By MYSTERY DINER - comp:000049183ad5:000000023d:5016 new
A standout Reuben piled high with flavorful corned beef is one of the sandwich specialties at Glen Oak Restaurant in Glen Ellyn. (Suburban Life Media photo)

Glen Oak Restaurant

WHERE: 479 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn

HOURS: 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily


INFO: 630-469-6262,

We made a happy discovery when we stepped inside Glen Oak Restaurant on a recent Sunday, finding ourselves hungry but not sure what we were in the mood for foodwise.

Art posters dot the walls of the downtown Glen Ellyn eatery, whose high-ceilinged, airy space has lots of elbow room, with tables and comfortable booths. Dining there for the first time, we noticed the unusual touch of casters on the chairs for ease of motion.

With expansive windows all around for views, we enjoyed watching the trains a block away.

A friendly server brought over warm rolls, quickly followed by the French onion soup we'd ordered. It was an ideal antidote to a bitterly wintry day. A telltale clue that it was freshly homemade were the chunky onions and an errant bayleaf.

My dining companion was pleased the soup wasn't too salty, adding, "There's a zesty bite to it."

For his main course, he opted for the Reuben sandwich. The tender corned beef was piled high on rye, with just the right proportion of sauerkraut and melted Swiss, and a crunchy dill pickle. The sandwich normally is served with Thousand Island dressing, but he changed it up with bleu cheese. The Reuben passed the test with flying colors.

I focused on the breakfast menu, which is served all day. An avowed omelet fan, I wasn't disappointed with a delicious blend of creamy cheese, grilled onions, spinach and ham. For a side, I chose hash browns, which arrived light, slightly crispy and ready to be seasoned to personal liking.

My companion felt compelled to complete the homey diner experience with a slice of warm cherry pie a la mode for a sweet finish to an enjoyable meal.

The restaurant begins the New Year with a change in hours, serving from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Its Facebook page states the shift reflects patrons' preference to dine out for breakfast and lunch rather than dinner. The full bar service will continue. And late afternoon and evenings, the restaurant will be available for private events.

We're looking forward to trying other dishes next time around, knowing we won't leave hungry. The ample leftovers we took home tasted great for lunch the next day.

The new menu offers a wide array of breakfast specialties including sweet or savory crepes, multiple Benedict variations and gluten-free pancakes, plus panini, burgers, wraps, salads, sandwiches and other fare.

We learned Glen Oak has been around for three decades, and now we know why.

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.

(To view the Mystery Diner's photos taken at Glen Oak, go to; visit its website at