By Nate Johnson
The dining options in downtown Rockford continue to increase, this time on the west side of the river. Magpie, located just south of the BMO Center at 307 S. Main, opened for service in late December.
Owner Stephanie Caltagerone took the restaurant, formerly Sammy’s and Jesse’s Place, and turned the inside into a lovely and inviting space, whimsically decorated, with counter seating along with 11 tables and two booths, all of which have gotten plenty of use over the last week and a half.
Open from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. most days (open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and BMO event nights), Magpie specializes in breakfast and lunch items with a heavy emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. A run down the menu highlights several local purveyors, including oatmeal with oats from Hazzard Free Farm, hamburgers with beef from Eickman’s, and their own house blend of coffee from Javamania.
Craftfully-prepared comfort food is the specialty of the house. The breakfast menu features a number of omelets, pancakes and French toasts (including a stuffed version for those with a sweet tooth), and biscuits and gravy, while the lunch selections are heavy on the salad and sandwich options, along with a variety of mac and cheeses.
The sandwich selection offers something for everyone, from a classic such as the Hot Brown to their own twist on the standard chicken sandwich, served here with their house spinach and artichoke spread. All burgers and sandwiches are served with perfectly-done hand-cut fries.
As if the standard menu isn’t enough, an ever-changing list of daily specials will greet patrons, ranging from specialty coffee cakes at breakfast to twists on the house burger like the magnificent bacon jam version put out this week. Everything on the menu is reasonably priced, and portions are generous to say the least.
Magpie can be reached at 815-708-0639, and their specials can be found on their Facebook page. The warm service and more-than-satisfying meals will make you a repeat customer.