Kankakee Elks Golf Club & Lodge – St. Anne, IL
Mother’s Day brunch. Gotta love it. Last year, J and I met her parents in St. Joseph for brunch at the Pump House Grille. This year, we were going to be in town, so J suggested getting both sets of parents together for brunch. Initially, we planned on some place closer to Chicago, but J’s parents are Harley riders and saw the opportunity for a ride. They asked if there was any place in Kankakee which is close to where my parents live. Only one place I could think of.
The Kankakee Elks Club is on Bittersweet Drive just off Heiland Road not too far from Aroma Park, IL. The address is technically a St. Anne address, but the club is closer to both Aroma Park and Sun River Terrace. It looks like a gated, private club, but it’s actually open to the public.
I have been to the Elks many times in the past but always for weddings. It’s a pretty popular spot to get married in the Kankakee area. To my family, the Elks Club has always been a sign of elegance. It was a place you held your wedding if you have a little extra money. To J and her family, Elks Clubs have always meant something different. When we lived in Peoria, the Elks Lodge was always a place for drug deals and shootings, so when I mentioned the Elks for Mother’s Day brunch, she looked at my kind of skeptically. I assured her, it was not like Elks Clubs where she’s from.
We made 11:00 reservations which means we had to get moving way before I usually get up. My parents were waiting when we pulled in and J’s weren’t too far behind us on the bike. Once we were all there, I checked in with the hostess who took us to a table in the large dining room. That room is the one used for wedding receptions, banquets and the like. There are large windows overlooking the river which runs right next to the club. Our table was in the back corner of the space which was filled with large, round tables that could easily accommodate larger groups. There is another room that is connected to this room. It’s used as the restaurant/lounge for the golf course. They serve dinner starting at five o’clock Monday through Saturday.
The Mother’s Day brunch was set up in another corner of the room. There were two large tables in a V-Shape with hotel pans of food. There was also a roast beef carving station and an omelet station as well as a dessert table, fruit table, and juice bar.
We all started with pop except for J’s parents who got iced tea and coffee instead. All the drinks were included in the price of the brunch.
I headed straight for the meat. I picked up some breakfast sausage, bacon, roast beef, and a plum glazed pork loin on my first trip as well as a very flaky biscuit. Everyone joked I skipped breakfast. Not so, I had sausage…and bacon. My favorite meat out of this grouping was the roast beef. It was so juicy and tender. I picked a pretty rare piece and couldn’t wait to go back for seconds.
On my second trip, I got more of the roast beef and hit the omelet station. My dad stood there with me for a few minutes and remarked that he was tempted to get one before walking away. He doesn’t like omelet’s, but thought they looked delicious. I got bacon, cheese, and jalapeno’s in mine. It only took a few minutes to cook and I was soon back at the table wounding my burnt taste buds. Love jalapenos but always forget I shouldn’t eat them so darn fast.
Everyone else seemed to really enjoy the brunch. I was a little worried when we chose the Elks. I knew my parents would be more than happy with it, but it’s J’s parents who are the fans of brunch buffets. The only comment I heard was J wished they had some veggies to go with the fruit and a waffle station would have been nice, but overall, everyone had positive things to say about the experience.
The cost was $21/person, so the total came out to just over $130. It’s right in line and cheaper than a lot of the brunches we found in the Chicago area. We all stuffed ourselves full to make sure to get our money’s worth. The Elks Club turned out to be a good choice. J and I got to actually spend Mother’s Day with our mother’s which doesn’t always happen and we got a good meal out of it.