WESTMONT – Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, not only because we still have two meals to go, but also because I enjoy the comfort factor of a great breakfast and a hot, strong cup of coffee. On the northwest corner of Cass Avenue and Naperville Road the Golden Basket fits the bill perfectly.
Walk in and you immediately get the hometown feel. It’s reinforced by nearly 50 percent of the customers being greeted by name and heading right to their favorite table. There’s also a large, round communal table that attracts a steady group of rotating regulars early on weekdays. Several other groups stop by to have their “weekly” morning catch-up sessions.
And it’s not just the customers; the staff seems to have been there forever! And that’s a good thing as water and beverages are on the table almost before you’ve checked out the menu. As for menus, pay attention because there are three. A regular plastic-encased menu accompanies your seating, along with a single-page Daily Specials page. Check out the video screen as there are often a few more rotating selections.
If it’s your first visit for breakfast, the menus can appear daunting, but perseverance pays off! There are 11 sections devoted to breakfast, plus the Daily Specials and the video board. All your favorites are there, so pleasing the whole family is no problem.
While the Healthy Egg-sperience section has egg white omelets and yogurt parfaits, the quinoa bowl on the Daily Specials page is another healthy option. Quinoa is finished with sautéed mushrooms and broccoli topped with cheddar cheese and a couple of eggs cooked to order. Mixed together, it has that good-for-you taste.
Pick the number of eggs you want (one, two or three) and the style, select from hash browns, house potatoes (home fries) or fruit, choose toast or a pancake, and add a side of meat. The meat list is lengthy with the basics – bacon, sausage links or turkey links – and a few heartier options: pork chops, Canadian bacon, a New York strip steak, corned beef hash, an Angus beef patty or an 8-ounce char-broiled skirt steak.
Omelets are hearty fare at breakfast or lunch, and if you are a meat lover, select from the omelet or skillet by the same name. The Meat Lovers packs all your favorite breakfast proteins – ham, bacon and sausage – into a three-egg omelet filled with cheddar cheese. With Greek toast and hash browns, you will not walk away hungry. Most ingredient combinations are readily available.
Skillets feature many of the same omelet ingredients but allow for individual customization from the egg perspective. Ingredients are bedded on hash browns and then topped with your egg selection. Make sure your schedule is open…this one takes a while to finish!
Breakfast burritos are a regular on the Specials Menu. Both chorizo and diced chicken are combined with egg whites, black beans, avocado, tomato, jalapeños and pepper jack cheese before being wrapped in a flour tortilla. Sided by small containers of salsa and sour cream, it’s my son’s go-to breakfast!
A few Benedicts, both Hollandaise and sausage gravy style, round out the egg selections. Pancakes, crepes, French toast and waffles mix and match ingredients, making everyone’s favorite available. Pecan batter waffles are topped with sautéed cinnamon apples and more pecans, while the same toppings both fill and top the apple cinnamon crepe. A splash of syrup, and it’s almost like dessert for breakfast.
Challah bread contributes mightily to Golden Basket French toast selections. The fruity nutty option is mounded by strawberries and bananas, along with three kinds of nuts and granola. The toppings are so abundant, each bite has something. Syrup is almost an afterthought on this one, but it’s there for the taking if needed.
While breakfast is served all day, lunch items are served any time after 11 a.m. As with many diner-style eateries, soup is included with lunch items, and the Golden Basket’s is a good one. The soup is sided with crackers and a roll. Sandwiches also come with optional fries or fruit.
While I often enjoy breakfast at lunch, I occasionally head back to the basics like the classic grilled cheese. Set on a platform of sourdough bread providing a rugged base, it pairs naturally with your soup, so request them together. Swiss and American cheese melt forces, along with add-ons of crispy bacon and ripe tomatoes. Comfort food at its finest.
Club sandwiches are another back-to-basics option. My two favorites are the combo club (ham, turkey, bacon and American cheese) or the straight-up ham and cheese club, which is a combo minus the turkey. Both options feature lightly toasted whole wheat bread with the required lettuce, tomato and mayo. Customization is available so you can request your favorite mix.
Wraps are another full section of the menu. Get your club sandwich on a tortilla for the California wrap or have it stuffed with chicken fajita mix in the fajita wrap. Several nice options ranging from tuna to almond chicken salad are also available.
Burgers are always a diner staple, and Golden Basket’s are a solid choice. Burgers are half pound and served on a gently toasted brioche bun. All of the standard toppings are available, as are turkey and veggie options.
Several entrée-sized salads are also on the menu. While the cobb salad is not the traditional California presentation, it does contain all of the requisite ingredients. A bed of Romaine lettuce is topped with char-broiled chicken breast along with a mix of bacon, cucumber, tomato, onions and blue cheese crumbles. Add hard-boiled eggs and your choice of salad dressing on the side, and you have a plate substantial enough to catch up on all the latest dining companion news.
So, if you’re catching up with friends, looking for a hearty breakfast or just a quick meal, Golden Basket is a nice option. Staffed by the friendliest crew and a menu with lots of options, the Golden Basket has everything a good diner should have, except the pie. Now there’s an idea!
If you go
WHAT: Golden Basket
WHERE: 2 W. Naperville Road, Westmont
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: 630-960-0626; thegoldenbasketdiner.com
RESERVATIONS: Not accepted
NOISE FACTOR: Medium buzz
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