If La Salle County has a landmark, it’s almost certainly Starved Rock, the state park that surrounds it and the nearly century-old Starved Rock Lodge, which welcomes millions of visitors each year.
If La Salle County has a Sunday meal, it’s almost certainly the famous Sunday Brunch Buffet at Starved Rock Lodge, a meal so memorable that no Sunday hike would be complete without it.
Each person at the table with the Mystery Diner on their last Sunday trip to Starved Rock has built a different brunch experience for themselves. In fact, on their last two outings, the Mystery Diner has done the same.
During a winter visit, the Mystery Diner focused on the many breakfast offerings: French toast, sausages, particularly tasty bacon, eggs, biscuits, fruit and what tasted like perfectly honey-cooked ham cooked sliced to order. (There’s also a chef ready to make omelettes on request, but the Mystery Diner’s plate always seemed to fill up before we got there.)
After going mostly “br-” on this previous visit, the Mystery Diner turned its attention to the “-unch” part of brunch on a return visit this spring.
A side salad with exceptionally delicious tomatoes, crispy fried chicken with a soft and savory breading, oven-roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes topped with what might be the highlight of the buffet – meaty chunks of moist pot roast, zesty citrus salmon, another slice of ham cut to order and a bun. (There was no room – on the Mystery Diner’s plate or in their stomachs – for lasagna, fried zucchini, Chicken Parmigiana or anything else, although other people at the table confirmed they were just as good.)
They say there’s always room for dessert, even if it’s barely. The Mystery Diner has done its best for the sake of your readers, sampling some of the assortments of cookies, cakes (try the carrot!), brownies, lemon squares and Rice Krispies candies. All were exquisite.
So much food made the hike a bit slower on the trails in Starved Rock State Park, but it was totally worth it.
Starved Rock Lodge’s Sunday brunch buffet is $23 for adults and $11.50 for children. It operates on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is strongly recommended to book in advance for this pleasure of an experience.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee of Shaw Media. The identity of the diner is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits another restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not post a review.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
WHAT: Sunday Brunch Buffet at Starved Rock Lodge
OR: A lodge lane, Oglesby
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday
CALL: 815-220-7321 (reservations recommended)