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Restaurant Review: Eggspress Cafe is now my favorite go-to-breakfast location near Candlewick Lake. Located in the tiny hamlet of Machesney Park just south of Rockford, Illinois. Their big feature breakfast sandwich: The New Yorker, a fabulous lox and bagel cream cheese sandwich
By Ray Hanania
I’ve driven past the new breakfast cafe a few times. It’s way out of the way on North 2nd Street, or Route 251, on the outskirts of Machesney Park, near a cute little town called “Loves Park.”
Who wouldn’t love Loves Park?
I finally got a chance to stop there when I decided to swing by Big Lots located a block away down North 2nd Street to find metal skewers for bonfire hotdog grilling and to roast marshmallows to make Smores. (You need those long skewers to keep from burning at a good fire and when you find them, you don’t let go.)
Big Lots has a metal skewer made by Hershey’s Chocolates that is perfect. It looks like a metal fork that extends to twice its length, about 24 inches, with two bent tips that hold the marshmallow and the hot dogs without fear of losing them.
That was a big find. And to celebrate, I drove to Eggspress Cafe,8660 N 2nd St, Machesney Park, IL 61115, right next door to Big Lots to the north.
Oh my God that Lox and Bagel sandwich is unbelievable. I’m a skeptic. I wondered, what could be better than Denny’s?
Well, Eggspress has beaten everyone, hands down.
The New Yorker sandwich is phenomenal. It was perfect. It’s the best Lox and Bagel sandwich outside of New York City, which is 886 miles to the east, via I-80, of course. You don’t have to go to New York.
The sandwich is a bit pricey, about $10. But it’s worth every penny.
The cafe itself is very clean … it just opened, of course. But it has this European style, something you might find in Paris or Europe. Clean. Simple. The only problem I had — the ONLY problem — was I originally wanted the egg sandwich, just in case the Lox and Bagel sandwich didn’t live up to my expectations. I bought both. But the egg sandwich is called “The Stud Muffin” and I felt uncomfortable asking the girl at the cash register to put that in my order.
I pointed to it. And called i this egg sandwich, please. “I get it, of course. Popular phrase. But the name doesn’t work. It’s like asking for an X-Rated video at a video store. Who does that? Well, are there any video store’s left?
That’s not to say the food at Eggspress isn’t salaciously saucy and enticing.
I couldn’t find the restaurant chain online, so I couldn’t find a menu online to give you more details. And, it was a struggle to find its address. (That’s why websites are so important.) But I did find it’s Facebook Page:
And after doing alittle research, I discovered it was built in a former BBQ restaurant that didn’t survive called Big Papa’s off of North 2nd Street, which is marked Route 251 on my navigation and on the maps.
Hey, I can’t be responsible for trying to figure out how to get around in the country. But the address, I think, is: 8660 N 2nd St, Machesney Park, IL 61115.
You can’t miss the stylish design and logo for the Cafe. This place looks great and the food is even better than the place looks. How often does that happen?
I can’t recommend this place enough. Best of all, they even have a drive-thru. So I’ll be hopping by through the drive-thru often to grab those New Yorker Lox and Bagel sandwiches for the cruises on Candlewick Lake out in Poplar Grove, Illinois.
8660 N 2nd St, Machesney Park, IL 61115
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.