by Ryan Burns
Every third Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Runeberg Lodge in Eureka (corner of Union and West Wabash) you'll find what may well be the best breakfast bargain in the county: Six bucks will get you four Swedish pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar and crowned with a scoop of whipped cranberry butter, plus three sausage links, a little Styrofoam cup of apple sauce, a cup of OJ and a porcelain mug of coffee.
But the key word in this category is "community," and that's the real appeal here. The lodge, which was founded as a temperance organization in the early 1900s by Swedish-speaking Finns, fills up with a bustling mix of families and seniors in their church finery, plus a growing number of breakfast fans who recognize a bargain when they see one. All sit together at long tables while lodge members (and their kids and grandkids, who earn tips from table-top mason jars) bring the food and beverages to the table, along with generous portions of good humor and conversation.