I have got this strange fascination with 24 hour diners. When we go to my girlfriend’s parents house, we leave Lansing when she gets off work around midnight. That puts us in the Chicago area around 2:00 AM CST. This night was no different. We made it to town just after 2:00. Like the lazy college kids we aren’t, we piled all of our dirty clothes into her car and took over her parents laundry room. Because we had plans Saturday afternoon, J wanted to get a couple loads done before we went to bed. We put in a load of whites and realized we were both hungry. Even though Huck Finn has been there since she was in high school, she never ate there. Since it’s only a few blocks away, we hoped back in the car and went for breakfast.
Huck Finn is a chain of three restaurants in the Chicago area. They’re open 24/7 and they work on the unique model of being not only a restaurant, but a donut and ice cream shop too. The parking lot was packed even though it was 2:30 in the AM. We headed inside and a hostess showed us to a booth along the back wall. We just seem to not have much luck with waiters in Chicago area 24/7 places. We had an absolutely disasters meal at White Palace Grill (review HERE) in the south Loop and this one started out that way. Fortunately, the waiter recovered and everything turned out ok.
After sitting at our table for 10 minutes, the waiter finally came over for drink orders. I put in my usual order of a Coke, but J went with an iced tea. The waiter started to walk away, but J stopped him to let him know we were ready to order. We didn’t want to lose him again.
J got a grilled cheese and french fries. It would have came with soup, but she wasn’t in the mood. Our meals came out quick. Like, 5 minutes or so after the order was put it in. This is definately the kind of place that likes to turn tables and it was a good thing for us. She really liked the grilled cheese, but was not so happy with the fries. They were soggy and undercooked. She described them as “limp.”
I got the pancake sandwich. Two huge pancakes had a ham steak sandwiched in between them then there were two eggs on top of that. I didn’t know how to eat it, so I ate the eggs first them buttered up the cakes and cut through all three layers. First, I gotta say I was happy they gave me enough butter. Normally, I feel like I get cheated on butter and syrup. Here, they brought out a pretty good size serving of whipped butter and two cups of maple syrup. My meal was delicious. Exactly the kind of meal you hope to get from a diner like this. For probably the first time ever, J had to help me finish. Since she was cold on her fries, I passed over half of one of my pancakes which she also really liked. Between the two of us, there was more than enough food. I left a little pancake on my plate and so did she.
Our bill was about $17. Much better than if we would have went to Denny’s. After the little snafu of being ignored for 10 minutes, things picked up and our meal went by really quick. From the time we ordered until the time we paid the bill, no more than 20 minutes had passed. The characters you see at a 24-hour diner always make the trip worth it. There weren’t nearly as many drunk college kids as I was expecting. There was an interesting collection of people which makes people watching fun. Huck Finn was a good choice. Like I said, we usually get into town late and it’s good to know there are places to grab a meal after a long car ride. If a full meal’s too much, they also sell donuts and ice cream at the cash register.