Something wonderful has happened in downtown Kankakee! A new restaurant has opened and is already receiving excellent reviews, and now here’s mine.

Station Street Café recently opened in the former Papi’s Pizza building. The craft cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, with each entree being specially prepared for their guests.

I met my friend, Mary Thomson, for lunch at the Station Street Café. They have both indoor and outdoor dining, but the weather was perfect, and we dined out.

Mary ordered the Turkey Times Two sandwich. The club sandwich was loaded with bacon, avocado, aioli, greens, and tomato on homemade multigrain bread. Station Street makes its own loaves of bread and they are fabulous.

I was a bit more adventurous and tried the Korean Chicken bowl, one of several bowls on their menu. Be prepared – it’s spicy, hot, and delicious. Make sure you ask for ice water on the side! The bowl came with chunks of spicy fried chicken with a Korean glaze sauce on top of chef’s grains and rice with fresh snow peas, peppers, marinated onions, cabbage, and carrots. The chicken was very tender and paired wonderfully with the grains and rice.

The portions were large. Mary boxed up most of her sandwich, and I boxed up my chicken, which lasted me another two days! Definitely will order this again.

Everything I’ve heard from readers is positive. The food is good, the service is great and the ambiance is relaxing.

Other items on the menu are several flatbreads like the B.B.Q. Bacon cheeseburger with white cheddar cream sauce, caramelized onions, barbecue sauce, and topped with a dill pickle. There is also the fried chicken and chorizo or B.L.T. flatbread.

The sandwiches are unique with the classic smash burger, which has become one of most burgers in the business. Theirs comes with two patties with American cheese, remoulade, pickles and red onion.

The Cow Tippin’ burger is “huge!” It’s made with two burgers, aged cheddar, wild mushroom spread, bacon, avocado, and roasted garlic aioli.

One of the sandwiches that impressed me was their grilled salmon toast on honey oat toast with avocado topped with greens and tomato — maybe next time!

With summer, who doesn’t want a good salad? They have a great selection, including their chopped salad, the berry cobb, and two unique salads — the Gunslinger and Bulletproof.

The Gunslinger has red cabbage, tortilla pieces, chihuahua cheese, spicy pico de gallo, roasted corn salsa, southwest grilled chicken and served with poblano ranch dressing. Don’t forget to order ice water!

Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our lunches and promised to return soon. I kept my promise, and two days later, I went back for breakfast. They are open for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

I enjoy a good breakfast; better yet, I enjoy a good breakfast when the chef steps outside the box and creates some of the most fascinating, delicious items you can think of! Reading through their menu, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to order most. Thankfully, my daughter, Kelly Collins, and husband Dave, came along with each of us ordering something different.

Kelly opted for the Meat the Morning with a pan-fired omelet, sausage, and bacon stuffed with cheese, topped with crispy bacon piece , and served with their street potatoes and homemade bread.

Dave chose the Kankakee Quiche. The presentation was beautiful and had me wishing I had ordered it. The chef used egg, cheese, pepper, onion, spinach, and bacon with a buttery, flaky crust. This was fabulous, fabulous! The combination with the crust was mouth-watering. Sometimes with a quiche, the crust will overpower the actual egg mixture. Not in this case, it was a perfect blend of both!

I decided on the Farmers Market in honor of the Kankakee Farmers Market. Delicious, absolutely delicious! It was presented in a skillet with street potatoes, bell peppers, caramelized onions, Granny’s gravy (which is outstanding) pickled onions, avocados, bacon, and eggs. I didn’t know if I would like the pickled onions, but they did pair well with the avocados. Again, the portions were large and enough to take home, except for the quiche that didn’t make it out the door!

Their homemade breads are amazing and served with whipped butter. I wouldn’t mind being able to buy a loaf for home; maybe someday they’ll sell their breads.

Biscuits and gravy are a “thing” when it comes to breakfast — which restaurant makes the best in town, etc. I will say their version of B & G is just like granny’s; not, too spicy or too doughy, it’s just right. And, you can actually see the chunks of sausage!

Another breakfast item that stood out: The Pancake Station offers an Oreo cookie pancake, white chocolate, and caramel pretzel pancake and the Berry Bonanza loaded with fresh seasonal fruits and granola. There are also several versions of oatmeal and a parfait.

It gets better. I ordered the bottomless mimosa served in a jar with fresh strawberries. Also, the bloodies, which is their version of the Bloody Mary that Dave really enjoyed.

Station Street Café is located at 150 E. Station St., Kankakee. Call 815-523-7598 to order food to go or for more information. Check out their Facebook page, too. Go! You won’t be disappointed.

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