Silver Dollars Restaurant
102 E. Stagecoach Trail
Yorkville, IL 60560
April 2, 2009
Since the place is called Silver Dollars, we sort of assumed it was a pancake restaurant. Luckily, we were not disappointed.
Silver Dollars looks rather unassuming, with its sober dark green awnings and simple exterior. So I was kind of surprised when we stepped inside. Not that the interior is incredibly lavish or anything, but it's a few notches above what I expected. Clean, with nice decor. There's a TV above the brick fireplace at one end of the dining room, which I could have done without, really--while I'm trying to have a nice breakfast, I don't need to be watching a basketball game or hearing yet another news report about the impending financial meltdown of our country. There seems to be a growing trend of putting TVs in these kind of family restaurants, which seems to be part of a larger trend in our society of having TVs everywhere, from grocery stores to gyms. Apparently, we as a society have been conditioned to the point where we can no longer just talk to each other or sit in contemplative silence, we need a high-def screen with colorful moving images to hypnotize us into a glazed-eyed stupor.
Okay, that's not entirely fair. I learned something from the TV in Silver Dollars--that Guiding Light, a long-running soap opera, is going off the air in September after more than 70 years of radio and television broadcasts. Actually, I could have happily gone the rest of my life without knowing that. But I digress.
Aside from the aforementioned TV, I really have nothing to complain about. I ordered the Winter in Italy French toast, which came heaped with roasted apples, raisins and walnuts and drizzled with caramel sauce. Mmm. Not really sure what it has to do with winter or Italy, but it was sure tasty. The menu boasted several other unique creations, like cheesecake French toast. I'm not even a big fan of cheesecake, but if I ever come back here I'll probably try that just to see what it's like. No blintzes or crepes, which I usually expect to find in restaurants like these, but the wide variety of pancake and french toast offerings made up for it. And yes, they serve breakfast all day, though their breakfast menu is kind of tacked onto the end of their "lunch and dinner" menu.
One further note--this place has fantastic bread. That we even got a bread basket before our meal is a point in their favor, since some breakfast places won't do that, but their breadsticks are really above-par: warm, soft and chewy, with a light buttery garlic flavoring. Almost like the sort of thing you'd get in an Italian restaurant.
Good breakfast place, overall.
Joe here. I've passed Silver Dollars a handful of times in the past on countless different ventures through southern Yorkville, a trip I don't have much reason to make anymore these days. I never gave it much notice before; it's become as much a part of the local landscape as any of the surrounding woods or fields that dot the still-quiet areas of fast-growing Kendall County, so perhaps it's easy to miss. But for locals, it's probably a well-known landmark and a kind of public square that people visit as much to dine at as they do to simply to meet up and shoot the breeze. Upon our visit, I think we were the only customers who weren't stopping in simply to "have a meal." The clientele was decidedly on the older side and seemed engaged in a variety of friendly banter and gossip, but unlike other restaurants where this is prevalent, they all seemed like friendly and pleasant folks that I'd love to share a dining room with again someday.
Perhaps my expectations of Silver Dollars were colored by reading this article, which cites an unknown source suggesting that Silver Dollars has been open for more than 40 years. It's easy to buy into the idyllic, Rockwellian scene that the article paints, but I have to wonder how much of it is true. The business cards available at the front counter, along with the restaurant's website, proudly proclaim that it was established in 1996. I'm tempted to investigate this matter further, but some small-town mysteries are better left unsolved.
Considering the name of the restaurant, it's easy to assume that breakfast would naturally be Silver Dollars' exclusive niche. However, our initial visit provided several impressions to the contrary. The breakfast selections only take up a single page of their complete menu, otherwise packed with the usual lunch and dinner offerings. As featured on their website, there's a lot of traditional Polish dishes available as well. A large salad bar is prominently set up near the entrance, probably not offered during morning hours but well-stocked during our afternoon visit.
I ordered the silver dollar pancakes. This is about as basic of a dish as you can possibly get anywhere but I always like to order items that resemble the name of the restaurant, if possible. If the namesake dish of a restaurant isn't excellent, it's probably a good sign that it's not worth revisiting. Thankfully, these tiny pancakes were extra tasty. Check out these bubbles on the b-side; most cooks would find these undesirable, if only for appearance's sake, but these nooks and crannies added a pleasant texture to an otherwise predictable dish. The "winter in Italy" French toast was a succulent treat. Our bacon was crispy and lean. Altogether, an excellent meal.
With one coffee, our total came to $18.17, certainly a good value for what we were served. I imagine things get a little more hectic in the morning, but our afternoon visit was relaxed and laid back, probably the best time for anyone to try Silver Dollars for the first time. Recommended.