Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eggsperience, Naperville

Eggsperience
2727 W 75th St
Naperville, IL 60540

September 3 and 28, 2009

EggsperienceBuilding

The first time we went to Eggsperience, we had a bit of difficulty finding it...in part because we couldn't remember what it was called. We kept thinking the name was "Eggsceptional" or "Eggstraordinary" or something like that. The actual name is much more unassuming. It's not suggesting you're going to have an "eggceptional" experience there, simply an "eggsperience"...that is, some sort of experience involving eggs. They aren't implying that it will necessarily be great.

Overall, in fact, this was a mixed experience for me. This could be due in part to the surroundings, which are vaguely depressing--a cluster of expensive stores (Whole Foods, World Market, et cetera) just sort of sitting out in the middle of nowhere in a parking lot the size of the Sahara Desert, bordered by empty fields and a subdivision filled with McMansions. These huge buildings loom over you as if to symbolize the helplessness of the individual in a world of powerful super-corporations. Of course, that's not the restaurant's fault, but it's hard not to be influenced by stuff like that, even if it's just on a subconscious level.

EggsperienceBananaPancakes

On my first visit there I got the banana pancakes. While palatable, these were nothing to write home about. They were pretty much what you'd expect from a place like this. Though it's been a couple weeks since our first visit there, I seem to recall the pancakes being rather dry and bready. In the world of breakfast restaurants, there's a wide spectrum of pancakes: some are chewy, some are crispy, some are exceptionally moist and fluffy. These were just sort of like flat, sweet pieces of bread with banana slices. But if that's your thing, maybe you'll like them.

Blueberry Waffle

My second visit was a bit better. I got the blueberry waffle--a big Belgium waffle which comes topped with a generous helping of fresh blueberries (seriously, they don't skimp), along with some blueberry syrup. They call it compote, but I generally think of compote as being thicker. This was liquid...not that I'm knocking it, you understand. It was pretty good.

I ordered a side of bacon with it as well, and their bacon is definitely above average. Thick, neither too crisp nor too fatty, with a nice smoky flavor.

Despite the fact that we've been here twice now and despite the fact that it's called "Eggsperience," I've never actually tried their eggs. Maybe it's kind of silly to review their restaurant without even tasting their namesake, but what can I say? I just wasn't in the mood for eggs during either of our visits there.

EggsperienceInside02 EggsperienceInside01

This really isn't a bad restaurant. The waffle I got was certainly tasty, and there were a few other items on their menu that looked intriguing... though unfortunately, Eggsperience falls into the all-too-common category of restaurants that give their entrees silly-sounding names like "Yummy in Your Tummy French Toast." Maybe some people can say that with a straight face and not feel the least bit embarrassed. I'm not one of those people. I mean, that's almost as bad as IHOP's notorious "Rooti Tooti Fresh and Fruity."

Joe here. Our visits to Eggsperience were both on weekdays and in the early afternoon, not the busiest time for most restaurants and Eggsperience was no exception. We were quickly seated each time. The service was quick and the staff was friendly. I had coffee on one occasion and found it satisfying.

EggsperienceCoffee EggsperienceTripleCrown

On our first visit I ordered the Triple Crown Waffle. A single Belgian waffle with heapings of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries on top. Wholesome, very good, not disappointing. On my second visit I was struck by the urge to try their potato pancakes. It's probably been almost three years since I last ordered these anywhere. Prior to that, I don't even remember the last time I had them at all. What I'm trying to say is this isn't a dish I'm very familiar with, so take my opinions on them with a grain of salt. That said, I really wasn't a big fan of these. I was given a generous serving of four, and while the first was satisfying and pleasing in its creamy texture and rich flavors, the second and third were just too much for me. Once I used up my sour cream and applesauce, I'd had my fill and couldn't even begin to tackle the last one on the plate. I guess I better stick to waffles and "normal" pancakes from now on.

Potato Pancakes

I think I've had just about all I can take of life in the suburbs. Sitting in traffic, waiting for stoplight after stoplight, driving past giant store after giant store, each a symbolic eyesore of how compartmentalized our lives have become. I drive through a sickening glut of this every day on Randall Road through Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles, but that strip doesn't hold a candle to the congested stretch of Route 59 in Naperville between On The Border and The Home Depot. I've frequented the Baker's Square there, shopped at the mall, and really want to visit the new Hollywood Palms movie theater sometime soon, so I'll be the first to admit that I'm just as much of a little Eichmann as anyone else in the cars next to me. But what a wretched and depressing "community" this is. I guess Eggsperience is fortunate to be located on the southern edge of it, maybe even catching some good vibes from the Whole Foods across the parking lot, but altogether I just don't know if I can bring myself to pass through this gauntlet of big box chain stores and gimmick restaurants (R.I.P. Pizza to the People) to get to it once again without losing my mind.

3 comments:

steve moudry said...

There are some bright spots here and there. Its hard to say that the stretch down rt59 is worse than any other neighborhood in suburban Chicago as big box stores and chain restaurants are taking over.

Admin said...

I just came across your blog and LOVE IT! I should not have read it while hungry, I now want some pancakes!

Elizabeth said...

We went there this morning and had a disappointing experience. The waitress was not friendly. She made some mistakes (brought the coffee pot without coffee mugs, brought me the wrong omelet) and couldn't seem to understand our orders although we ordered straight off the menu with no substitutions or changes. None of these are a big deal, but what I found maddening was that after asking for the mugs and the correct omelet, she acted as if we had done something wrong and not her. Bad attitude. A simply apology on her part would have gone a long way. We received attitude again when we went to pay our bill and the hostess asked how everything was. I said "pretty good" which, I felt, was generous given our server, and she suddenly took on a surly demeanor. Don't think I'll go back. I don't need the attitude. Oh...also, the ladies room was filthy.