SUGAR GROVE – Looking for a new place to hang up your brim and strap on the old feed bag? Look no farther than Calamity Jane's in Sugar Grove.
I've always been curious about the restaurant at 9S593 Route 47 in Sugar Grove every time I drive to and from work because who doesn't love a restaurant named after a Wild West legend? So I was pretty stoked to finally give the western-themed diner and bar a try.
Along with the (obviously fitting) Wild West decor, I was completely enamored by the restaurant use of cut-out jeans back pockets as coasters for our soft drinks. It's darling, it's one way to reuse denim back pockets and it only made sense with the restaurant and bar's atmosphere – friendly to hometown and out-of-towners alike.
Impatient eaters, be cautioned: My guest and I both burned the roof of our mouths eating the fried pickle spears appetizer as we waited for our main course. Despite our blunders, the fried pickles were just the right amounts of juicy and crunchy, and the ranch and chipotle dips complemented the spears. It also didn't hurt that they cost $6.25. They were fried in soybean oil – take note, allergy diners – and this would be perfect to hold over a table of three or even four people.
Also, proud and reserved hipsters alike, rejoice: Pabst Blue Ribbon, more affectionately known as PBR, is on tap at Calamity Jane's for $3 a pint.
I ordered Jane's Special Veggie Burger, a black bean-based burger, with mayonnaise, ketchup, lettuce and tomatoes on a pretzel hamburger bun with a (naked) pickle spear. I have had Morning Star patties before and knew what to expect there – particularly what that meant allergen-wise – but my carb-connoisseur self personally thought the pretzel bun was a nice touch to the burger.
My guest ended up getting the Sloppy Jane, a vegetarian take on the sloppy Joe. The dish involves vegetables, including portobello mushrooms, onions and red peppers, mixed with a seasoned tomato-based sloppy Joe sauce on a pretzel hamburger bun. While I was more than content with my veggie burger, I gotta say that I was a little jealous of the Sloppy Jane and I might have to come back to try the whole sandwich for myself.
One thing that my guest and I took note of was that the sweet potato fries we both ordered with our meals were different from other similar fries of its kind. We really liked that these fries weren't just like, BAM!, you're definitely eating fried yams; these fries tasted more like crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside fries with a hint of sweet potato. We thought it was a nice change of pace and I eagerly await eating my leftover fries.
Of course, we left some room for dessert – who do you take us for, a couple of quitters? – because I'm also a sucker for root beer floats. The 1919 Draft Root Beer and Kemp's vanilla ice cream root beer float at Calamity Jane's did not disappoint, and it is easy to share with a friend or a date with two straws and two spoons.
With all of that amounting to less than $50 including tip, I'd call Calamity Jane's the rootin'-est, tootin'-est joint this side of the Fox River.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. 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. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic, but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.