Friday, March 30, 2007

Didley's Place

I'm waiting for April 15, which won't be long now, so I can check out Didley's Car Hop in Metamora. We have driven by on our way to Smiley's in LaRose, so we couldn't stop there to eat, but the place looks fun.
The menu features shakes, floats, root beer, burgers, tenderloins, hot dogs, tamales, chicken and more, so there's plenty to choose from. And it's the best looking Morton building I've seen!
They also have mini golf and an outdoor movie theater, plus a street rod shop, so there's plenty to do on a nice day. For movie info and more, visit

Friday, March 23, 2007

Castle's Patio Inn

I can't believe it's taken me this long to blog about Castle's Patio Inn. I mean, come on, it's the cheesiest place in town, right? And if you don't love their cheese spread, there's just something wrong with you.
Castle's, 802 W. Loucks, Peoria, was introduced to me my my friend Kim, who took me to many similar bars, you know the ones, the mainstays with their old wood floors and great old beer light fixtures and such. She introduced me to the Red Barn, Ludy's, the squirrel bar, Schooner's and Crusen's. She also was one to lift a roll of toilet paper from bar bathrooms if she was low at home, but that's another story.
Castle's is a great neighborhood bar with a friendly feel to it. They have inexpensive dinner specials each night, such as walleye and chicken, each served with slaw, fries and bread.
The cheese spread is homemade, and awesome. You can buy crocks of it to take home or send to your friends.
This is one of the few places I will toss back some beer. Generally, I drink wine (less bloating, less calories, nice purple stain to the teeth and lips), but Castle's just calls for a cold beer and some time with friends.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blarney Castle

I remember Blarney Castle pizza from way back when I was a kid growing up in Chillicothe. It was a short drive to Rome for my parents to pick one up, and it was always packaged like the local pizza joints did it: on a cardboard tray with a white paper bag tented over it with some cool retro pizza graphics on the bag.
I had a chance to go back to Blarney's a while back with some friends. They make a nice thin crust pizza, and we had a good time checking out the retro decor. I would think they've remodeled in the last 10 years or so; there's a lot of hunting-themed decor. Honestly, though, back in the day we were all about carry out, so I don't remember when I had been there previously.
This family's been at it for about 60 years, so they must be doing something right!

Friday, March 16, 2007

American Apparel Store

OK, this isn't local to Central Illinois, but I am excited about this! I have bought items from American Apparel before, because they manufacture items in the US, which is very hard to come by these days.
I have been looking for a new light jacket with a hood for quite some time, because I have to walk outside several times a day at my job, and you never know when an overcast day will turn into a downpour. I really wanted to find a jacket made in the US, or Canada, or even Europe or something.
Today, searching the web, I found that American Apparel has a jacket made in the US in three colors! I ordered one, and tossed in a sale tank top to qualify for free shipping. My order is on the way to our door as I type.
You can find American Apparel clothing locally at Von Maur in Bloomington.
Check out American Apparel's web site; you may spend a couple dollars more for your t-shirts (many, many colors), but they are made by Americans paid a decent wage, so I would think it's worth it. Plus, after you place your order, you get an e-mail from a real person's address, giving you the names of your customer service reps, should you have any questions.
Update: OK, the jacket is lighter than I expected, but it is nice. The T-shirts from American are very nice, as are the undergarments.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Adams Street Café & Catering

My brother used to rave about Adams Street Café & Catering in downtown Peoria about 7 years ago. For some reason, I thought the place was a burger joint, and not being a big burger kind of gal, I never tried the place.
Recently, I was treated to a box lunch from Adams Street Café. I had the Popeye, a spinach wrap filled with hummus, tomato, red onion, pepper jack cheese and fresh spinach. It was a little heavy on the hummus, but otherwise a great lunch. The meal came with Sun Chips, pasta salad and a cookie.
The sandwich menu looks great (the Dagwood, Tweety Bird Turkey, 3 Little Pigs...), and they also have homemade soups and homemade chips. And yes, they do have burgers, which I hear are very good, too. I've also heard they make a mean lemon cake. I know that the peanut butter tops are very tasty, and the raspberry white chocolate scone, as well.
Adams Street Café also serves breakfast during the week. Find out more on their web site at

August, 2007 - I stopped in to Adams Street Cafe to order some carryout for lunch. This place was hoppin'! And the decor is neat, kind of boutique hotel style walls and upholstered chairs (upstairs) and lots of vintage-styled tin signs and photographs. I had a tuna salad on multi-grain and picked up a Famous sub on wheat for StfRon. His sandwich came with some chips, so I got the homemade ones. A very tasty lunch!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wildlife Prairie State Park

I remember Wildlife Prairie State Park, 3826 N. Taylor Rd. in Hanna City, from when I was a kid. Looking at the bison through the binoculars you paid a quarter to use; sitting on the back of the bronze pony; looking to spot the bears in the trees.
A few years back, StfRon and I even went to Wildlife Scary Park and rode the train through the haunted park.
AND we visited the park to look at the banquet rooms for our upcoming wedding. We wanted something rustic and cozy, not so sterile and banquet-y like most places around here. They have some great rooms at the park.
We have also tried to partake in the Mother's Day brunch, but, alas, this books up a year or more in advance. Maybe in a few years, Mom.
Wildlife Prairie Park has all of this to offer and more. They opened for the season March 1, and are serving brunch each Sunday. You can even spend the night at the park in a caboose or cabin. Central Illinois is lucky to have this wonderful park, thanks to Mr. Bill Rutherford.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Velvet Freeze

I think Velvet Freeze of the same fame used to be a chain of restaurants, stretching across more states than just Illinois.
However, Central Illinois is now home to the last surviving few of the "Home of the Wonderdog" locations. The I-74 construction ran one location off from Forrest Hill Ave. out to the Shoppes at Grand Prairie.
There is a location in Peoria's Campustown and East Peoria's Fondulac Plaza.
I've heard of people who have driven four hours to acquire a Wonderdog. Now, they're not my favorite thing, but I love a good hot dog (sans chili) any day.
You can also have a bowl of chili and assorted fast-food fare such as spicy chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, corn dog nuggets (who doesn't love a place that serves these puppies), and apparently a delectable delight dubbed Frito pie.

February 2010 — The last two Velvet Freeze locations in the area have closed.