Mystery Diner

Mystery Diner in South Elgin: Randall’s Pancake House an inviting dining spot

Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

With one of us in the mood for a late breakfast, and the other for lunch, we headed to Randall’s Pancake House & Restaurant, a relaxed, family-owned eatery on the east side of Randall Road, just north of Stearns Road in South Elgin.

Our friendly server made us welcome, and quickly took drink orders as we studied the extensive menu. It notes that all the soups, dressings and gravies are made from scratch, and the kitchen is happy to accommodate special requests.

My fellow diner picked one of the menu items labeled with an R, indicating a signature dish at Randall’s. He had found something novel to him in the sandwich world, dubbed a Black Russian, and featuring roast beef and corned beef paired with melted Swiss cheese on grilled, dark rye bread. The dish included a complimentary bowl of soup, and a side which we narrowed down to onion rings to share.

Chicken noodle soup at Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

The chicken noodle soup was homemade with flavorful celery, onion and carrots accompanying tasty and plentiful bites of chicken. Instead of flat noodles, it was made hearty with rigatoni-style pasta.

The Black Russian sandwich at The Popeye omelette at An English muffin with jam at Chicken noodle soup at Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

The decadent onion rings were perfect, a savory, crisp batter enveloping tender and mild onion.

The sandwich was piled high with the two seasoned meats.

“This generously provisioned sandwich was tasty and made the whole trip worthwhile,” he said.

The menu features loads of breakfast choices, from crepes and blintzes to Benedicts, skillets, waffles and French toast. They come in an array of tantalizing variations, as do the restaurant’s namesake pancakes. In addition to the standard preparation, Randall’s offers oven-baked pancake specials, gluten-free ones and Idaho potato pancakes served with applesauce and sour cream.

People can craft their own breakfast combinations, from the “create a scrambler” list to the sampler sections of the menu.

The Popeye omelette at An English muffin with jam at Chicken noodle soup at Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

Spotting some of my favorite ingredients, I landed on the Popeye omelette, with spinach, bacon and Swiss, served with hash browns and toast.

An English muffin with jam at Chicken noodle soup at Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

The large omelette arrived loaded with fresh spinach and bacon. The hash browns were nice and light.

A chocolate milkshake at Randall's Pancake House & Restaurant in South Elgin.

A chocolate shake completed our meal. Topped with whipped cream, the sweet treat was the perfect thickness for a straw, with no frustrating need to defer the pleasure.

The restaurant appeared to have lots of regulars when we were there. Service was attentive, and we noticed a thoughtful emphasis on specials for senior citizens.

For a return visit, the half-pound burgers sound tempting, as do the gyros platter and the Athenian-style chicken breast. And on that visit, a chocolate milk shake and onion rings are likely to star again.

• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. 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 review.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Randall’s Pancake House & Restaurant

WHERE: 305 Randall Road, South Elgin

PHONE: 847-628-6256

INFORMATION: randallspancakes.com