Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mr. G's Chicago Style

I was first introduced to Mr. G's Chicago Style about 10 years ago. At the time, I didn't fully appreciate it.Mr. G's caught my attention this summer when I heard they had been the 49th inductee into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame.
From the Vienna Beef web site: "Hot dog and delicatessen operators become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame based on a variety of criteria including how long they have been representing Vienna Beef products. The youngest of the bunch having been around for about 20 years, and the oldest almost 50."
I enjoy a good Vienna beef Chicago dog as much as the next guy, so my husband and I stopped in for lunch.
We ordered the special, two Chicago dogs, and my husband added some sort of chili-topped dog as well, along with an order of fries.
I had one of the Chicago dogs and some of their hand cut fries. The dog was good, complete with the appropriate shocking green relish and the fries, wrapped in foil with one of the hot dogs, were some of the best I can remember in years, thin cut, greasy-tasting fries with bits of skin still on.
We made another stop several weeks later and I decided to try the Italian beef. StfRon ordered two Chicago dogs and fries. With two small drinks, the total was $16.99.
The Italian beef was good as well, but I'm going back to the Chicago dog next time, with the tasty fries, of course.
They also serve several other items, like Polish sausage, salads, gyros and even a few carnival-type desserts like chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick and funnel cake fries.
Mr. G's has a limited amount of seating inside at their Main Street, Peoria spot, and several tables outside. If you do choose to dine in, be warned you will probably smell like french fry oil for quite some time after you leave.
Maybe that lingering aroma is their way of sucking you back in.

October, 2011 — Mr. G's has closed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the town

Wondering what to do this weekend? Here are some upcoming events planned in the Peoria area:

Wine Flight Fridays October 23 — Two25 4:30-11:30 p.m.

Wildlife Scary Park October 23, 24 and 25 — Wildlife Prairie State Park from 5-9 p.m. $6.50 per person, $4.50 for park members, free for ages 1 and under.

You've Been Boo'd Haunted House October 23 — 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Proctor Recreation Center. $2/Peoria Park District members, $3/nonmembers.

Resurrect the Elms in El Paso October 24 — 301 W. Main Street, El Paso. Day tours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10 via PayPal. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Elms. Originally The Wathen House Italianate Home dating back to 1856 and Elms Restaurant opened in 1937 by Zilpha Morgan. Call 309-846-4306 or email

Zombie Crawl at the Bowen Building October 24 — Groups of zombies will be set up at different locations to start from and then will converge on the Bowen (old state hospital).
Afterwards, enjoy a bonfire outside of the Bowen. Check in will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the walk officially kicking off at 4:30 p.m. Pre‐register online for $10 at www.peoria‐ or at the event for $15.

The Peoria Rivermen take on the Rockford IceHogs October 24 — 7 p.m. at the Peoria Civic Center Arena. Tickets are $15 and $20.

"Crooks and Characters" October 24 — presented by Peoria Prairie Tellers Storytelling Guild, 7-9 p.m. at the Peoria Contemporary Arts Center. $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Call 309-691-0508.

Tim Slagle October 23 and 24 — Mason City Limits. Call 217-482-5233 or visit

Mike Armstrong October 23 and 24 — Jukebox Comedy Club. Call 309-673-5853 or visit

Rumors October 23, 24 and 25 — Conklin's Barn II. For Reservations call 309-965-2545.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

These guys are on fire!

Just got word today that the former Godfather's Pizza on Camp Street in East Peoria will become a Firehouse Pizza.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Metro Plantation

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays was to stop by Village Plantation in Peoria's Sheridan Village to look at all the great furniture and holiday decor, so when I heard they were closing, I was disappointed.
I was glad to see Metro Plantation open in Peoria's Metro Centre.
I recently stopped in to have a peek.
The shop is smaller than the Sheridan Village location was, but is still filled with gifts, lamps, candles, home decor and a few furniture pieces.
I'll be back next month to look for some holiday gift ideas.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Cupcake Camper

When I heard there was an Airstream trailer topped with a cupcake selling the petite pastries at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in Peoria, I said I must visit. I am a big fan of cupcakes. Heck, one of the first things I became a fan of on Facebook is cupcakes!
We served cupcakes at our wedding, but they were not all I dreamed of.
Sunday we were walking through the mall when I spotted it, The Cupcake Camper.
After finding out my husband would buy me one, we walked up the wooden steps and I selected an orange and chocolate one, noticing they were out of both the pink and spiced cupcakes.
My cupcake was delivered in a mug-sized cardboard box with a folded pink napkin and plastic fork slid into the gap.
Having had lots of treats over the weekend during Spoon River Drive, I decided to save the orange-iced cupcake dusted with black sprinkles for later, so I put it in the fridge.
Monday I ate the last of my Maurie's carmel apples, since they'd been around for a few days.
Tuesday after dinner I pulled the cupcake box out of the fridge so it could warm up a bit.
I opened it later and poked at the icing, saddened to find it a bit hard. I had the fleeting thought that I may have to throw it out, but decided to turn the oven on for a minute, then back off, and put the treat in there to sit a bit.
A few minutes later I pulled the cupcake out and tested the icing again. Soft and fresh as new.
I cut the cake neatly in half, noting the thick layer of orange icing. Sampling it, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
The icing was soft, thick and buttery tasting, with a hint of almond flavor.
The cake itself was made of a fine, almost silky chocolate flour mixture.
Considering this cake had been neglected far long enough, I went ahead and ate the other half in the same sitting, enjoying every last morsel.
Part way through I informed my husband I may need to try some more of their cupcakes. Right after I take that long bike ride.

Monday, October 12, 2009


China Garden in Washington celebrated their grand opening October 7.
Bone Appitit will soon be open in Washington.
Peoria's Chicago Grills have closed.
The Underground is now open for lunch and dinner in the Cornerstone building in Peoria, operated by Mary Ann Fahey.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Jane Dough Bakery & Café

I was driving through downtown Peoria trying to decide where to have lunch when I came upon an open parking space right in front of Jane Dough Bakery & Café.
I'd been wanting to try the place out since they replaced the City News Café, so I pulled into the space.
Digging into my purse for some change for the meter, I was pleased to find over an hour of time left on the timer.
I noticed a help wanted sign in the window of the café.
A sidewalk sign in front proclaimed the special to be turkey meatloaf with bistro fries for $7.50. Glancing at a few of the sandwich options, I decided a warm meal sounded good, so I ordered the special at the counter, paid and then took a seat.
The owner, Anne, soon brought my meal artfully arranged on a tin pie plate topped with waxed paper. She mentioned she had forgotten to bring me a fork and stepped back behind the counter.
I waited a bit, but she didn't return, so I went to the counter to ask for a fork.
Fork in hand, I dug into the moist meatloaf, finding it hearty, warm and full of great seasoning. I have to say it is one of the best meatloaves I have ever tried.
The bistro fries turned out to be baked potatoes sliced into wedges, fanned on my plate and sprinkled with herbs.
While dining, I checked out some of the other offerings listed, which included gazpacho, breakfast wraps, sandwiches and home made granola, plus the café offers organic breads and uses some local farm ingredients.
Box lunches are available as well.
Located at 311 SW Main Street in Peoria, Jane Dough has some great breakfast and lunch options, and it's great to see them supporting local farms as well.

April 2010 — Jane Dough has closed.