Wednesday, May 31, 2006


If you're looking for a great pie in Peoria, you need to try Leonardo's. With locations on War Memorial and also at Grand Prairie, you're never too far to stop in.
Both sites have a neat decor, and a great thin crust pizza. They also have pan pizza, but I'm a peepers partial to thin crust, myself. The Da Vinci Delight is heavenly, and I generally go for low-fat meats on my pizza, like Canadian bacon. Set me in front of this pie piled high with sausage, pepperoni, bacon bits, Canadian bacon, ham, ground beef, mushroom, green pepper, onion, green olive and black olive, and I can hardly tear myself away. We ordered this pizza for lunch at work when a vendor was on site from Colorado and he RAVED about it.

They serve beer and wine, and also have great entertainment, like my local fave, the Bogside Zukes.

Leonardo's menu and even some coupons can be found at

May, 2007 - Leonardo's has closed their War Memorial location. Trek on out to the Shoppes at Grand Prairie for your pie.

August, 2007 - Leonardo's has closed their Grand Prairie location.

March, 2008 - The War Memorial location has been opened as a La Gondola.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Kelly Seed & Hardware Co.

There's something about an old hardware store that brings back a sense of wonder. Kelly Seed & Hardware, 202 Hamilton Boulevard, has graced downtown Peoria since 1920.
They carry bulk and packaged seed, bedding plants, bulbs, lawn ornaments, bird seed and feeders, all surrounded by beautiful old oak cabinets and seed bins. This is a neat store to poke around in.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Jonah's Seafood House & 2601 Oyster Bar

Jonah's, 2601 N. Main Street, East Peoria, is an obvious choice if you are looking for a great seafood restaurant. However, I like the place more for their entertainment factor.

They do have great live music every Saturday night in the oyster bar, usually blues or jazz. I'm a low-key gal. I like hanging out in the restaurant bar next door, where it's generally more quiet and they serve up a mean dish of spicy nut mix. I'll order a good glass of wine or two and generally will be tempted by the fact that they are one of the few places in the area that I know of where you can enjoy a nice cheese plate with your wine. They serve a plate of cheese and fruit along with a great seeded mustard to dip your cheese in. It's heaven to a girl like me. And StfRon will usually put up with it, since they have Pilsner Urquell there.

The other thing I love about Jonah's is the back patio area. On a nice Saturday night you can hang out on the patio and enjoy drinks, a good view of the river AND the sounds of the band drifting out. Let's face it, for the most part, East Peoria has the better deal on the river in this area anyway. They don't have to look at the Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Update, April 2007 - Rumor has it that Jonah's no longer features live entertainment. I will have to go check it out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Illinois Valley Glass & Mirror

Illinois Valley Glass & Mirror has been owned by the Watkins family since 1951. With showrooms in both Peoria and Morton, they are a great source for replacement (cut to size) mirrors, windows and glass and new mirrors and glass for your home, auto and commercial needs. They even carry screens, custom shower enclosures and doors and offer a 24-hour emergency board-up service.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Harold's Hamburgers

In the mood for old school fast food? Why not check out Harold's Hamburgers? Located at 2305 Washington Rd. in Washington, Harold's brings you burgers, ham and cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, onion rings, fries, tater tots, shakes and fruit pies the way you remember them.
They even host cruise-ins from time-to-time.

March, 2010 — Harold's Hambugers has closed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

German Specialties

German Specialties, 3919 N Sheridan Rd, Peoria, is your one-stop shop for great German food and goods.

They carry meats, cheeses and breads, German dessert mixes for black forest cakes and more, spaetzle mix and German candies. During Christmas, the selection of German candies makes for great stocking stuffers.

German Specialties also carries flags and t-shirts and you can even order items such as a nice German hat to stick yer gamsbart in!

In the winter of 2008, German Specialties relocated to the 3000 block of University Street in Peoria, near Hobby Lobby.

October, 2011 — German Specialties has closed

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

F. Scott's Whiskey Bar & Grill

F. Scott's Whiskey Bar & Grill has been a favorite of ours for several years. Located at 114 SW Jefferson Ave. in Peoria, they serve up the best prime rib for miles around. You can get a huge hunk of prime rib, sides are extra, but they have asparagus and a baked potato about the size of a football as some of the choices. You can skip the sides if you want, the steaks are filling enough and come with a small garnish of vegetables that are very tasty.
F. Scott's also has some great wine choices to accompany your meal and of course a nice whiskey selection to finish off with.

