Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

In the “before times,” people were just nicer. Regardless of race, religion, political bent, people in general were just more well behaved. Friendlier, cordial, helpful.

At least that’s what I think.

Last Saturday I ran into a little bit of the “before times” when I stopped in a small Illinois town to get some food to go from the local diner.

Here’s a little bit of what I found out about Kirkland. And it has nothing to do with Costco.

Originally the land of the the Pottawatomie Indians, a peaceful tribe, they grew rice and corn and refined maple sugar. They were removed in 1836 as part of one of the US gov’t “treaties” and not long after a Mr William Kirk built a log cabin and began acquiring land, which totaled 1500 acres by 1886.

He donated some land to the railroad on the condition they’d make the little burg a stop, they did, and it worked to the town’s advantage, as by law, sheep traveling to slaughter in Chicago could spend no more than 36 hours on the train without a break, and that was the exact distance from Omaha, where many herds would come from. They were unloaded at Kirkland, watered, fed and sheared before continuing on. Population peaked ten years ago at 1744, but that has affected the bustle of the village. One doesn’t see the empty storefronts like in most small Midwest towns. There are several bars and restaurants, grocer, building supply, gas station, a couple of churches, a bank, and then there is the Kirkland Family Restaurant.

They are open seven days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have a very extensive menu (posted below) for a small operation. Daily specials, too.

But I was talking about the “before times” people, wasn’t I? And that’s what I found at this small town eatery, friendly greetings from other customers, and a single waitress/server that went aboveKirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL and beyond the call to serve.

We placed an order to go (I’m still not comfortable with public spaces yet, March 2021) and I had the fried fish and fries, with a side of creamy slaw. Our other selection was the fried shrimp, which also included fries, and the side choice was cottage cheese. Fresh, soft dinner rolls were included.

They had a lot of potato and side choices, again, interesting for a small operation.

Our food was prepared quickly and correctly, fried to perfection and very tasty.

Again, the server wanted to make sure we were prepared to eat our meal on the go, and kept asking/suggesting compliments to our order, like plastic cutlery, ample napkins, butter pats, other sauces.

It was a great experience, and I can wait to return for a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast. You can bet I’ll go for chicken fried steak and a mess o eggs and taters. BTW, everything on the menu is very, very, reasonably priced.

Full menu below, click on each page to enlarge.  And check out the restaurant at their own webpage here.

Kirkland Family Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL





Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

Kirkland Family Restaurant Review – Kirkland, IL

Dennys Review Update

Dennys Review UpdateI’ve had some pretty dreadful meals at Dennys; usually I have dined there as a matter of geographical convenience, and such was the case recently in downstate Illinois, waiting for a prescription to come through at WalMart.

They were incredibly busy, and while we were seated promptly, service fell apart after that, with the first meal coming to the table about 30 minutes after ordering, and the 2nd meal coming when the first diner was finished.

I went with their “new” hamburger, which is a hand formed patty on a choice of bun. I have to say, it is greatly improved, had a nice char-crust from the flattop, and had a really good flavor all on it’s own. I opted for the “cheddar bun,” which was nice and firm, and could have easily held any toppings I chose to pile on the sandwich.

One other disappointment, from a personal standpoint, I just don’t care for extruded french fries. To me, they are “potato-y” enough in texture or taste. For operators, they are probably less expensive and fry (or bake) quicker.

It’s a personal thing.  Give me a fresh cut fry, hot and crisp out of the oil, any day.

Would I recommend the Denny’s burger?  Yes. The Denny’s menu continues to have something to please almost every taste, including steaks, fish, and pasta to go along with their always available breakfast and sandwich menus. Menu. Locations.

Dennys Review Update

Denny's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dennys Review Update

Portland, OR – Overlook Family Restaurant Review

Overlook Restaurant Portland OregonI like “greasy spoons”, and more especially, those American diner type restaurants that have some kind of connection to the Greek culture. Such is the case with the Overlook, which I would pop in every day if I lived in the neighborhood.  Instead, it’s only my second time in four years.

It’s your standard diner fare, with daily specials, and a full bar to boot.

They don’t call me “Burgerdogboy” for nothing, so breakfast for me, when it’s offered, is a hamburger patty with eggs, hash browns, and toast.  If I am in a “devil-may-care” attitude, I’ll order an additional side of some other meat, and yes please, extra butter on the side.

I wasn’t ordering extra today, but the ample weight of the burger patty made extra meat not required.

The breakfast, in its entirety, was served precisely as ordered:  meat medium, potatoes extra crispy, eggs over easy.

I lingered……and enjoyed the meal, two crosswords, and lotsa joe.  A welcome respite from  hotel dining, for sure.

