Thursday, July 09, 2009

Egg Harbor, Geneva

Egg Harbor
477 South 3rd Street
Geneva, IL 60134

June 25, 2009


When we went to Egg Harbor in St. Charles, Swedish Days was in full swing, meaning there were rides and craft fairs all over the place and the streets were packed with people who seemed to believe that "having the right of way" means "having a magical, invisible force-field that protects you from all harm." As such, we had to navigate around roving packs of fair-goers, all blissfully unaware of my car's presence.

Once we got there, however, there was plenty of free parking in the vicinity. The restaurant entrance is kind of tucked away in a little alcove, easy to miss, but once you get inside, the atmosphere is friendly and cheerful. It was pretty busy, but we were seated right away and our waitress came within a few minutes. She was quite competent, even if she did mistakenly address us as "ladies"...a simple slip of the tongue for which she apologized profusely. But it does bring up an interesting point. Servers will often address a mixed-gender group as "guys," as in, "What can I get for you guys?" But the reverse doesn't seem to be true.


I got the blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon. Good stuff, though nothing mind-blowing. The eggs and bacon were pretty standard fare, the pancakes were a notch above standard. And they came with a little side of blueberry compote. I love compote, even if it's probably one of the least appetizing words in the English language.

Joe here. I've been to Egg Harbor at least a half dozen times in the past two years thanks to my parents, who've slowly but surely drifted away from their regular residency at Colonial Cafe (where they were monthly, sometimes weekly regulars throughout the late 90s and into the first half of this decade) to new digs at the Geneva EH location. Nothing against Colonial, I'm sure. I think they just needed a new scene. This happens to all of us and it's nothing to be afraid of.

Nestled away in a classy, upscale shopping centre (the lavishly-named
Dodson Place) on Third Street near the Geneva Metra station, Egg Harbor brings you closer to Geneva's haut monde where you can shop for anything from fine wines and silk undergarments to $500 baby strollers. In this setting you might expect the dishes at Egg Harbor to be just as fittingly costly but the prices aren't unreasonable, which is to say that breakfast at Egg Harbor is going to be just as expensive as it is anywhere else these days.

The dining room is spacious and sunny, with lots of windows and a high ceiling. There's a patio outside, though I've never seen anyone using it. The atmosphere is inviting, a modern twist on the "country kitchen" vibe that lots of restaurants stick to. A warning to all alektorophobes: there are paintings, figurines, and various effigies of chickens all over the walls and shelves, so you may to steer clear. There are colored pencils at each table, but I don't think you'll get any paper unless you come with a few kids in town. I suppose you could ask for some, or just bring your own if you prefer. Better still, bring along some paints and a small canvas if you really want to pass the time until your food arrives. I never leave home without my watercolors and a telescopic easel. Should you go this route, the spaces between the tables are just wide enough for to set up everything you need. Just don't wash your brushes in the restroom sinks. You wouldn't want to take advantage of their hospitality, after all.

One thing I've always appreciated about Egg Harbor is the friendly service. This starts as soon as you walk in the door, though on busier mornings the lobby can get very crowded (and loud), so don't take offense if you're not greeted right away. The staff is always eager to please and willing to get you whatever you need. My family usually makes a few requests for extra water and/or coffee whenever we visit, and they're almost always quick to grant them with a smile. The servers are cheerful and polite. I don't even mind being mistaken for a woman by any of them; two years and counting at my current receptionist job and there's nothing anyone can say to further emasculate me. Five days a week, I'm just one of the girls! Why not go ahead and make it all seven?

I ordered the basic pancake combo, complete with three delicious cakes, sausage links, and poached eggs, which I almost never order even though they're probably my favorite kind of eggs. Altogether, a satisfying but not overfilling breakfast. If you want to stuff yourself until you burst, you've come to the wrong place. "Chew your food!" my grandmother would have yelled at you. "Taste it!" We rolled our eyes at her old-fashioned ways but as time passed I've grown to understand the true meaning of her words. Had she already discovered the truth?


There are fifteen different Egg Harbor locations. Which one is right for you? Try them all and find out!

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