July 26, 2007
First impressions: How good is the food at Smitty's on the Corner in St. Charles? So good that, after a recent meal there, we regretted not trying one of the day's specials, egg and chicken salad. And we really don't like egg salad. But we're sure we would have loved Smitty's. And that was the only regret of the visit.
A little storefront shop, Smitty's has 18 two-seat tables, an eclectic selection of photos on the wall (from the Three Stooges to ex-Bear Dan Hampton) and a juke box in the back. Clean, well-lit and low-key, it has the feel of a neighborhood malt shop that has been upgraded to a neighborhood sandwich shop. Smitty's is just steps away from the Fox River. Not a bad location to relax and enjoy your sandwich.On the plate: Smitty's offers a dozen gourmet sandwiches -- from Smitty's special of turkey, ham and swiss on sourdough to a classic sub. That egg and chicken salad? They're Smitty's recipes. There are four others from the grill (tuna melt, etc.), and hot dogs. There's also soup, salads and chips, no fries. Meals arrive in baskets, with a generous pickle spear. Ice cream cones (eight flavors) and sundaes (chocolate, butterscotch, strawberry) plus fresh-baked cookies are meal finishers.
At your service: We missed the lunch rush with a late-afternoon visit and were the only customers. The gentleman behind the counter -- he had been working a crossword puzzle when we came in -- was friendly and quick. And he knows how to make a good sandwich.
Second helpings: We tried four sandwiches, and the first comment from each of us was about the freshness. The turkey -- which can lose its zing quickly -- was wonderful. The lettuce was crisp, tomatoes flavorful and sauces/dressings really good. Oh ... the bread. It's baked daily by St. Charles Breadsmith. Again, great taste and very fresh. We tried the Reuben, the dill-licious veggie (Havarti, avocado, cukes, red onions, tomato, lettuce and a dill-mayo sauce on a croissant), Ann's favorite (turkey, havarti, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a croissant), and the California turkey sandwich (turkey, havarti, lettuce, tomato, avocado and Dijonnaise). All were satisfying. We also tried the tasty house-made creamy cole slaw and spiral pasta salad (with olives, feta and an Italian dressing).
Take a pass: The potato salad was OK, but not on par with the other very good sides.
Thirst quenchers: Beyond the basic soda dispenser and a cooler with bottled drinks, there are fruit smoothies ($3.29) in a variety of flavors. Mango was a hit.
Extras: Daily specials are listed on a dry-erase board. Smitty's also delivers to downtown St. Charles businesses before 11 a.m. and after 2 p.m.
Price range: Salads, $1.35-$2.25; soup, $2.45; hot dogs, $1.70; sandwiches, $4.25-$5.75; sodas, $1.45.
Smitty's on the Corner
15 E. Main St.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., closed Sun.
Credit cards: M, V
Other: Wheelchair-accessible, no smoking, free 90-minute street parking
Stage hits: Just down the street is the historic 80-year-old Arcada Theater (105 E. Main St.; 630-587-8400, www.onestientertainment.com/arcada/arcad a.htm). Coming next month: a two-night Elvis tribute.
Work it off: If you're looking for some place to wear out the kids, try Funway Entertainment (1335 S. River St., Batavia; 630-879-8718, www.funwaybatavia.com), about 20 minutes south of St. Charles. Roller skating, go-karts, batting cages, bowling, arcades and more.
Ratings key: 4 forks, don't miss it; 3 forks, one of the best; 2 forks, very good; 1 fork, good
Reviews are based on anonymous visits by Tribune staff members; meals are paid for by the Tribune.
Saint Charles, IL 60174 630-762-1080