Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”
While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.
Shortly after the grand opening of Calla Lily Cafe, Natalie Stevens of the Oswego Patch sat down with Pedro and Dee Lopez—the husband-and-wife team behind Oswego’s newest eatery—to find out what made their business tick. The pair mused about their family’s string of restaurants and bars out in California, citing how they’ve always dreamed of doing the same. However, Calla Lily—named after the Lopez’s favorite flower—isn’t a bar; it’s a cozy and comfortable breakfast spot. Platefuls of multigrain pancakes, thick-cut french toast, and belgian waffles share menu space with hearty egg skillets, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. Customers not in the mood for breakfast can opt for lunch items such as triple-decker club sandwiches, half a dozen kinds of burgers, and fresh salads, before thinking long and hard about why they weren’t in the mood for breakfast.
In the kitchens of Blueberry Hill's five suburban outposts, cooks forgo lazy morning lounging to pull together homey assortments of timeless brunch fare. Pancakes infused with fruit or sweets are made from scratch, much like hand-knitted socks or hand-painted report cards. French-toast slices get stuffed with apple and cream cheese, smothered in fruit, or rolled in Cap'n Crunch. Fresh meats and veggies take cover under eggs in savory skillets, and a selection of sandwiches quells cravings in handheld form.
Yogen Früz serves up a menu of frigid fare with an especially healthy twist—yogurts come in probiotic low fat, probiotic non fat, probiotic low-fat chocolate, and non-fat/no-sugar blends. Sink a spoon or miniature backhoe into a small Mix It signature frozen yogurt ($3.25), topped with your choice of fruit, or delve into a medium Mix It medley ($4.75) with a heaping of additional toppings or extra fruit ($0.50 each). Toppings and fruits include granola, shredded coconut, chocolate shavings, kiwis, strawberries, and mangos.
Four Beans Coffeehouse's baristas sate the ping of caffeine cravings with a bevy of flavorful fresh-brewed coffees, fine teas, and baked goods. Cool overheated summer stomachs with an iced caramel macchiato ($3.90 medium; $4.30 large), or stoke the fires of creative frenzy with a hot mocha ($3.50 small; $4 medium; $4.50 large). Quick eats, such as the croissant sandwich ($2.99) with egg salad, tuna salad, or chicken salad, banish midday munchies. A cup of French press tea ($3.95) comes in over 80 varieties, served in a porcelain cup and saucer that take turns politely engaging customers in philosophical debates. For take-home orders, bean buffs can purchase blends from all corners of the actually round world, including the Ethiopian Harrar, a complex medium roast with hints of blueberry and cinnamon flavor, or the Tanzanian Peaberry, a mellow companion.
Moo LaLa twirls icy peaks of 95% fat-free, soft-serve ice cream to form elaborate sundaes, parfaits, and sky-high cones. The Rocky Top ($3.58) piles strata upon substrata of spanish peanuts, hot fudge, and glacial sweetness to create an accurate cross-section model of a mountaintop sugar mine. Dessert designers bake fresh triple-chocolate brownies for the rich brownie-a-la-moo'd sundae ($3.58) and whip up spiced waffle-cone shells for a taco impersonator stuffed with pecans, caramel, and ice cream ($2.68). Moo LaLa's soft serve, flavored with either chocolate or real vanilla extract, gleams with cold symmetry in swirls (small $3.35, regular $3.86, big $4.51) that, in a pinch, can be used to propose to a loved one. Meanwhile, mix-ins ranging from cookie dough and Oreos to strawberry and pineapple stud creamy expanses with treasure troves of flavor.
There's a place in Naperville where the train station resides just down the street from a medieval castle, inhabited by a society of young pirates and princesses. In a nearby oasis, a council of giants confers over bitter potions and sweet nectars until, at their leisure, they scoop up their diminutive wards and carry them off to their home kingdoms. This haven, Cafe N Play, maintains the balance between playtime and parenthood with a vast tract filled with toys and play structures, all adjacent to a WiFi-equipped lounge serving fair-trade coffee, organic drinks, and foodstuffs friendly to any diet. Kids hone their imaginations on wooden trains and a town of intricately detailed buildings, and a separate toddler area keeps little ones safe from tumbles and potentially scarring rumors about Santa Claus. The kid-friendly staff also hosts birthday parties, furnishing private rooms and necessities such as pizza, invites, and utensils.