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Mystery Diner

Mystery Diner: Briana’s Pancake Cafe offers homey feel, fast service

ELBURN – Situated in a strip mall on the north side of Elburn, Briana’s Pancake Cafe’s extensive menu has something for everyone.

Briana’s Pancake Cafe opened in July 2014 at 151 Route 38, Suite A, Elburn, and features daily hours of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to facebook.com/brianaselburn. 

The restaurant was impressively clean and had what I describe as a modern-country decor. Each table featured fresh-picked live flowers, which I thought was a really nice touch. When I arrived, the cafe was about half-full. I had a feeling we had just missed the Monday breakfast rush. Large, flat-screen TVs were playing news but were situated in such a way that they weren’t distracting if you were not interested.

This was my first time at Briana’s, but I went with a coworker that was visiting for the fifth time. I arrived first and was immediately greeted and asked if I preferred a table or booth. Choosing a booth, I was seated and served coffee. After a few moments, my coworker arrived, ordered coffee, and we browsed the menu. 

Briana’s Pancake Cafe offers many traditional breakfast items, such as eggs, hashbrowns and – of course – pancakes. It also offers breakfast sandwiches on croissants, toast or bagels. House specialties include Breakfast Sliders, Biscuits and Gravy, the Country Breakfast (two eggs, smoked sausage, hashbrowns and a half order of biscuits and gravy), the Breakfast Burrito, and Homemade Oatmeal. Briana’s also offers lunch items, such as burgers and wraps, and has a lunch special every weekday.

I ordered the Mama Bear sampler, which included two eggs, two sausage links (or bacon), and a half order of biscuits and gravy (two pancakes, crepes or french toast were the other options). My coworker was close to ordering the Breakfast Sliders before settling on the Route 38 Crepe, which featured spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheddar cheese.

As we waited for our food, we discussed my coworkers’ previous visits. She said the most memorable visit was her first, when she ordered the Homemade Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit. It arrived with a small pitcher of milk, brown sugar and fruit. She described it as a “a filling and hearty way to start the day, albeit a little basic.” 

And like that, our food arrived. We were both amazed at the speed. I sat at 9:01 a.m., and we had hot food on our table by 9:15 a.m. In the meantime, our server Lara was attentive and kept our coffee cups filled. 

I ordered my eggs over-medium, and they arrived perfectly cooked. I was pleased with the biscuits and gravy, as I feel sometimes restaurants overlook that item. Briana’s biscuits were flaky and the gravy delicious. The sausage links were on the larger side, had a nice crisp bite, and were a nice complement to the biscuits and gravy. 

My coworker’s savory crepe “hit the spot.” The three crepes balanced savory and sweet quite nicely. And she opted for fresh fruit as her side (instead of hash browns), which “helped round out the meal.” She did have one crepe and some fruit leftover, which she planned to eat for a light lunch.

Lara remained attentive and seemed to genuinely care that we enjoyed our experience, which we did. That made it five satisfied visits in a row for my coworker, and the start of my own streak. 

To learn more, call Briana’s Pancake House at 630-365-4770.

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 regularly visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.

If you go

What: Briana’s Pancake House

Where: 151 Route 38, Suite A, Elburn

Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day

More info: Call 630-365-4770 or visit facebook.com/brianaselburn

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