Walking into Cafe Olympic in downtown Crystal Lake is like walking into a time from the past.
It's a bustling diner on the corner of Williams and Woodstock streets not far from the Metra crossing.
We walked in and were greeted quickly and could see all the way in back left, where the cooks were working hard keeping ahead of the rush.
On the way over, we had been talking about a recent Northwest Herald email newsletter about how politicians try to sit in the back at local establishments so that they can see everyone who comes in and out and know who is there.
So we tried the same, sitting against a back wall, and funny enough, halfway through our meal, a local politician did walk in.
But back to the food. We both started out with a coffee ($2.15 each), because it was just that kind of a day. Heck, most are.
We also both got the Soup of the Day, which that day was a tortilla soup.
Then my fellow diner picked the gyros sandwich ($10.49) deluxe, which means it came with fries and soup, while I picked out a cheesy roast beef croissant ($9.95) with sweet potato fries ($1 upgrade) on the side.
That decision didn't come easy with a ton of options on the 12-page menu.
There are egg and egg sandwich options, 20 different omelettes, 10 skillets, four benedict options, pancakes, waffles, crepes and a whole page of healthy breakfast options, and that's only the morning stuff.
Then there are eight salads, 12 sandwiches, five wraps, seven burgers, five melts, nine entrées and eight croissant options.
Point being: Cafe Olympic has pretty much something for any taste.
Mine happend to be roast beef that day and I chose cheddar cheese on top. It was a little bit greasy and a whole lot of delicious.
The gyros sandwich was piled high with gyro meat from the skewer along with onions and tomatoes, served on a large pita. He enjoyed the sandwich immensely as we watched the diner churn customers in and out from both the tables and the bar-type setup around the cashier.
The food came quick, the food was good and there's not really much more you could ask for from a downtown diner.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Cafe Olympic
WHERE: 90 N Williams St, Crystal Lake
WHEN: 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
INFORMATION: Call 815-459-4100 or visit cafeolympiccrystallake.com/