This time we were quite pleased with ourselves, my husband having come up with a new place for us to try that we'd never been to: the Bamboo Inn.
We came off of 74 in East Peoria only to see several police cars with flashing lights on blocking off East Washington Street where we needed to turn to get to the restaurant and, with a sinking feeling, we realized it was the night of the parade. I suggested we could park at Walgreens and walk, but StfRon declared it too cold, so we abandoned our quest and came back for lunch the following week.
Walking in to the Bamboo Inn, the decor reminded me of Yen Ching in Peoria circa the 1980s with the Asian chandeliers and wall art and booths lining the left and right wall. This is fine by me, since Yen Ching was our special family outing when we were kids, and it brings back good memories.
The booths on the left were big, red and cushy, some of them worn but comfy, and the ones on the right were the newer unpadded style you see in places like Papa John's.
There was a buffet set up near the back of the room, but there was no food there during this lunch hour.
There were a couple of other tables of people dining during the lunch hour.
I joined my husband and checked out the menu, a leather-style bound one with a paper insert in the middle listing lunch specials.
I selected lunch special B, your choice of beef or chicken with pea pods, onions and water chestnuts served with fried rice and an egg roll for $4.25. I chose the chicken.
My husband ordered some beef chow mein after making sure there were no green peppers involved.
Our server was very polite and soon brought us a ceramic teapot filled with tea we ordered to ward off the chill.
Our food came out shortly and the lunch special I had was simply the ingredients described in the menu in an almost clear sauce that reminded me of Mom's homemade chicken and noodles sauce. If I had to guess, I would say there was little to no MSG in the dish, just chicken, vegetables and a light sauce.
The fried rice did not contain chunks of food like some places serve, but was also simple and had a nice flavor.
Soon we were on our way back to work having experienced another local restaurant without making a big dent in our wallets.