Story and photos by Kayte Deioma
Raspberry pie. An exquisite rarity, but even more elusive, the perfect buttery, flaky crust. Once tasted, it evokes spontaneous cravings at the oddest of times, transporting me back to relive the experience in my mind, salivating taste buds and all. Oh, for another piece of that raspberry pie!
I came upon this culinary wonder at the Town House Bookstore and Cafe in St. Charles, Illinois, about an hour east of Chicago, where I was visiting my friend Cindy. It’s a charming, historic town on the Fox River, among a cluster of Victorian middle-American towns including Batavia and Geneva.
It’s worth a drive out of Chicago just to cruise the lanes of historic homes and mansions and take a stroll along the river. In summer all manner of water activities from riverboat cruises to canoes add just that perfect pastoral Sunday in the Park feel to any day.
There are things to DO in St. Charles, like take in a show at the Arcada or Steel Beam Theatre, shop for antiques or drive out to the Fine Line Creative Arts Center, located in a converted barn. But the best thing to do in St. Charles is nothing in particular.
A walk along the river, an amble down Main Street, a coffee here, an ice cream there, a beer on the patio of the Filling Station Pub or Alley 64, a family dinner at Francesca’s by the River or fine dining at Rox City Grill in the historic Baker Hotel. Just hanging out is a pleasure.
And if you’re fortunate enough to arrive at just the right time, on just the right day, in just the right season – you might find a memorable slice of raspberry pie in the Town House Cafe. If not, the blueberry cobbler is pretty yummy too.