Monday, November 30, 2009

Windy City Wieners

Due to a tip from yours truly, my husband checked out Windy City Wieners today and here's what he had to say. — Peoria Peepers

Looking for a good Chicago dog in Normal? Look no further than Windy City Wieners at 106 E. Beaufort Street.
This small shop serves up the real deal, complete with neon green relish.
The menu boasts pure beef wieners, (of course), Gyros, chicken sandwiches and burgers as well as some lesser known windy city faves like the Maxwell Street Polish.
I opted for the everyday special, 2 dogs and fries for 5 bucks.
The Red Hot Chicago wiener snapped perfectly with every bite, the relish, onion, and mustard complimented the wiener perfectly.
Purists know that ketchup should never go on a dog, but there are several bottles available on the counter, if you must.
The guys also deliver locally, so give them a call.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cyrus Gifts and Home Accents, Best of Post & Pillar and Jewelry on Water

Earlier this month, Cyrus Gifts and Home Accents moved from the 401 building on Water Street in Peoria to the Metro Centre, and brought the Best of Post & Pillar and Jewelry on Water with them.
I stopped in last week with Dining Companion to check out the new digs.
The store, next to Jalepeno's restaurant, was decked out for the holidays and filled with lots of great gift options, such as candles, lotions, martini glasses and Tag merchandise, just to name a few.
Someone was busy at work on a piece of jewelry in the room behind the Jewelry on Water counter, and tucked away at the back of the store there is a room that was filled with sale merchandise.
I wish them all well in their new location, and will be back again soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I received a tip from a friend about a restaurant that has opened in the former Po-Boy's location in Peoria.
We drove by last night, and the exterior looks intriguing at Connected, which is described as a Ristorante Italiano. According to the sign outside, they are not currently serving lunch, but open at 5 p.m.

On his way to work this morning, my husband saw evidence of activity in Peoria Heights at the VOP site in Junction City. He said it appears that they might be getting ready to take the train cars away and tear down the restaurant. If so, it will be a sad day for me, since we had our first date there nine years ago, and I used to have "corporate" lunches there every week when I worked in that area.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holland's Homemade Caramel Corn

Last week on a trip to Lindy's Downtown Market, we spotted the new sign for Holland's Homemade Caramel Corn in the former 4A Deli spot.
My husband was thrilled, being a huge caramel corn fan. He still misses the shop in Northwoods Mall.
Monday when I got home from class I found a bag of Holland's Mix, a caramel corn/cheese corn blend on the kitchen counter, along with a sample bag of a white chocolate popcorn.
I guess I would have to say the mix was my favorite, since I like to have a piece of cheese corn and a piece of caramel corn in the same bite to get that sweet/salty combo, but the white chocolate was good, too.
The prices are pretty reasonable compared to some we've seen.
My husband said they also were selling cotton candy in the shop, located at the back of 110 S. Main Street.

December, 2009 — Holland's is now making their flavored popcorn on site.

In 2011, Holland's moved their caramel corn operation to the north side of the square.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spirit of Peoria

I've always thought it would be fun to attend a murder mystery, so when I saw that the Spirit of Peoria was hosting one this fall, I called and bought tickets.
Some history from their web site reveals: "The Spirit of Peoria was built in Paducah, Kentucky in 1988 by Walker Boat Yard. It is solely propelled by its stern driven paddle wheel. The wheel, composed only of fiberglass and wood, has 68 bucket boards and is 22 feet in diameter. The paddle wheel is powered by two Caterpillar 3412 diesel engines that turn 350kw generator sets."
We boarded, were shown to our seats and learned that we were guests at the Sheridan family anniversary party, and were seated with none other than Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan, the guests of honor.
After being greeted by our captain, we learned that nine paddle boats shut down this year and that the Spirit of Peoria is the only one currently offering overnight cruises.
Our seating location made for an interesting evening as throughout our prime rib buffet dinner we were able to chat with and pick up clues from the Sheridans and their guests who stopped by the table.
Soon, the dastardly deed was committed and we had to take our best guess at who the culprit was.
The show was put on by the Champaign Urbana Theater Company, and all involved did a great job.
Only seven people on board guessed the murderer correctly, and my husband and I were not among them.
We especially enjoyed the atmosphere of the boat, and look forward to boarding again sometime soon in the warmer months so we can enjoy being out on deck.
The Spirit offers many cruises and excursions throughout the year, as well as some upcoming holiday events.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trinkets & Treasures

Trinkets & Treasures is a quaint shop located on Washington's historic square, 120 N. Main Street.
Inside you will find primitives, hair bows, scrapbooking supplies and hand dyed wool items among all of the, well, trinkets and treasures.
I noticed they carry some costume jewelry, including lots of Scrabble game piece charms which I recently saw for the first time on
I also saw some fun holiday pottery, small square trays propped up on stands, one of which had a beautiful poinsettia design.
As we left on this last visit, I noticed that their front window box was filled with all sorts of colorful edible plants, including some kale. What a fun fall display!

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Pizza Peel

My mom had been talking up The Pizza Peel in Lacon for weeks and weeks, so we made plans to meet my parents there for dinner.
The restaurant is located in an old brick building, formerly the American Legion.
The basement location adds to the atmosphere.
Inside, the building has been completely remodeled, although my husband did mention seeing some cool old battleship looking stairs near the restroom.
Our waitress was upbeat and friendly, and brought us some menus before heading off to get our drinks.
My parents decided to split a salad and a pizza, and StfRon and I just ordered a pepperoni pie.
We noticed bottles of honey on the tables, and learned that some people like to put honey on the pizza crust.
We also noticed lots of paper plates of cheesecake being served to customers, and when we asked our waitress about it, she said it was turtle cheesecake, and that the owner was sampling it to see if it should be added to the menu.
Our pizzas arrived, thin crust, ours tasty and nicely covered in pepperoni. My husband had pulled the switcheroo when ordering, from the 12-inch we discussed to a 14-inch, so we ended up taking about half of it home.
We all ended up making the sacrifice of sampling the turtle cheesecake, and it was one of the best I've had in recent times.
If you find yourself within a short drive of Lacon and are looking for a nice thin crust pizza, The Pizza Peel has your pie.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The Fieldhouse in Peoria's Campustown is open as of at least yesterday, and is serving lunch.
PV II, a new restaurant run by the chef of the recently closed Ponté Vecchio along with his wife, will open this month in the former Chiliworks location in Peoria.

Monday, November 02, 2009


What first caught my eye about Relics was their blue circle logo...I absolutely loved the look of it, the turquoise with the simple name displayed in a flowing typeface. I also loved the bird silhouette on the same blue circle background on the sign I would often see in front of the store. I would glance over each time we headed in or out of Peoria to see if the open sign was displayed.
I knew I had to go in.
We stopped by the shop, 3402 N.E. Adams, Peoria, on a recent Saturday.
The quaint shop was filled with lots of great items, from stationery to fun Blue Q merchandise to vintage items, all artfully displayed.
Relics is just the kind of place to visit often because you don't want to miss out on anything that might come through there.