Saturday, October 14, 2006

Apple Villa, Batavia

Apple Villa
1961 W. Wilson
Batavia, IL 60510

October 10, 2006


Near the far south end of the Randall Road Sprawl sits Apple Villa, tucked away next to a music store and a saddle repair shop. The entrance to this strip of stores is actually off of Wilson Street by the Wendy's, so after making that turn just go all the way to the north end of the parking lot and you're there. But why follow these directions when you could just follow your nose, and the scent of golden, delicious apples slowly cooking from inside their famous brick ovens?

Alright, their ovens probably aren't made of brick. And there really isn't an overpowering apple scent inside the dining room, let alone outside on the streets. But there should be, or at least you'll think so once you taste their "famous Apple Villa pancake." Just getting an up-close look at it will make you reconsider everything you ever thought you knew about pancakes. Then again, if a pancake is as big as a deep-dish pizza and full of sliced fruit, is it really still a pancake at all? Regardless of whether or not it's actually a pancake, it's probably more famous than most other restaurants' "famous" foods of choice. After all, it's what they're building their brand and image on.

It's been a few years since I'd been to Apple Villa, but I remembered that the Apple Villa pancake was far too much for one person to eat on their own. So we decided to split one, and we ordered the 10" version of it with vanilla ice cream on the side. There's a smaller, 8" version too, but I assumed that wouldn't be enough for us. How wrong I was.


There's a minimum wait time of 20 minutes for the Apple Villa pancake, but I think we ended up waiting close to a half hour for ours. A warning before you dig in: it's dangerously hot, and it's going to stay hot for at least 15 minutes so eat slowly and carefully. Another warning: it's filling, and there's a lot of it to eat. A 10" pancake would probably feed four people. We only finished a little more than half of ours before giving up and taking the rest home.

Aside from the food, the restaurant itself is really nice. I hate to keep using this word, but it's a very cozy place. There's a lot of quality wood trim and glass around the booths, and a lot of tasteful Halloween decorations hanging up, too. I'm willing to bet they go all out with this stuff during Christmas.

I have no idea what the rest of their menu is like, but if you'd like to try something different and don't have an aversion towards apples (I can't stress this enough), then get your family or a few friends together and try one of their "famous" Apple Villa pancakes, or whatever they are.

Ayinsan here. As Joe said, if you do order the apple pancake, you will end up waiting awhile for it. Some recommended ways to pass the time: Stack the coffee creamers or jams into little pyramids. Pretend that lots of little people live in them. Then pretend to be an angry deity and knock down the pyramids with one sweep of your mighty hand. Or play betting games with them. Cover them with a napkin and then try to guess which flavor they have the most of. If you're right, you get to leave without tipping the waitress. If you're wrong, you have to stab yourself in the back of the hand with a fork.

No, just kidding, you should never leave without tipping the waitress. They live off of tips, and most of them are already half-insane from their stressful jobs, so it's not a good idea to push them over the edge. Who knows what might happen. The next time you come in, there might be a rusty nail on your chair. Or some anthrax might "accidentally" find its way into your coffee. Or someone might be waiting for you in your car when you leave the restaurant, and "accidentally" stick you in the ribs with a shiv.

But back to the pancakes. Yes, the apple pancake was quite good, with a consistency similar to bread pudding, and a delicious cinnamon glaze. Put some ice-cream on it and allow the ice-cream to melt a bit. I had my leftovers later that night for dessert, and it was just as tasty the second time around.


Undercooked Sausage said...

I only live a minute or two from this place since it went into business and I still haven't been there. This review makes me want to change that.

isaacwolf1984 said...


My name's Isaac Wolf and I'm a reporter at the Daily Southtown newspaper. I have really enjoyed what I've read of your blog and would love to speak with you about pancake houses in Illinois.
If you're interested in talking, you can reach me at

Thanks in advance for your time.


The Imperfect Parent said...

OK, when I first stumbled onto this blog via Chicagoist, I'll admit my first thought was, "what a dumb idea for a blog." But then, I was strangely drawn into it and wound up reading every review posted. The magical allure of the pancake knows no bounds. I look forward to you guys wandering outside of the I-88 corridor.

Isabell said...

A mono-themed blog--you're one after my own heart!! I love it and although I frankly am not that into pancakes, will be checking back (sure I can't convince you to switch to breakfasts in general?).

I got to you by googling "old school restaurants," by the way, FYI.

Check out my also mono-themed blog:

Leif Garret(t) said...

I was in Batavia yesterday and drove by this place and was like, "I bet Joe reviewed this for his pancake blog." And I was right! I went by another one there, but I don't think you've reviewed it yet. Just a heads up.

Let me know when you decide to hit up the Original House of Pancakes or whatever in Oak Park.

Aesha said...

We stopped into the Apple Villa the other day for breakfast, and while my boyfriend said their apple villa pancake was pretty good (although not as good as Walker Bros), we both agreed their regular old pancakes were not very good at all. I ordered an omelet with pancakes, and only took a few bites out of them. We thought they tasted very much like what comes out of a Bisquick box, unfortunately... even IHOP's pancakes taste better.

We would probably go back for the apple pancake or the omelet, which was very good, but I wouldn't return here if I was having a real craving for pancakes. Our search for the best pancake house (one closer than the Original Pancake House, that is) continues!

Thanks, guys - look forward to reading your next entry.

Tinker7 said...

There's another place to eat pancake's in Batavia...Daddio's Diner (it's been there for years, was originally Lori's Diner, and to find the location you may still need to search for Kathy's Diner, but it is yummy, and I always will get their Potato slices, with what I order, which isn't the pancakes, but I have heard they are good, and big)

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