Benedict’s La Strata
Best Breakfast, Best Gluten Free/Keto and Best Outdoor Dining
In the baker’s dozen of years that Benedict La Strata has occupied the corner of Brink and Williams streets in downtown Crystal Lake, it has drawn a devoted following. With a warm and welcoming interior and a host of choices on the breakfast and lunch menus, return visits are a must.
For a restaurant that seats 100 diners, the mix of tables and booths feels remarkably cozy. Cheery yellow walls, polished wood tables, and posters of a cheeky rooster in a chef’s hat give off a relaxed vibe. The heated, screened-in patio can accommodate another 80 diners. On the exterior, floor boxes dot the latticework. Red and yellow annuals blooming out of brick planters set off the restaurant’s forest-green awning.
The extensive menu changes seasonally and begins with the basics: traditional eggs and a choice of meat with a side of fresh fruit or breakfast potatoes.
The menu contains a dozen variations of eggs benedict, the dish that inspired the eatery’s name. From Benedict’s ala Munich: potato pancakes, grilled Sheboygan bratwurst, caramelized onions, poached eggs, topped with a mustard hollandaise sauce – to Lobster Benedict: English muffin halves topped with sautéed spinach, real lobster meat and béarnaise sauce.
The strata in the restaurant’s name refers to light, fresh blueberries and lemon zest baked into a bread pudding, topped with blueberry compote and powdered sugar.
Sixteen varieties of skillets and scrambles tempt the hearty eater, including a Louisiana Skillet with pulled pork, cheddar cheese, green pepper, onion and barbecue sauce.
No breakfast item is neglected at Benedict’s. Omelets, pancakes, waffles, quiche, frittatas and crepes all have their place on the menu. There’s even a dash of Mexican with breakfast burritos, tacos and quesadillas.
The lunchtime menu offers up lighter items, such as salads, soups, wraps, paninis and sandwiches, including an ultimate grilled cheese, a salmon club and four varieties of burgers.
With three locations, all of which opened within the last two decades, Benedict’s popularity is obvious. Owner John Pilafas opened Benedict’s Eggs & More in West Dundee in 2003 in a vintage 1892 building originally used as a fishermen’s hall, and then as a residence. Just five years later, Benedict’s La Strata debuted in Crystal Lake. Across Williams Street in Crystal Lake, Taste of Benedict’s and More provides a casual place to sit down for a quick bite or drink before getting on the Metra train from the station, just a block away. Taste of Benedict’s serves drinks, scones, cookies, muffins, brownies and coffeecake. The casual eatery even has a gifts section, perfect for picking up a hostess or birthday gift.
Benedict’s La Strata is the ideal spot for meeting friends for a luxurious breakfast or lunch, or for fueling up for a morning of shopping in downtown Crystal Lake.
Location: 40 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, IL
benedictseggs.com | 815-459-6500