WHERE: 2 W. Naperville Road, Westmont
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: www.thegoldenbasketdiner.com, 630-960-0626
Putting a bright exclamation mark on breakfast and lunch is Golden Basket in Westmont. It's easy to understand the buzz about the eatery once you venture inside.
Early one recent Sunday afternoon, my dining companion and I were warmly greeted and led to a comfortable booth in the sun-drenched room ringed by windows creating an airy effect. The space is attractive with a crisp gray and cream color scheme, wood floor, and tables and booths generously spaced for ease of conversation, even in a packed room. Check the center column where specials are posted.
I picked the omelet of the day, featuring bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, Swiss cheese and grilled onion. The interplay of ingredients was nicely balanced inside the expertly prepared eggs – a true test for breakfast fans. Every bite was packed with flavorful tidbits.
Two sides are included with the omelet. One selection offers a choice of every type of toast, even raisin bread, which my dining companion enjoyed.
I opted instead for a fluffy pancake that arrived with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar and a generous carafe of hot syrup for a decadent treat.
Choices for the second side dish range from potatoes to fresh fruit, which looked delicious at a neighboring table, including pineapple and bananas in the mix.
Our server recommended the "homemade potatoes," which are cubed. Happily, nothing is overly salted.
As good as they were, I have to confess I couldn't resist swapping the house potatoes for my dining companion's delicious hash browns that avoided the common pitfall of oiliness and instead popped with fresh flavor. They were nestled in a skillet featuring bite-size skirt steak with pepper and onions, topped with cheddar cheese and two eggs over easy.
"This is tasty and just the right size," said my companion, who had added a dollop of the subtle Cholula Hot Sauce for some extra kick.
The breakfast menu features everything from crepes to waffles and a hearty "Country Benedict." Weekday breakfast specials served from 6 to 11 a.m. offer tempting choices.
Luncheon items added to the menu beginning at 10:30 a.m. are an expansive array of sandwiches, wraps, salads and entrees.
The red awnings circling the corner building note you're at Jim and Dina's Golden Basket. There's a sense of community, as regulars are welcomed and conversations spun. The connections are echoed in the fun throwback design on the mugs, imprinted with ads from local businesses.
And speaking of coffee, servers are at the ready to keep your cup full and hot. My dining companion enjoyed a large pot of hot tea with honey and lemon.
We're already looking forward to a return visit. This time, we might get to a patty melt and salads – if we can resist the delectable breakfasts.
The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner's identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Only positive dining experiences will result in published reviews.