Good Morning Gators!
It’s been a couple of years or so since I reviewed Alexanders of Elgin Illinois. (The original location) I thought that it was about time that the fairly new St. Charles location had a visit from us.
It’s a drizzly Sunday morning and we arrived a bit after opening due to an error on my part. I thought they opened at 7:30 but they open at 7. UGH you know how I hate to be late. I told Diane to go ahead and go inside. I did my picture deal then went in.
We had some discussion about her table choice and my lack of love for it. I caved and sat down. I was getting settled in and our very friendly server Lindsey asked if I wanted something besides the water that I don’t drink. Coffee Please. Intelligencia. It was fairly strong and was up to the breakfast task. 7
Since it was a cloudy morning, it was difficult to find a table with optimal light so I settled in a four top. Within moments Lindsey popped over and offered coffee. I opted for berry iced tea since it’s hard to top the early morning brew Gene coaxed me out of my cozy horizontal zone with at 5:45am. The place is very spacious and painted in harvesty colors. Great music mix was playing ranging from America’s Horse With No Name to Bastille’s Pompeii. However, very soon the din of the gathering patrons drowns out the tunes. There was a Special Features menu which is nice for a brunch place. Also you can order lunch anytime. 8
The place is like your Aunts 70’s basement. Bricky and Woody and Brown. The music is a mixed bag of 70’s 80’s and 90’s wus rock. It’s clean big and carpet free. While I was unpacking my Gator stuff and checking in to Facebook, Diane had already made some choices. She’s pretty good at guessing what I’m probably going to order. The menu selection is a bit big for my taste but not ridiculous. They DO have Booze. Bloody Things and Bubbly Things but nothing that is a standout. Lindsey came back and Diane ordered up. As the place filled up it got pretty loud and with that the music became a distant memory.
Avocado, roasted poblanos, tomatoes, green onion and chipotle hollandaise. Choice of carnitas pork or chorizo (Carnitas for us)
The thing that makes or breaks a Bene is the Hollandaise. I honestly can’t give you an opinion on the one that was served here. It was almost non existent. They must have thought that they were going to run short for the rush and applied it with a paint brush. The Carnitas on the other hand were fairly abundant. Tender Porky and well seasoned 8 The Eggs were cooked pretty much to my liking 8 The Roasted Red potato Chunks were pretty fresh, earthy, hot, and had a good level of seasoning and salt. 8 The Muffin was kind of toasted 6 There was some roasted R&G Bell peppers applied to the dish that spruced it up, and a sliver of Avocado was tucked in under the egg. There was a sub par under ripe tomato slice atop the muffin that they really could have left off. All in all a tasty start. I would re order this. A solid 8 If you get this tell them to make sure they give you more than a tease of Hollandaise.
This dish was super tasty thanks to the tender carnitas, but more meat and chipotle hollandaise would have made it even better. Thin slices of perfectly ripe avocado rested on top of the carnitas. Sweet green bell peppers added a nice tang, and the herb roasted red potatoes were delicious. Poached eggs aside(blech) this dish is a winner 9
Fried Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh, Country Gravy, Biscuits, Cheese, Over Medium Eggs, Hash Browns
If it twernt for the fact that this was a thigh rather than a breast I may not have ordered it. To me Chicken Breasts are chalky and tasteless. Im happy that the majority like them though. It keeps the prices on the thighs down.
The chicken was crisp, tender, and happily not overcooked. 8 The Gravy was spicy salty and smooth 8 Hash Browns? EH. 6 Get the Red Potatoes. The Biscuit tasted ok but was a kind of tough. It worked out OK for this application 7 the combination was very tasty. 9 I would order it again except it was a short time special and will be gone soon. Oh well. OH I almost forgot. This was served with 2 Over medium eggs on the side. They were expertly prepared 9 but frankly were not a necessary addition.
Well, I like white meat and Gene likes dark meat….good match, right? I spotted this on the specials and knew Gene would go Gaga. This was an out of the park hit for us both, everything about it. Tender chicken hand breaded and crispy, and a flaky baking powder biscuit under smooth white gravy. it’s a shame they don’t add this dish to the regular menu 10
CRÈME BRÛLÉE FRENCH TOAST
Caramelized with brown sugar, topped with vanilla crème anglaise, whipped cream and blackberries.
Well most of you know that I’m probably going to have issue with the way that the French Toast was prepped. Well I DO. They get the dreaded link. Alton Brown Makes French Toast In spite of the lack of French Toastiness, it was actually pretty tasty. The crisp carmalized sugar was fun. The Blackberries were ripe sweet and juicy. The anglaise was like vanilla pudding. The syrup was of course fake. This was an extra sweet treat. 8
I was surprised by the large portion of this dish…..3 large slices of toast. I attacked the outer edge of the plate and worked my way to the smooth middle with zeal. The carmelized brown sugar and plump, ripe berries made this a very yummy treat. 8 .
The Host of Alexader’s……Scott, checked in on us often and we enjoyed the friendly conversation. He clearly was engaged with all patrons on this early Sunday morning 10 By the way, keep in mind that by 9:00am there are waiting lines out the door,
Well Gators that’s it. A good visit to beautiful St Charles and a tasty breakfast. I would suggest you add Alexanders to your regular rotation.
As for us we are on our way to our next adventure.
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