Overlook Restaurant Portland Oregon

Overlook Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Overlook Family Restaurant Review

Kenner, LA – Jukebox Cajun Diner (Review)

(From the archives) Ever since the demise of the Humming Bird diner, I continually search for a 24/7 diner in N’awlins I can call “home,” at 3AM. There really doesn’t seem to be an apt replacement, so I tend to “spread the wealth” around, and visit several different places, depending on 1) my location at the time the urge strikes me, and 2) an estimate of what my own fatigue level will be when having to make the return trip. If I’m wide awake and wired, it’s usually the Airline Motors Diner in La Place (you saw it in “Monster’s Ball,” with Billy Bob Thorton and Halle Berry); if I’m in the mood for booze soaking grease, it’s the bacon-ham-sausage-egg-cheese poboy at Webster’s in Metairie; but more often than not, I’m happy to pop in the Jukebox Cajun Diner in Kenner.

It’s an Al Copeland (founder of Popeye’s Chicken)  project, and tho I am loathe to patronize any of his other establishments, there’s not much he could do to screw up 2 over easy with rye toast and bacon.

Fabulously furnished in faux fifties fixtures (nice alliteration, eh?), the Jukebox dishes out the standard fare with piety: eggs, omelets, cakes and waffles, biscuits and gravy.

More than adequate cheese fries, onion rings, and chili lead off the starter portion of conventional midday and evening entrees, including burgers, sandwiches, blackened chicken poboys, and chili dogs. Bite-size burgers, an homage to Tastee treats, go for $2.75 a half-dozen, no shucking required.

Plate dinner specials are available daily, as well as a half a dozen regular offerings: fried or blackened catfish platter, fried shrimp, chicken prepared to your licking, an open face hot roast beef, complimented with your choice of conventional sides like green beans, corn, or mashed taters.

Although there are plenty of places around to get good fried catfish, I like the Jukebox Diner’s – maybe they throw a little of Al’s secret seasonings in the batter, not sure. At $6.45, it’s a bargain.

While a seat is usually available, the 4th Friday of each month draws the classic car crowd, and if you’re a fan of diner food or dressed-out cars, get there early in the evening, or check it out from home on “Dine-O-Cam.”

Like most places of this ilk, staff turnover appears fairly high, but I’m delighted it doesn’t appear to affect the food or the service, unusual in the industry.

(From our archives) As with most N’awlins establishments, smoking is allowed everywhere. Forewarned is forearmed.

I’ve been told one of Al’s great schemes is to see franchised Jukebox Diner’s dot the land, though as far as I know, the location in Kenner is the only one. It’s within spitting distance of the airport, and thus provides a good place to sit if you’re waiting for guests to arrive on a plane, or you’ve headed out early for a drop off, only to find I-10 traffic manageable for the first time in your life.

The Jukebox Cajun Diner is at 2560 Williams Boulevard, Kenner.

Jukebox Cajun Diner on Urbanspoon

Woodland, CA – Denny’s (Diner Motif)

(Imagine the comic book guy from the Simpsons uttering……..”worst…….food……..ever…….”)

My bride and I hit a Denny’s 5-6 years ago, and vowed never to return.  As vows don’t mean much to us, we ended up at this location, in the middle of nowhere the other night.

The gas station next door would have been a better choice for dinner.

He ordered fish and chips.  She ordered some appetizer, corn chips and three dips.

As to the fish and chips. “Icelandic (r) Haddock,” said the menu.  “Two wild caught fillets with wavy cut fries, tartar sauce, slaw, and dinner bread.”  Sidebar:  Icelandic is the largest importer of frozen fish  for the US restaurant industry.  Haddock is a popular cold-water food fish, they grow to about 3′ in length, and are caught in depths of 100-400 feet by various methods.

Traditional “fish and chips” has usually been cod.  True cod that is.  A lot of fish labeled “cod” these days, ain’t.

Anyhow, my plate (below) was one monster fillet, and that in itself was OK, except the fillet was literally dripping in oil.  After taking this picture and looking at my newly oiled camera, I thought it was ruined.  Apparently not.  Nor was it yelling “oil can!”

Wavy-cut fries….I wondered what that could be.  Turns out, it’s an extruded potato product (that means they take a mixture like mashed potatoes and puke it out of a mold to look like fries), and the result is what I would call “churro fries” (for the shape).

Of the three dips on Mrs. BDB’s plate, (some queso thing, a salsa, and a spinach), only the spinach was palatable by any measure.

We escaped with our lives and weren’t sick the next day.  More than I could have hoped for.

I have seen the signs for Denny’s that are tagged “diner” over the years, and was never sure what that meant.   This one was labeled like that, and I still have no idea what the difference is between a regular Denny’s and a Denny’s Diner.

And I will never find out.  Because I wasn’t interested enough to ask, and I won’t be back.