Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Round up

Over Father's Day weekend, I finally had a chance to check out the brunch at Wildlife Prairie State Park. With the crowds, the dessert table seemed to have been hit pretty hard by the time we meandered over there, but no matter because I filled up on prime rib and other goodies, including chocolate covered strawberries and pound cake from the chocolate fountain.
I think it was the most humid day on record (sure felt that way), and the rain had just finished as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, so we did get a chance to visit the park with our niece and my brother and his wife.
It was a good day at the park, too, because we saw the wolves and bears up close, and got to see the otter take a swim.

Last week we made plans to visit The Butcher Block in Junction City in Peoria to check out their new (to us, since we hadn't made it out yet) breakfast offerings.
The shop has changed a lot since my last visit, and it is good to see them adapting, hopefully to fill a great niche in the neighborhood.
The gourmet market selections are gone, replaced with much more seating in the middle of the room, surrounded by glass cases of meat and deli items. The open feel surrounded by the cases and the high ceilings with exposed ductwork reminded me of the Milwaukee Public Market, a place we love to visit.
We were greeted by a waitress when we walked in and were told to choose a table. The menus were waiting on the table, so we took a look.
As soon as I saw this: Hash Benedict — 2 soft poached eggs, corned beef hash, English muffin and Hollandaise sauce ($7.50), I knew I could look no more. Even the Independence Day special of French toast topped with red and blue berries and ice cream could not deter me from my selection.
StfRon chose a half order of biscuits and gravy ($3.25) and a side of hash.
I sipped a cup of coffee while I waited, and was pleased to find it to be a quality brew.
Our food soon arrived and the portions were huge!
My English muffins were topped with tons of hash, nicely prepared eggs and a thick bright yellow/orange Hollandaise. The whole meal was very good.
The sausage gravy was made with a nice quality sausage with some seasoning to it, maybe caraway, and the biscuits were soft. StfRon said if he had known it would be that good, he just would have gotten a full order and skipped the hash, although the hash was cooked to a crisp perfection.
Our waitress kept the refills coming whenever needed, and soon we were on our way, our bellies full.
The Butcher Block is currently serving breakfast from 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m., so whether you are a morning person or not, the hours should work out well.
They also offer Hagen Dazs ice cream, one thing I've missed at Junction City for years.

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