unveils its plot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura Tyunaitis

    If you are the defendant of Polish immigrants, this is a story you will treasure. You’ll see bits of your own family in the characters, you’ll smell family foods as you read about the restaurant, and you’ll feel as if you heard this story before. It’s like being home.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Thank you to the author for the chance to read this through a giveaway. It is a fairly short easy to read book, realistic and moving, the more so as it was rooted in the authors own past. Coming from the UK I learned a little more about the immigrant experience of building a new life in America, I admired Aniela and Iggy. I loved the way the story came full circle with the past gifting a new hope for the future. It may sound a trivial point, but as a vegetarian I would never normally have read a Thank you to the author for the chance to read this through a giveaway. It is a fairly short easy to read book, realistic and moving, the more so as it was rooted in the authors own past. Coming from the UK I learned a little more about the immigrant experience of building a new life in America, I admired Aniela and Iggy. I loved the way the story came full circle with the past gifting a new hope for the future. It may sound a trivial point, but as a vegetarian I would never normally have read a book with a plate of sausages(kielbasa) on the cover, it would be a shame for others like me to be put off.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven Buechler

    While Kowalski may have borrowed story lines from his family and his Polish-American background, he has honestly documented many occurrences that are common for many descendants of European stock in America and brought them to the public domain. He has given certainly many of his fans some thoughts and discussions because of his plot about their own lives. This book is not only a great addition to literature but a glowing tribute to his family. http://tinyurl.com/y9jlb48n While Kowalski may have borrowed story lines from his family and his Polish-American background, he has honestly documented many occurrences that are common for many descendants of European stock in America and brought them to the public domain. He has given certainly many of his fans some thoughts and discussions because of his plot about their own lives. This book is not only a great addition to literature but a glowing tribute to his family. http://tinyurl.com/y9jlb48n

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michele Lewis

    Others have said this novel is delightful, and I agree. I look forward to meeting the author when he comes to my school in February. The students in my American Literature class are reading this book in January; I think it illustrates the notion of the American Dream beautifully with very likable characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    A sweet family saga, centering on grandma Angela, a Polish refugee to Buffalo, who overcame many obstacles to give her family a better life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Urness

    The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo by William Kowalski is a real treat. It follows the lives of two people from the same family: Aniela, the matriarch who immigrated to the United States in 1908, to Iggy, her great-grandson, who is running the floundering family business in 2015. The story begins with Aniela preparing to leave the part of the Poland that was controlled by the oppressive Prussian Empire. Her future there would have been one of poverty, abuse, drudgery, and possible annihilation The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo by William Kowalski is a real treat. It follows the lives of two people from the same family: Aniela, the matriarch who immigrated to the United States in 1908, to Iggy, her great-grandson, who is running the floundering family business in 2015. The story begins with Aniela preparing to leave the part of the Poland that was controlled by the oppressive Prussian Empire. Her future there would have been one of poverty, abuse, drudgery, and possible annihilation during the two World Wars. She is an early feminist, although she probably wouldn't think of herself as such. She, along with her mother and two sisters, journeyed to America by themselves, something that only men usually did. She began her own business with her sisters without a husband as the principal partner. Her struggles are common struggles of newly-arrived immigrants: culture shock, learning the challenging English language, working long hours for wealthy people for little pay. Iggy, by contrast, is not from the same oppressive, labor-intensive background. He is the recipient of the the benefits of having been born into a middle-class American family. Yet, he has a strong work ethic and sense of duty. He is the last man standing, the torch bearer who is trying to save the family restaurant while his relatives view it as a lost cause. I am partial to stories like this because I was blessed to know my own Polish great-grandmother. Yet, this is more than a charming immigrant story; it is an America story. It is the story of having the grit to keep fighting when outside forces want to take everything away from you. Of course, part of this grit is the determination of immigrants to make something of themselves. This determination bubbles through the novel like the frothy sourdough starter Aneila's mother had carried along on thetrip in steerage to the New World.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Merry Miller moon

