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Wedron Office

2005 N. 35th Rd., Ottawa, IL - (815) 433-2974
Posted By Michael Stern on 3/28/2013 4:37:00 AM
You can't miss Wedron Office if you are driving along 35th Road north of Ottawa, Illinois. It is the only thing around that is not a cornfield. It sports a pool table up front and a hospitable bar in the center of the restaurant and, when there is no worthy sporting event to broadcast, the overheads are tuned to Tru TV (which was playing a show called "Busted in the Buff" when I visited). You would not expect to eat well here, but you will.

"You like the cream of mushroom soup!" says the waitress when she comes to clear away the emptied bowl. "You know," she boasts, "It is homemade." It is pleasant soup, not too woodsy, nothing dramatic, but truly homey in a Midwest homemaker sort of way: bits of celery, lots of pieces of mushroom that are just past al dente.

Fried chicken is a house specialty. It takes a while because it is cooked to order. The wait is worth it. Each piece is enclosed in a thin envelope of crust, with trailing squiggles of seasoned batter all about that are a joy to lift off. The dark-meat thigh is thick and juicy, and while its flavor is not intrinsically exciting, it does provide some counterpoint to the crust, which is so thrilling that one is tempted to just peel it away and eat it without the meat – like having all the bacon off your breakfast plate but leaving behind the eggs and toast. I was hunting every little crumb of it on the plate by the end of the meal.

Wedron Office also makes a point of serving bluegill, which isn't all that common on restaurant menus because it takes a good half-dozen small fillets to make a meal. Unless you are adamantly anti-fish, this is a dish you want to eat. The little fillets are white, sweet, and moist, reminiscent of lake perch, enclosed in a toasty crust that is teasingly salted. Forget tartar or cocktail sauce; either would be only a distraction.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Fried Chicken
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Bluegill
Salad
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Bluegill is a restaurant rarity because you need a lot of fillets to make a meal, but what a wonderful meal it is, each little curl of white fish offering sweet, freshwater flavor encased in a nutty, toasty crust.
"Bluegill is a restaurant rarity because you need a lot of fillets to make a meal, but what a wonderful meal it is, each little curl of white fish offering sweet, freshwater flavor encased in a nutty, toasty crust. "
Michael Stern





It is such a pleasure to crunch into the squiggles of savory crust that envelop the fried chicken.
"It is such a pleasure to crunch into the squiggles of savory crust that envelop the fried chicken."
Michael Stern


A Budweiser sign marks the spot.
"A Budweiser sign marks the spot."
Michael Stern


While there is nothing dramatic about this fine cream of mushroom soup, it is homemade and homey, well-stocked with bits of celery and tender pieces of mushroom.
"While there is nothing dramatic about this fine cream of mushroom soup, it is homemade and homey, well-stocked with bits of celery and tender pieces of mushroom."
Michael Stern


The superb fried chicken has a thin envelope of crust so delicious that it is tempting to peel it off the meat, piece by piece, and eat it like strips of bacon.
"The superb fried chicken has a thin envelope of crust so delicious that it is tempting to peel it off the meat, piece by piece, and eat it like strips of bacon."
Michael Stern


The festive bar is the sanctum sanctorum at Wedron Office.
"The festive bar is the sanctum sanctorum at Wedron Office."
Michael Stern


The view across the road from Wedron Office: corn and more corn.
"The view across the road from Wedron Office: corn and more corn."
Michael Stern



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