“ Address: 129 S. Main Galena, IL 61036 „
The Golden Hen Cafe,
Galena is a town with an interesting history. It began as a lead mining town which was situated on a river that was a branch of the Mississippi River which years ago was navigable. As well as this Galenas' other claim to fame is that it was the home of no less than nine of the North's Civil War generals including Ulysses S. Grant.
We spent a day exploring this town on our great river Road trip and while we were there we had our lunch in this little cafe. There was not a huge choice of eating places if you only wanted a sandwich or snack, most places seemed to be serving full meals which we didn't want. Thankfully in keeping with the town's historic centre there were no Subways or MacDonalds to be seen.
We looked in and there were a few groups of people inside eating. We thought that if it was not so great once we were inside we would just order a drink and then try somewhere else.
The decor was oddly quaint in a sort of rather countrified and dated way. The wall paper was a sort of motley yellow colour and the frieze around the middle of the wall had chickens on it in a sort of chocolate box style rather than modern and quirky. Under the frieze the wall paper was yellow striped and it was all a bit much really but we were not there to judge the decor.
We were welcomed by one of the members of staff and asked if we wanted coffee. This seemed to be standard during the day in any cafe or restaurant we went into in America. The coffee was bottomless and we could have drunk as much as we wanted.
The tables were all pretty small suitable for two or four and had table cloths dark wooden chairs and white crockery on the tables. It looked very much like a cosy cafe from about ten years ago which was quite odd to find in America.
We were brought a menu and there was a huge choice of food from snack meals through to a variety of sandwiches, soups and more than we needed for lunch certainly. The selection of cakes and pastries was also pretty impressive but I thought a sandwich was a healthier option.
We ordered a couple of sandwiches and sat back to enjoy our coffee while we waited. When the sandwiches arrived they were huge meals. We not only had sandwiches made with two slices of bread. They came with a huge pile of chips (fries) and a nice amount of salad as well. The sandwich was fresh and tasty, the chips really piping hot and the salad fresh with a nice sauce. I picked all the onions off mine but i still had lovely crisp lettuce and tomatoes, grated carrot and much more. I had to pass most of my chips to my husband as I really couldn't cope with such a massive meal at lunch.
The cafe became busier as we enjoyed our meal and the staff kept on top of the service with efficiency. You could see the kitchen through a large hatchway which was behind a counter area where the desserts and cakes were displayed.
There seemed to be quite a number of staff working there and we had at least two different people looking after us. They were not overly friendly but pleasantly answered any queries we had re the food we were ordering.
After we had finished our meal we both used the 'bathroom' or 'restroom' which was actually only one toilet at the back. It was clean and suitable for disabled use so pretty enormous. I am always slightly concerned when the door is that far away that I really have locked the door properly! Luckily no-one tried to come and join me but it was a little nerve wracking.
We asked for the bill which a lady brought to our table. I then went to the till near the counter area to pay having left the tip on the table. I can't say that I felt overwhelmed by attention at any time but at the same time we were brought all we needed in good time and the food was freshly prepared and tasty. It is actually quite unusual in America to have such little attention from staff members especially when we speak with our 'accents' we usually get some comment and then we get asked if we like America and what we are doing there.
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Small cafe or restaurant with a hen theme of decoration serving freshly cooked food in Galena Illinois