Mystery Diner in Crystal Lake: Around The Clock tempts for every meal of the day

If you’re looking for a comfortable place to enjoy a great meal that tastes home-cooked, Around The Clock Restaurant and Bakery in Crystal Lake is the perfect place.

Located on Northwest Highway, the restaurant is hard to miss when driving on Route 14 through Crystal Lake. It is certainly worth a stop, and the food will leave you full for the rest of the day.

We decided to start with an appetizer during our visit, and wanted to try something different. We chose the breaded zucchini, and it did not disappoint. For $7.75, you get a big plate of breaded zucchini slices that are nice and warm with an appealing salty and lemony flavor.

Moving on to the dinner menu, it took us a while to pick what we wanted from among numerous options that all sounded good. From sandwiches to burgers and pasta, there is something for any craving.

Before the entree, the restaurant offers a side French onion soup for $2. The soup has a lovely flavor and complements all the meals well. For an extra $1, you can add a decadent topping of mozzarella cheese.

After the soup and appetizers, we were excited to see the main course.

I ordered the Statue of Liberty for $9.95. The sandwich really was a classic American meal. Loaded with turkey and bacon strips with slightly melted American cheese on top, it was a filling sandwich that tasted wonderful. What made it even better was the croissant – warm and fluffy with a nice buttery flavor.

My friend noticed all the Greek-themed items on the menu, and wanted to try one, deciding to go with the Athenian Burger for $9.95. It was a big, half-pound burger topped with tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. It came with the usual garnishes such as tomato, lettuce and pickle, but cucumbers also were added to the mix, making it a unique item on the menu and one my friend said is the perfect choice if you’re really hungry and want something fun.

The last item we ordered was The Philly Beef for $10.95. My fellow diner said this option successfully brought a great-tasting Philly cheesesteak sandwich right to Illinois. Like some of our other orders, this is another strong pick if you’re really hungry.

Topped with loads of peppers, onions and mushrooms, it was a difficult sandwich just to close up and eat. The toppings went well with the melted mozzarella cheese on the sliced beef. And like a true Philly sandwich, the French bread roll was just as good as the ingredients.

If you’re looking to explore other options on the menu, there are plenty of things to select. Around The Clock also has pasta, salads, wraps, steak and seafood. We will certainly be coming back to check out the breakfast dishes and to try some of the pies on tempting display in the restaurant.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Around The Clock Restaurant and Bakery

WHERE: 5011 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake

PHONE: 815-459-2100