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Mystery Diner: Panini steals the show at Country House

GENEVA – Country House, one of Kane County’s most eastern establishments, bills itself as having one of the best burgers in the area, but it was another entree that stole the show during the Mystery Diner’s recent lunch with a friend.

We walked into the behemoth of a building and were given options by the hostess of sitting in the bar or the dining room. After glancing in the bar and remembering the football options on this particular Sunday weren’t that enticing, my friend and I decided to take a seat in one of the dining areas. Our hostess doubled as our waitress and quickly asked us our drink orders.

The drinks came out pretty quickly but before they did we had a chance to look at the menu and its plethora of options. Having looked up the restaurant’s website beforehand, I had to get the burger to see whether it deserves its billing as the best in the Chicago area. The burger is a pound of USDA choice chuck beef and served on your choice of bun. (I went with the sesame.) Lettuce and tomato were also served on the side.

My friend ordered the Turkey, Brie and Apple Panini – served with slice roasted turkey breast, Granny Smith apple slices and melted Brie cheese. It came with a choice of potato and my friend chose regular french fries, much like myself.

One thing that piqued my interest on the menu was the Ostrich Burger. Although a bit too adventurous for this particular occasion, the burger is made with 100 percent ground ostrich and billed as “red meat flavor with half the fat of chicken.” I’ve never had ostrich and decided I would have to come back a second time to partake in the delicacy that I’ve rarely seen at restaurants.

While we waited for the food to come out, we chatted and took in the decor of the restaurant. Wood tables, walls and chairs filled out the dining room. Dimly lit, the room’s decorations and ambiance far outweighed the lack of natural light.

The food came out in a very timely fashion and felt fresh and hot. The fries were of the steak fries variety, much to the delight of both my friend and I. Cooked to perfection, the burger had tons of flavor and was a great choice. I could se it being a contender for the best in the Chicago area. It was delicious and definitely didn’t disappoint.

But the best part of the lunch for either of us was the panini. Although my friend wished there was a bit more Brie on the panini, the sandwich was perfectly grilled with the flavors of the sandwich highlighted in each and every bite.

The panini’s size was pretty remarkable, thus my friend was only able to eat one half before throwing in the towel. Our waitress came by and offered a to-go container for the sandwich, which my friend easily accepted.

Dessert was offered to us but we were both pretty stuffed – in a good way – as we left the restaurant.

I had no idea this restaurant even existed – it looked more like a mansion from the outside – but if you haven’t stopped at the Kirk and Fabayan intersection for a meal, it’s about time you do.

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


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