Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Tavern On Prospect will celebrate their grand opening at Junction City in Peoria October 9.
October 5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., everyone receives free admission to the Peoria Zoo.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


The 4A Deli in Washington has closed.
I'm excited about the prospect of a Tapas restaurant, Noir, on Prospect in Peoria Heights, which I read about in this morning's Journal Star.
Lee's Family Restaurant has been open for a week or so in the former Steak 'n Shake on NE Adams in Peoria. We checked it out and will post a review soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oscar's Family Restaurant

Last week we were looking for someplace inexpensive to have lunch.
My husband mentioned a family restaurant on Farmington Road, and I was game to check it out.
Oscar's Family Restaurant is located at 3118 W. Farmington Road in Peoria.
The dining room is a bit rough around the edges and decorated with pictures of John Wayne and likenesses of what I assume is Oscar the hound dog, based on the dog on the sign on top of the building. There were poker machines lining the front wall.
Our friendly waitress told us to have a seat anywhere.
I noticed the specials board listed a pork fritter with mashed potatoes and gravy plus green beans, which I think was $6. Sounded great to me, so I ordered that, while StfRon ordered a cheeseburger and fries.
My meal arrived piping hot, complete with a dinner roll. The pork fritter, reminding me of a Schnitzel, was topped with a brown gravy that had a bit of hickory smoke flavor to it. It was a great comfort food meal, and despite liking his cheeseburger, my husband sampled my meal several times and said he should have ordered the same thing.
Oscar's does not accept credit cards, but will take checks.
I love a good special that includes veggies, and it seems to be getting harder to come by. Oscar's delivered.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Main Street Mercantile

Ever since I saw ads for the Main Street Mercantile in Congerville, I've wanted to stop by for a visit.
Earlier this month we parked alongside 112 Main Street, walked past a couple of rockers on the porch and went inside.
The store was filled with some primitive and country gift and decor items, a selection of toys along the back, and in the next corner was an intriguing array of bulk food items. We looked through baking products, spices, snack mixes, candies, soup and dip mixes and more, selecting a horseradish bacon dip mix and a cream of asparagus soup mix.
Just past the row of food items, a group of people was enjoying a meal at a cozy table in the center of a small dining area.
We made our way to the counter to pay and passed a case of homemade fudge.
While I was paying I noticed a sign for Eduardo's pizza, which can be eaten on site or taken home to bake. I remember a friend of ours said she knows someone who raves about the pizza.
Last night we mixed our horseradish bacon dip mix with some sour cream and sampled our find. The horseradish had a nice bite, and the smoky bacon bits plumped up nicely after sitting for the recommended 30 minutes. I know we'll be heading back to Main Street Mercantile to get some more of that!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


In Peoria's Campustown, Monroe Restaurant & Bar is closed and has a business for sale sign in the window. I believe they opened on August 1. The Fieldhouse bar in the former Gorman's looks well on it's way to opening day.
The Ice Cream Shack in Sunnyland has added a drive through lane that's been open for several weeks now.
Emo's and the Ice Cream Shack in Peoria are both closing for the season in the next week or so, so get your fill before it's too late!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Firehouse Pizza in Washington has been open for a few weeks now, and it looks like many people are taking advantage of it.
Cherry Garden is shaping up in Washington's Cherry Tree Shopping Center. It does look like it will be mainly carryout.
I noticed a sign in Haddad's Restaurant's (Peoria) window announcing that they will be moving to a new building a couple of doors down.
Simply Everything Boutique, a newer addition to the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in Peoria, showcases art from more than 35 local artists.
This weekend is Peoria Oktoberfest at the riverfront.
Morton's Pumpkin Festival begins tomorrow and continues through Saturday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Uncle Bob's Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream season may be winding to a close for the year, but we managed to make it to Uncle Bob's Homemade Ice Cream in Eureka on their last night of the season at their Eureka spot, 111 S. Main Street.
Uncle Bob's has taken some prizes for their ice cream, including the Best Dessert category at Taste of Peoria this year. Its chocolate raspberry cheesecake earned first place, while its fudge brownie sundae won second.
I ordered their cookie batter ice cream on a regular cone instead of the waffle cone offering, while StfRon tried the turtle sundae.
The cookie batter ice cream had a buttery base that reminded me of butter pecan with a few chunks of cookie dough and plenty of tiny chocolate chips. It was very good.
If you haven't had a chance to try their ice cream yet, don't despair. We spotted Uncle Bob's mobile truck at the El Paso Corn Festival this weekend, and I'm sure they will be making rounds at other fall events.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Morton joins 3/50 project

An article in today's Journal Star reports that Morton has joined the 3/50 Project, yet another project touting support for local businesses.
According to the project's Web site: Consumers are asked to select three locally owned, brick-and-mortar retailers in their hometown that they would hate to see go out of business. Once those businesses are chosen, spend $50 there monthly. Not $50 each, a total of $50. Using U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, if half the employed population in the country spent $50 at three independent businesses each month, it would generate $42.6 billion in revenue.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Round up

I was sad to learn that Ponte Vecchio in Peoria's Sheridan Village has closed. We celebrated many occasions there.

It appears that Firehouse Pizza in Washington is now open, however we have not made it in yet.

As far as my recent dining escapades, I've enjoyed meals at Café 401, Ming Shee, Avanti's and One World in Peoria; The Butcher Block in Peoria Heights; Captain Ron's in Creve Coeur; Bernardi's in Washington and had some great tuna at Reality Bites in Bloomington.
This week I won't have as much time to dine out, but I'm looking forward to trying a few new places in the next couple of weeks.