They also have various specials, some pork and a tuna steak, but they are best known for steaks and they do a fabulous job with them.

StfRon says they have the best flourless chocolate cake, second to none. I'm not a big chocolate lover, so I'll have to take his word for it.

The service is always great at F. Scott's. We generally don't get out of there for under $100 (which includes dinner, several drinks and chocolate cake), but we always have a great time.
The bar is worth visiting as well, if you're not up for dinner, or just want to have some drinks and check out the menu. The decor along with the dark wood makes for a nice, cozy atmosphere.

Update, February 2007 - F. Scott's has closed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Echo Valley Meats

Echo Valley Meats was established in 1999. Visit their retail stores, order online or request a catalog to enjoy top choice cuts of meat, hams, beef jerky and more!

Echo Valley's main production facility is right here in central Illinois in Bartonville.
Check them out on the web at

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Denhart Baking Company

Visit Denhart Baking Company, a beautifully restored building on the historic Washington square which houses a coffee shop and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch featuring Fair Trade & organic coffees. They opened for business in late April.

StfRon and I have been in several times for breakfast and have found everything to be very good. They have a nice fresh fruit plate that comes with a muffin and French toast which I had with a side of corned beef hash...mmm! We're looking forward to trying the lunch menu and the brunch. We looked over the lunch menu and saw a lot of good possibilities.

The brick and stone Italianate Style building was built by Charles Anthony and Henry Denhart in 1874. The two had begun a business partnership in 1865 with the purchase of a dry goods store, located just east of where the bank now stands. The store on the square was known to be a meeting place for Abraham Lincoln and other politicians. In 1866, the Anthony and Denhart Banking Company opened in the back of the dry goods store and later moved into the new corner building. One of the early banks in Washington was established in 1858 under the name of A. G. Danforth & Co. Henry Denhart & Co.'s bank was established in 1866. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places August 12, 2005.

May, 2007 - Denhart's is now serving dinner Tuesday-Saturday. And why not stop down in the pub after you eat?

July, 2007 - We stopped in to Denhart's for dinner on a Wednesday and I tried the fried chicken special, served with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn fritters. The chicken was great! It tasted reminiscent of KFC, but hotter and fresher. The mashed potatoes were also KFC style, very good. And the fritters were a nice touch.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cliff's Rod & Gun

If you're looking to add to your gun collection or interested in target shooting (by the way, the Peoria German-American Central Society's Sport Verein club has target shooting twice each month, visit for more info), then Cliff's Rod & Gun is the place for you.

Cliff carries several brands of firearms and hunting knives, too. The shop offers gun repair, ammunition, rod and reel repair, decoys and more. Visit them on the web at, or stop by at 15704 N Von Achen Drive in Chillicothe, right off of Route 29 near Wolf Hollow Archery.

June, 2007 - Cliff has retired and closed his shop.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Our favorite Washington-area haunt is Bernardi's, 2137 Washington Rd., Washington, of Mona's and Capponi's fame. They have a cozy bar, in which we often eat at one of the booths, as we prefer them to the larger dining rooms, which are also very nice.

They have a new pasta special every month, which is always fun to look forward to, along with other daily and weekly specials. The everyday favorites are the Mona's tortellini with meat sauce and the fried chicken. They also have a nice wine list and some import beers. The staff is always friendly and on the ball.
You will never leave there hungry!

May 16, 2006 - The pasta o'the month for May is my favorite so far, and it's a bellybuster! It's baked mostaccioli pasta paired with sausage, green peppers, big mushrooms, onions and your choice of a garlic tomato sauce or their famous meat sauce, all smothered with melted cheese. It's fab-u-lous!!

May, 2007 - Bernardi's is no longer doing a pasta of the month, but has added some new favorites to the menu. Also very good is the new bleu cheese, tomato-topped garlic bread. And they have a web site,

August, 2008 - Bernardi's North has opened in Dunlap. This location offers lunch as well as dinner.