Thursday, July 27, 2006

Eastside Center

You know what would be refreshing after this incredibly humid summer? A few hours at Splashdown at the Eastside Center in East Peoria!

Eastside Center has plenty of activities to offer besides the 3-acre water park complete with Lazy River and Wild Ride tube slide, like an indoor track, volleyball and basketball courts, a fitness center, AND great classes like yoga, cardio and weight-lifting classes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Duffy's Tavern

Today we travel to Utica for a visit to a great local haunt that isn't too far a stretch for us Central Illinoisans, Duffy's Tavern.

We discovered Duffy's about six years ago after a trip to beautiful Starved Rock State Park, less than two hours from Peoria. Duffy's is not far from the park, on the corner on the main drag (Mill Street) in Utica. It looked like a nice Irish place to quench a thirst worked up by a day of hiking.

The building is beautiful, an old brick building with tin ceilings and lots of great trinkets to check out while you toss back some cold ones. You might even luck into a basket of popcorn to munch on while you hang out.

Duffy's has a good selection of imports and such, and Irish favorites like corned beef and reuben sandwiches, plus seafood, steaks and pasta. I must say, we haven't eaten a meal there yet, but we need to soon!
A few years later, in the spring of 2004, we were saddened to hear about Duffy's being hit by a tornado that struck Utica. The second story of the building was damaged, but we heard Duffy's would plan to reopen and cheered.

For an anniversary, we booked a cabin at Starved Rock in 2005 and headed over to Duffy's. They were back in full force, basically just as we remembered the place. It was almost like coming home.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cyd's Sendsationals

Recently I had lunch at Cyd's Sendsationals in Peoria Heights. Cyd's is a smörgåsbord of culinary delights. Don't feel like cooking? Pick up some gourmet fare from Cyd's, like the cilantro pork tenderloin I was eying.

For lunch, Cyd's has a great selection of sandwiches and salads. I had an apricot chicken salad sandwich, a grapefruit soda and a marble brownie to save for a snack later.

Cyd's is also a great option for cakes, catering and cooking classes. You can view their weekly menus and cooking class info at

I've heard a rumor that Cyd's will be relocating to Junction City in October, which should give them even more room to fill with gourmet goodies!

Update, April, 2007: Cyd's has relocated to Junction City, at Prospect and Knoxville Ave. I stopped in for lunch, and enjoyed the modern look. They have several salads, sandwiches and starting at 2 p.m. have appetizers. They also carry single bottles of beer for purchase while you dine-in.
I had a fruit and nut salad with brie, walnuts, dried apricots, prosciutto and mixed greens with a balsamic dressing. Very tasty.
I like the chairs they chose for the dining room. They remind me of these chairs I saw on Made in America.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blue MoonLight Drive-In

The former Galesburg Drive-In was reopened in 2005 as the Blue MoonLight Drive-In, 2875 West Main St.

If you don't remember drive-in theaters from your youth, that's a sad thing. The good news is, there seems to be a resurgence in drive-ins. This one takes the cake, serving such delights as tortilla pizzas, tex-mex and pizza paninis, subs, homemade ice cream sandwiches, and, of course, popcorn.
There's nothing quite like watching a movie at a drive-in. It truly says summer!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Apple's Bakery

Apple's Bakery, 8412 N. Knoxville Ave. in Peoria, opens at 6 a.m. so you can get your fix early!

Apple's is a fun place to visit for lunch or baked goods. For lunch they have great soups and sandwiches to choose from and they have several CHIP approved selections, for those who are being kind to their hearts. The shop carries a good selection of wines, bulk coffee and more.

Apple's also offers quiches, casseroles and breakfast offerings for carryout so you can enjoy them at home.

The pictures on the website, will make your mouth water! Check out the chocolate bourbon pecan pie in the online catalog section, and they even have offerings for your pooch! They also have their weekly menus posted online.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Yordy Turkey Farm

Just in case you're trying to get a jump start on Thanksgiving, you need to keep Yordy Turkey Farm in mind.

These plump birds are 100% natural with no added preservatives and none of those weird growth enhancers and are found right here in Central Illinois, Morton, to be exact. I have heard of people who go out to the farm every time they are going to have turkey and hand pick their bird from those running around out there. I find that a little strange, just like the whole lobster tank at a seafood chain restaurant who shall remain nameless. Just give me a fresh, natural turkey ready for the oven or grill and it's all good.

You can also get turkey breasts, thighs, legs, wings and smokey turkeys at Yordy's. Waddle on over to to find out more.