Friday, November 30, 2007

Spring View Family Restaurant, St. Charles

Spring View Family Restaurant
1650 W Main St
St. Charles, IL 60174

November 25, 2007


I didn't know what to expect from Spring View. We've driven past it before, but I never really noticed it, so this visit was a pleasant surprise. The interior is pretty nice, clean, cozy and well-lit. As you can see, there's kind of a mauve color scheme going on with the chairs and ceiling fixtures...or is that lavender? Something like that. There's lots of plants too. If you happen to be a Viking lord or a rough-edged biker covered with tattoos of knives and snarling tigers, the decor may not be to your tastes, but otherwise it's pretty nice. I also enjoyed the bobble-head dogs near the front entrance. Yes, I'm easily amused.

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I got a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries. The menu claims these are "frozen fresh strawberries," which seems like a contradiction to me. I mean, I understand fresh fruit to be fruit that has not been frozen. These strawberries seemed like frozen ones, which I actually prefer, at least on waffles (they're juicier, and their juice soaks into the waffles and makes them ooey gooey good). Maybe the menu writers worried that if they just put "frozen strawberries," people would expect it to show up topped with strawberries frozen in ice-cubes.


In any case, the waffle was good...and surprisingly cheap. There are places where you'd have to pay $7.50 for a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries. This was $5.50, and it tasted great and filled me up.

Ah yes, and how could I forget the koi pond? This is the only pancake restaurant I've been to with a koi pond. And there are lots of those fish in there, all different colors, some nearly a foot long. Surprisingly, they were still pretty active despite the cold weather. The promise of koi was what lured me to this restaurant in the first place. Apparently the pond attracts visitors of the non-human variety as well. Once (according to a waitress) a hawk swooped down and grabbed the biggest koi out of the pond with its talons, and raccoons have been spotted sneaking about as well. I don't know if these fish have any kind of self-awareness, but I imagine their lives are similar to that of the Eloi in that H.G. Wells story. Most of the time it's pretty easy--they just float around and eat--but every so often one of them is snatched and carried to an early and gruesome death. Alas, poor koi.

Joe here. I'm not sure if I've ever been to the Spring View restaurant before this past week. We've been driving past it for years, but always on our way to Colonial, Baker's Square, or the the late, great Manor in downtown St. Charles. It never looked like much from the outside, and being surrounded by guardrails and brick walls, it always seemed like more of a fortress than a restaurant. The sign's been missing those letters for a few months now, too. All this never did much to draw me inside, but last week I finally faced my fears and gave it a chance.

Spring View doesn't bill itself as a pancake house, at least not on their sign outside. But pancake-phobes seeking refuge from those soft, steamy platters of their nightmares will be in for a horrifying surprise when they receive their menu. Their breakfast menu is on the back, and what they lack is selection is made up for by some pretty good prices. My blueberry pancakes weren't even $5.00!


My only real complaint? Our food arrived extremely quick, but felt like it had already been sitting out for minutes. The pancakes were good, but would have been better if they'd only been a little hotter. Nothing to write home about, but worth trying again, especially if you're on a budget.


Don't fall for his dirty tricks.

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