Mystery Diner in St. Charles: Evergreen Pub & Grill cultivates longtime fans

To cap the last holiday weekend, we decided to escape the kitchen and head to a venerable pub in St. Charles for a carryout dinner to celebrate a brand new year still full of promise.

The pub’s history on Route 64 goes back to 1928, when it opened during Prohibition as Gus’s Evergreen Tavern, followed by a long turn as Ray’s Evergreen Tavern, according to its website. Recent owners have created an expansive outdoor patio as one of the amenities at what is now simply The Evergreen Pub & Grill.

Currently, curbside carryout service has ended. We phoned in our order and were told to pick up our food inside at a bar and pay at that time.

The menu offers an extensive array of comfort food favorites, beginning with house-made thin and crispy pizza and extending to pasta, steak and salads.

I was tempted by the taco offerings including one featuring three, fire-braised chicken tacos with chipotle ranch sauce, onions and roasted corn, topped with fresh cilantro. It comes with a side of house-made tortilla chips.

Also sounding good is the L.A. wrap with grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo, served in a warm tortilla. The burgers are prepared with a half pound of Angus beef served on a warm brioche bun. Brisket and pulled pork sandwiches are among a wide variety of handhelds.

The smoked meats got me thinking about ribs, and led me right to the full-slab dinner. It was a generous portion of well-prepared ribs with a nice char and a spicy barbecue kick. The plate included lots of sauteed broccoli and carrots cooked just right and with plenty of flavor.

A baked potato with butter and sour cream rounded out the meal, and for my side, I picked the coleslaw. It arrived pretty in pink, a refreshing, creamy counterpoint to the ribs’ heat.

My dining companion went right to his go-to sandwich favorite, ordering the “Original Reuben,” and changing out the Thousand Island dressing to blue cheese on the side. The sandwich features corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on marble rye with an excellent dill pickle spear. He picked mashed potatoes for his side. Large sandwich halves arrived, with well-proportioned ingredients that earned a happy thumbs-up. A smoked Reuben also is available.

The Evergreen just unveiled a new breakfast menu of omelets, skillets and other dishes offered Saturdays and Sundays. A cod, perch and walleye fish fry is available daily, and check out the many specials such as taco Tuesdays.

We enjoyed the food, which was plentiful enough to provide a great lunch the next day.

• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.


WHAT: The Evergreen Pub & Grill

WHERE: 1400 W. Main St. (Route 64), St. Charles

PHONE: 331-901-5142