Sunday, October 29, 2006

Smo-King Pit

Mall food may not sound very appetizing, but if you overlook the Smo-King Pit in Northwoods Mall in Peoria, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
The Smo-King Pit is occupying the former Diamond Daves location near Sears on the second level. If you're a rib lover, you HAVE to try the ribs here. You can choose your number of rib bones you would like, plus your choice of sides. They also have sandwiches, wings and more.
Every time we have been in the sides are served piping hot, even though I'm sure they are prepared ahead, and your food will arrive very quickly. I can honestly say in all the dozen or so times I ate at Famous Daves, the food was warm, never hot.
They also make their own cheesecakes, which are frozen, but tasty. Next time, I'm going to order a slice with my meal so it can warm up a bit while I eat.
The service is great here, which pairs nicely with excellent food.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Rizzi's has been a standard in Peoria for Italian for quite some time with a location on Sheridan next to Jeffrey Alans, 4613 N. Sheridan Road, to be exact. A more recent addition is the Rizzi's at 112 State Street downtown.
The two are different as far as atmosphere, and the menu differs as well. At Rizzi's on Sheridan, you can enjoy lunch or dinner in a smaller, cozy atmosphere. My long-time favorite here is the calzones. Plan to bust a gut, or take half home with you!
Rizzi's downtown is more of an upscale feel in an old, renovated brick building.
Almost every Italian restaurant now does the olive oil with bread and Parmesan before your meal. Let me tell you, though, I had lunch at Rizzi's downtown this week, and I think it is by far the best olive oil I've ever been served in a restaurant. The tomato-basil salad dressing is excellent, too.
Rizzi's downtown is also available for parties.
Peruse the menus at

April, 2007 - I met a group at Rizzi's on State for a party, in their small party room behind the bar. There were about 10 of us.
The olive oil for the bread was as good as always. And I tried a new dish, pollo francaise, which was FABULOUS. Boneless breast of chicken dipped in egg sauteed with lemon butter and white wine sauce. I had it over angel hair pasta, with the garden salad topped with tomato basil dressing. My entrée was served piping hot, despite our large group, plus the restaurant was full of prom-goers. A very nice meal, indeed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Perfect Pear Boutique

I've recently discovered that boutique shops are a great place to find clothing and goods made right here in the USA. A Perfect Pear, 4544 North Prospect Road in Peoria Heights, is a great example. Here you can find unique clothing and accessories and you won't look just like the gal in the next cube. Sure, it might cost a little more, but it's worth it for the style, and for knowing that you're supporting your fellow Americans.
A Perfect Pear carries many great brands, like Laundry, Seven for All Mankind, Spanx and Juicy Couture.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Namaste Wellness Studio

There are a lot of interesting things going on at Junction City in Peoria right now, including a recent newcomer, Namaste Wellness Studio.
I tried yoga on a whim about 10 years ago, and loved it, but stopped going due to the instructor moving to Colorado.
Last year, I got hooked up with yoga at Franciscan Recreation Center. It's a great price, and Vicky is an excellent instructor. But, the time slot isn't great for me, plus it's a long drive from home.
Now, yoga is becoming easier to find in Peoria. Maybe Washington could take note: People can't come to yoga in Washington at lunch time during week days. Most of us work out of town.
So, off to Peoria for great yoga we go! Namaste offers several levels of yoga at several time slots, yoga for teens, partner yoga, intermediate, Ashtanga, beginning and beginner and beyond. And don't think that yoga is just for women. At Franciscan, usually 1/3 of the class is men.
Yoga can ease muscle tension and pain, make you more flexible and stable, and it even got rid of the jiggle in my thighs!
The studio has an informative website at