    Thank you to Goodreads for the free book. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*** Aniela, her two sisters and her mother all escape Poland in 1933 for the United States. The father and two brothers stay behind in Poland. Aniela's mother brings along a stoneware pot that has their homemade sourdough in it. Even when they are starving on the ship in the cargo hold, she somehow manages to find something to feed the sourdough so that it can continue to grow. Aniela's mother dies shortly after they arrive in A Thank you to Goodreads for the free book. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*** Aniela, her two sisters and her mother all escape Poland in 1933 for the United States. The father and two brothers stay behind in Poland. Aniela's mother brings along a stoneware pot that has their homemade sourdough in it. Even when they are starving on the ship in the cargo hold, she somehow manages to find something to feed the sourdough so that it can continue to grow. Aniela's mother dies shortly after they arrive in America. The sisters must learn to survive on their own. Aniela marries a nice man named Jan, and they have a daughter together before tragedy strikes. Just when Aniela is pregnant with their second child, a son. Now she must raise her children on her own in this unknown land. Along with Aniela's story, their is the modern age story of her great-grandson, Iggy, who is barely hanging on to the restaurant that his great grandmother, Aniela or Angela, as she is called founded with her sisters, which started out as a bakery. A very famous, sourdough from the homeland-Poland bakery. Iggy has his own set of troubles, but trying to keep the floundering restaurant is priority number one. I really enjoyed this book and how although it is a novel, a lot of the same circumstances actually happened to the author's ancestors. Very good read. Plus it was not a very long book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anntonette

    This pithy little book recounts the tale of Aniela, a Polish immigrant, and her hard fought American Dream. Although based loosely on his own great-grandmother's story, Kowalski tells the story without too much sentimentality. The novel alternates between Buffalo, NY through the years of Aniela's life, as she builds the family business, and present day Buffalo, as her descendants are selling the business. The story could have been very cliche, but Kowalski manages to shake things up with a stark This pithy little book recounts the tale of Aniela, a Polish immigrant, and her hard fought American Dream. Although based loosely on his own great-grandmother's story, Kowalski tells the story without too much sentimentality. The novel alternates between Buffalo, NY through the years of Aniela's life, as she builds the family business, and present day Buffalo, as her descendants are selling the business. The story could have been very cliche, but Kowalski manages to shake things up with a stark modern day side plot. The book is a well-written quick read. I enjoyed the subject matter and that the author did not sugarcoat any aspect of the story. Unfortunately, I did not connect to the characters as much as I would have liked, which is what kept me from giving this book 4 stars. I definitely recommend this book, especially to people with Polish-American heritage. A big plus is that this is the only book I have read where sourdough starter is a character.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ejs

    My family is Polish and this story begins with the dreadful voyage across the Alantic that a mother and her 3 daughters took to escape a hellish life. They come with next to nothing and survive the hardships living in a strange land where you know nothing. The best part was living in Buffalo where other Poles live and work - so there is a support system. The story jumps back and forth from the story of Aneila and sisters to modern day when the restaurant is folding. Aniela says "and we must pray My family is Polish and this story begins with the dreadful voyage across the Alantic that a mother and her 3 daughters took to escape a hellish life. They come with next to nothing and survive the hardships living in a strange land where you know nothing. The best part was living in Buffalo where other Poles live and work - so there is a support system. The story jumps back and forth from the story of Aneila and sisters to modern day when the restaurant is folding. Aniela says "and we must pray all the time and ask God to watch out for us and keep us safe"...because life is constantly in danger and everything good is always hanging by a thread, while the bad things in the world circle around the house endlessly, live a troop of wolves." Many of the things the old woman says explains my Grandmother's thoughts and actions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tess Ailshire

    My initial reaction to this story was "superficial" - that I didn't *feel* the depth of emotion from either Aniela or Iggy. I realized upon reflection that these characters are defined by that - neither is willing to spend a lot of time reflecting or analyzing. Each has better things to do, though for different reasons. Aniela saw, heard, and felt things she never wants to see again, and will keep pushing forward - where else is she to go? - to keep them from happening again. Iggy is less focused My initial reaction to this story was "superficial" - that I didn't *feel* the depth of emotion from either Aniela or Iggy. I realized upon reflection that these characters are defined by that - neither is willing to spend a lot of time reflecting or analyzing. Each has better things to do, though for different reasons. Aniela saw, heard, and felt things she never wants to see again, and will keep pushing forward - where else is she to go? - to keep them from happening again. Iggy is less focused, but has taken to heart the "look forward, not backward" lessons. After this reflection, I still see the story as bit superficial, but worth the read anyway. Do I see a new beginning at the end?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cathie Manley-mckenzie

