Monday, October 29, 2007

Expo Gardens

Sunday we were out running errands, and decided to check out the Giant Flea Market at Expo Gardens.
Admission is $1.50 each. Once you get inside, it's really almost a big garage sale, with some collectors' items and antiques thrown in for good measure.
We did score on this visit, finding a couple of knick-knacks for our home bar we are in the process of setting up.
If you find yourself hungry at the flea market, you can visit the concession stand for things like nachos and hot dogs. Sunday, there was also a grill going right outside the entry doors, which smelled really good each time we walked by.
If the Giant Flea Market is not your speed, you can check out events like the reptile show, the haunted house, and the Heart of Illinois Fair, all also hosted at Expo Gardens, 1601 Northmoor Road in Peoria.

The rest of our weekend was good. Saturday night we dined at Jonah's in East Peoria. It was a red letter date: StfRon ordered fish, marlin, no less. It was prepared with andouille sausage. I tasted it, and it was very flavorful. I thought I tasted a good amount of garlic, which is always good in my book. I splurged on the Thai chai tuna, coconut crusted. It was good as well, although I didn't catch the chai flavor. The tuna came with two sauces, a Thai peanut and one that tasted like soy and ginger. The ginger sauce was a little too sweet for my taste.
For my side I chose island rice, which was good, but quite sweet, too. StfRon had the au gratin potatoes, which were very tasty.
To accompany our meal, we each had the Ravenswood zinfandel, one of our favorites. And to finish, we shared the bananas foster. Delish!

Sunday our Peoria errands took us to Northwoods Mall, so we took advantage of the visit to stop in at the Smo-King Pit. We had a delicious lunch, each ordering the four bone rib dinner, StfRon's with fries and potato salad, mine with green beans and potato salad. Everything was great, as usual. We also got to meet and talk with Mike, the owner, about smokers and smoking meats. Here is a guy who really loves his work, and it shows. Kudos to Mike!

On his way home, StfRon picked up a pork belly he ordered from Lindy's Downtown Market. The belly is cut and basking in bags of cure, and will soon be turned into his first bacon experiment in our new smoker. Mmm...bacon!!


Diane Vespa said...

The Expo gardens also makes the best homemade biscuits and gravy in town! Served during every flea market. Sometimes I go just for the biscuits and gravy! Check out my blog for a review of the flea market yesterday!

Jeep2000 said...

I never would have known about the biscuits and gravy. StfRon is a HUGE fan. I have an aversion to soggy bread products, but I always like to try a good sausage gravy, so we will check it out sometime. Thank for the tip!

Matt said...

What kind of smoker did you buy? If StfRon hasn't found it already, point him to the forums at There's good smoker info there. <3 Smoked Meats /drool

Matt said...

Errrr....sorry, make that, the full url is

Chef Kevin said...

Mike and his wife Michelle are some of the nicest people you will meet and I think I could eat there daily.

StfRon said...


We have a Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Smoker, it's gas a does a real fine job- another good website for smoking is