ELBURN – As we prepared to head out for lunch at the recently-opened Blackberry Bar and Grill, my companions and I were already hungry and looking forward to some tasty local fare. A brief detour delayed us somewhat, so by the time we walked into the restaurant we were more than ready to eat.
An employee who would later be our waitress invited us to sit where we liked. The lingering summer heat directed us to choose an indoor table, but we had a clear view of Blackberry’s outdoor patio.
Immediately, each of us wished we could order one of everything. Our hunger may have been to blame, but Blackberry offers a solid variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads that is sure to entice any patron. The decision process was a difficult one.
The appetizers in particular caught our eye, and we decided to order the white cheddar cheese curds for $6, along with ranch dipping sauce. Served in a basket, the curds were a delight – crispy and with just the right amount of gooey cheese. Most importantly, there were enough to go around our group of three. The companion who sat across from me tried them for the first time, and said she was “pleasantly surprised” by how much she liked them.
This same companion ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich, a daily special, for $8. She thought the bun was a good match for the meat, and had no trouble cleaning her plate. For $2 more, she added the sweet potato puffs to her meal and dipped them in the leftover ranch sauce.
The companion sitting to my left had the Reuben for $9.50 with fries. This full-sized sandwich is only a dollar more than the half-sized portion, and she said the extra charge was well worth it. The sandwich’s thick strips of corned beef and just-right amounts of sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese also made it an excellent choice, she said.
As for myself, I dug into the $7 half-pound cheeseburger, which came with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles. I chose fries for my side as well. Cooked medium-well, the burger stood tall on my plate and was enough food to keep me busy in between discussions about our favorite television shows and foods. The fries were golden-brown and delicious all by themselves, without any added salt or sauce.
At the end of the meal, our waitress returned for payment.
“You’ll have to come back soon,” she said. Somehow, I don’t think that will be a difficult request to honor.
• 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. The Mystery Diner visits different restaurants during the month and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
Blackberry Bar and Grill
Address: 1S731 IL Route 47, Elburn