    I was looking for something different and I found it in this book re a Family History baked in Sourdough Bread. The Characters were funny , sad ,interesting ,and gritty, from Turn of the Century Matriarch,to present day hard working Poles.It is truly a Book about survival of People and their Polish Traditions.I must not have paid any attention to who Authored this as I was quite surprised that it was a Guy who wrote it ! Seriously ! He was very insightful with his Characters,they were very real I was looking for something different and I found it in this book re a Family History baked in Sourdough Bread. The Characters were funny , sad ,interesting ,and gritty, from Turn of the Century Matriarch,to present day hard working Poles.It is truly a Book about survival of People and their Polish Traditions.I must not have paid any attention to who Authored this as I was quite surprised that it was a Guy who wrote it ! Seriously ! He was very insightful with his Characters,they were very real to this reader, and the whole emotional tone of the book was surely taken from the Authors own Family History. The Story just felt quite"gently put". It was one enjoyable experience ! I'll be looking for more of Mr Kawolski's Stories for sure !

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was a really good read! I was drawn to the title because my paternal ancestors also ran a restaurant in Buffalo, although they were Jewish, not Polish. This was a free book with Amazon Prime, and I haven’t had great luck with those, but this one was very well written, with great character development, despite its relatively short length. I liked the alternating chapters that went back and forth between Aniela’s life and her great-grandson Iggy’s. The stories of both generations were touchin This was a really good read! I was drawn to the title because my paternal ancestors also ran a restaurant in Buffalo, although they were Jewish, not Polish. This was a free book with Amazon Prime, and I haven’t had great luck with those, but this one was very well written, with great character development, despite its relatively short length. I liked the alternating chapters that went back and forth between Aniela’s life and her great-grandson Iggy’s. The stories of both generations were touching and I’d have been glad to have read on after the book ended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I liked this book very much. Knowing nothing about Polish immigration to Buffalo, I found the story compelling and honest. Though simple in its' telling, the chapters move forward as the family adjusts and grows in the ever expanding American culture. Bits of history are included as the new generations become more American and the older generation keeps their memories quiet. I would love to know what Polish readers feel about this book. Especially Polish people living in Buffalo. It is fiction b I liked this book very much. Knowing nothing about Polish immigration to Buffalo, I found the story compelling and honest. Though simple in its' telling, the chapters move forward as the family adjusts and grows in the ever expanding American culture. Bits of history are included as the new generations become more American and the older generation keeps their memories quiet. I would love to know what Polish readers feel about this book. Especially Polish people living in Buffalo. It is fiction but grounded in some facts from the author's family history.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yoursexylibrarian

    What I really liked about the book is that the author was not afraid to draw from his Polish family's history, the country's background, and the language. Although the main characters lack full development, readers still get to know them well enough to cheer for them to succeed in life. What I did not like about the book was the back and forth from the 1900s to the 2000s. For me, this took away some of the magic of not knowing a book's ending, which I saw coming from a mile away with this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth Knight

    This book was inspired by true events, which made the book even more interesting. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but I have to say I found the part about Aniela’s late husband’s wedding ring especially touching. This is the February selection for my in-person book club and I’d never heard of this book before. I enjoyed the book and I’m excited to discuss it at our meeting on February 19th!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jack Macner

    Great book! Loved the book! My grandmother came from Poland when she was 16. She lived with us for 25 years. I loved having her around and her Polish traditions! These are precious memories that I will never forget. This book made me think about what my grandmother must have gone through in her life and how difficult it must have been for her . Thank you for writing this book! Jack

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurin

    Comfort food... Sort of I wanted to love this story, but it was rushed and shallow. The character and storyline development fell flat and left me asking questions (but not in a good way.) How did the business develop from bakery to restaurant? What was Mr. Danny's significance in Aniela's life? Instead of buttery hot homemade pierogi, I was left with the like warm taste of previously frozen and freshly microwaved ones.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I loved this book. The characters were real, their struggles and cares were truthful. The Buffalo that Aniela and her family emigrate to from Poland reminds me of growing up in Bridgeport Connecticut, with my mom's predominantly German family. I want to go back and re-read Eddie's Bastard, the book that introduced me to this author many years ago....it was beautifully written as well.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Wrona

    A partial story of my Mother's family Not great literature, but I am grateful to the author for explaining the attitude of my Grandmother and Mother toward men, and many other cultural issues. Her generation is gone now, but now I finally found some understanding of the of the issues that they faced. Thanks!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Newcomb-doty

    This is a heartwarming story about a Polish family of 3 daughters and their mother who immigrated in 1908. It is what the American Dream is all about and the need to seek asylum from oppression and abject poverty. It is a must read in today's political contentious environment to gain understanding and enlightenment on the importance of open door democracy.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.