Readers answer where they would eat three meals a day in the Fox Valley

  • If she had to eat out for all three meals in a day, Pat Pretz of St. Charles would choose Townhouse Books and Cafe in St. Charles for breakfast and lunch.

      If she had to eat out for all three meals in a day, Pat Pretz of St. Charles would choose Townhouse Books and Cafe in St. Charles for breakfast and lunch. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Posted1/10/2020 6:00 AM

For some, it's a culinary fantasy. For others, it's simply a daily routine. It all depends on the health of your wallet and digestive system. If both are ironclad, it's no dreamland to dine out for each meal.

After asking readers a couple of weeks ago what their local choices would be if they dined out for each meal over the course of a day or two, they had some delicious choices.


Here's what some had to say and why my mouth was watering when reading responses. Some shared a one-day plan; others did a two-day food fantasy.

We'll start by saying Pat Pretz of St. Charles had an interesting concept because she chose to stay in the same place for both breakfast and lunch. It's easy to see why, considering she said Townhouse Books in St. Charles was her choice for those first two meals.

She chose the scones for breakfast and then the homemade soups for lunch, noting they would be perfect between browsing the bookshelves. For dinner, she chose Za Za Trattoria in St. Charles.

Kathy and Jim Freedlund of Batavia would spread their dining dollars throughout the Tri-Cities, picking breakfast at Alexander's in St. Charles, lunch at Gia Mia in Geneva and dinner at Acqua Viva in Batavia.

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My sister-in-law, Holly Hein of Sugar Grove, picked Atwater's at the Herrington Inn in Geneva for breakfast, saying the view of the Fox River, the service and quality of food make it stand out. She would go to McAlister's Deli in Geneva for salad or sandwich for lunch, while her dinner choice was Evergreen Pub and Grille in St. Charles for Taco Tuesday or a Friday fish fry.

For good measure, she said on other nights of the week she'd be inclined to pick Stockholm's in Geneva or Sorrento's in Sycamore for dinner.

Gary Knapp of Geneva said his first day would be Daddio's Diner in Batavia for breakfast, a place he says has "some eclectic menu items," and he'd opt for Alexander's in St. Charles for lunch and Gia Mia in Geneva for dinner.

His second day was Egg Yolk in West Chicago for breakfast, Stockholm's in Geneva for lunch and Livia in Geneva for dinner.

Knapp also noted that his daughters would go a different route, though an entirely Geneva one, in choosing Buttermilk for breakfast, Deane's Deli and Market for lunch, and Bien Trucha for dinner.


Bill Gommel of Aurora spread his wings a little wider in choosing Benny's Place in Oswego for breakfast, Firewater BBQ in Geneva for lunch and Basil's Greek Dining on Fox Valley Center Drive in Aurora for dinner.

He included a blow-by-blow for dinner with saganaki flaming cheese, gyros, lamb meatballs, and a baklava sundae for dessert.

Ron and Gloria Kerr in Geneva stayed in their hometown the first day in picking Wildwood for Sunday breakfast, lunch at Stockholm's and dinner at Fox Fire.

For their second day, they went with Lumes in Batavia for breakfast, The Office in St. Charles for lunch and Riverside Pizza in Batavia (if it was going to be a "pizza night," otherwise they'd opt for Livia in Geneva).

I have a couple more to share next Friday, so any other readers who want to weigh in can still do so by sending me an email.

Now, if that didn't make you hungry, nothing will. Except maybe this parting note. We went to Chime and Stave in Campton Hills for dinner on New Year's Eve, and this place is excellent. And I also have another story to share next Friday about my experience there.

Learn more about Fox:

If you're going to live in the Tri-Cities, it means you're part of the Fox River Valley. As such, it never hurts to learn more about this vital natural resource.

The River Corridor Association of St. Charles and Conservation Foundation have that in mind in offering monthly presentations about the river from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays in the Pottawatomie Community Center multipurpose room.

On Jan. 15 the topic is about safe salting for ice and snow, while the Feb. 19 session is about winter birds along the Fox River. The river dams are discussed as the March 18 topic, while the April 15 topic is wildlife in the valley. The series ends on May 20 with a general discussion about why we need the Fox River.

Memory of Smiths:

It was nice to see the photographs by Tina Smith of St. Charles showcased in the Fermilab Natural Areas 2020 calendar.

Smith is a board member for the FNA and her "Bison in the Snow" photo was a favorite in a Fermilab photo poll, thus, it was the feature photo for January.

I got to know Tina for a period of time some 25 years ago when her late husband Craig was a colleague at the newspaper and a player on our softball team.

Craig was killed at the age of 53 in a head-on collision in October of 2008 by a driver under the influence on Fabyan Parkway in Blackberry Township.

I had lost touch with the Smiths over time, but the sad loss of Craig brought back those good memories. One of those was that Tina was nice enough to let dirty, smelly softball players come to her house on occasion after games for a beer.

Try this jersey:

During his tenure, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina has established the kind of traits you want to see in the city's leader. He's a level-headed thinker with a wide range of interests, and when that rubs off on others it is a good thing for the city.

In establishing that, he wants those coming to the city council to pitch ideas to know he's a good listener, though not easily swayed by misdirected anger. He also has little time for accusations fueled mostly by rumors or lack of knowledge about city processes and government rules.

He's pretty easy to deal with, but developers or citizens hoping to nudge the mayor to look upon their ideas favorably might want to show up at the Municipal Center in a White Sox jersey.

Everyone who knows him is well aware Rogina is a rabid White Sox fan. And he should be in a very good mood this year because the White Sox now have a roster built to bring a lot of smiles to the fan base.

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