The name of Streator’s new downtown restaurant sounds like a warm greeting from a friend.
Good Morning Good Day.
Warm and friendly are apt words to describe the breakfast and lunch cafe, which opened in June. When I stepped through the double doors at 417 E. Main St. last week, it felt like stepping into my late grandmother’s house. The shelves on the walls display knick-knacks and glassware. The tables have a kaleidoscope of differently patterned linens. The glassware looks like it’s straight out of grandma’s cupboard.
It’s an artfully intentional hodgepodge of decor. The atmosphere doesn’t feel like a restaurant. It feels like a home.
That’s exactly how the food tastes, too. Home-cooked.
Diners should know they won’t find the usual American array of breakfast food at Good Morning Good Day. The ethnic cuisine is inspired by Slovenian and Croatian dishes from the Central European region. The menu features dishes like palacinke (a thin, crepe-like pancake rolled around a filling), strudel, zgance (similar to polenta), kranjska klobasa (a Slovenian sausage), cevapi (a grilled meat dish) and more.
When the time came to order, it took me a while to narrow my choice. Did I want the sausage and gravy strudel? The Semic-style “eggs on top” served over zgance? The baguette and bacon?
The Semic style ($12.95) – which includes especially flavorful caramelized onions, bits of bacon and cheddar cheese – won the deliberation. There are two options for egg preparation: poached or fried. My companion ordered the Dixie Land ($12.95), which features either poached or fried eggs over Southern-style grits with cheddar cheese and crumbled sausage.
Entrees are served with a choice of one side – a fruit and yogurt parfait, cottage cheese, fresh fruit or Greek yogurt.
Good Morning Good Day is a cafe where diners can eat a relatively light meal and still feel comfortably full. Despite having plenty on my own plate (which included a side of fruit and yogurt parfait), I couldn’t resist ordering an additional entree of blueberry cream cheese palacinke to share with my companion, and scooping up the last few bites of Dixie Land left on his plate.
A hallmark of the dishes at Good Morning Good Day is that each flavor is detectable. In each forkful of the Semic style, I could taste the ingredients – the salty, savory flavor of bacon; the sweetness of caramelized onion; the creamy corn-grit flavor of the zgance; and the velvety yolk of the poached eggs.
The flavor balance was similarly consistent in the Dixie Land and the palacinke.
The food straddles the border between restaurant-quality and comforting home-cooked meals. It’s equally believable the dishes are served by a professional cook or straight from grandma’s kitchen.
That’s fitting, since the cafe was established as a tribute to the owners’ family and heritage. The full story of Good Morning Good Day’s inception and background can be read on the last page of the menu.
If you’re in downtown Streator at breakfast or lunchtime Wednesday through Saturday, it’s worth a stop at the yellow, green and burgundy storefront. Step through the double doors, take a seat at a table, and make yourself at home.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Good Morning Good Day Cafe
WHERE: 417 E. Main St., Streator
INFORMATION: Facebook at bit.ly/GoodMorningGoodDayCafe