Thursday, January 25, 2007

Say it ain't so

StfRon and I spent Saturday, January 13 having dinner at one of the best establishments Peoria has seen in years, F. Scott's. We had an excellent dinner, starting with the baked brie of the day, then both ordering filets, mine with a bordelaise sauce and his smothered in bleu cheese. We then adjourned to the bar for some drinks. StfRon stopped by Sully at the bar and told him that he had the best servers in town. The servers are always top notch at F. Scott's, and that night was no exception.
We noticed that each server had an individual sit-down talking to in the bar while we were there, and each one appeared to be discouraged by what was said to them. We weren't sure what was afoot.
To our dismay, four days later, we opened our Journal Star to see the news that F. Scott's plans to close February 14, apparently due to a dispute regarding the building sinking, which is causing structural problems for the restaurant.
If you haven't made it here yet, try to get in if you can. F. Scott's will be missed by many.

Illinois Antique Center

Peoria has a great antique center right on the riverfront, Illinois Antique Center, 311 SW Water Street.
StfRon and I like to poke around in there on Sundays.
It's so much fun to see old local postcards, old toys you remember from when you were a kid, and look at glassware just like Grandma used to have. There's also a lot of great furniture (even church pews) and old windows and door hardware for sprucing up your house.

— Illinois Antique Center closed in the spring of 2011.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Haddad's Market

I miss many of the small grocery stores that used to be in Peoria: Ben Schwartz, John Bee, but one place remains the stalwart, Haddad's Market in West Peoria. This location on Rohmann Ave. was opened in 1964, and now is offering something great: home delivery. You can place an order of $30 or more (24 hours in advance) and they will deliver it to your door. That's a great service for people who can't easily get out, or are just holed up at home for a 12-day vacation and "I'll stay in the house for 12 days if I want to", like I recently was.
Haddad's makes sandwiches, salads and serves soups, so you can stop by and get a quick meal to take home or back to work, and they have a nice selection of deli salads, baked goods and even ready-made entrees you can pop in your microwave for a easy meal. Choose from dishes like lemon chicken and stuffed peppers, and all the work is done for you!
View some of their menus online at

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gracie's Grille

This eatery in Washington replaced Nancy's in Cherry Tree Shopping Center, at the end near Kroger.
Gracie's Grille has all your Chicago-style restaurant favorites: Vienna beef Chicago dogs, gyros, polish sausages, Italian beef, plus chicken, fish, tenderloins, and a good pizza pie. Good local pizza is hard to come by in Washington, and Gracie's does a nice job. They also offer delivery.
The owner is a Central Illinois native, and is a very outgoing chap.
Gracie's also mans a pushcart near the courthouse in downtown Peoria, so you can grab your Chicago eats and run back to work in P-Town.
If you dine in at Cherry Tree, don't be surprised if the tables could use a wiping off. Seems like every time we've been in, that is the case, but the food is still tasty.

March 11, 2008 — Gracie's has moved down Cummings Lane and opened a sports bar/grill.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

French Toast

If you're in search of some very upscale dining in the Peoria area, you need to check out French Toast on Prospect in Peoria Heights. With a list including tuna tartare, salmon paté and baked brie (which is a great appetizer), caviar, escargot and mussels, and these are only the appetizers, it's sure to be a dining delight. The menu features several fish, chicken and beef entrées and nice side choices, and the dessert menu is very impressive. My friends and I had a Christmas dinner here once, and it was very nice. The decor is upscale, the setting is quiet and the food is good. This is a dining experience, not some place where you're in and out in an hour.
French Toast also has an extensive wine and champagne list, and you can probably come back during the day and pick up a bottle for home at Wine Country, which is attached to the restaurant. Visit their website and click on French Toast on the menu bar to view the menu: