Thursday, June 23, 2011


BBQ is returning to University Street near Pioneer Parkway in Peoria with the announcement that Grandpa John's BBQ will open a restaurant next to Elliott's.

Last month Pink Sugar Boutique moved from the former Hunt's location on Farmington Road to a new location at 4921 N. Sheridan Road in Peoria.

Sam's Roadhouse is now open in the former Cheddar's/Brickhouse restaurant off of War Memorial Drive in Peoria.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I hear that Lester's Donuts has reopened their Glen location in Peoria.

There is a crew working outside of the former Vallarta's restaurant on University in Peoria. I did notice the sale or lease sign was removed a few weeks ago. I wonder who the new tenant will be?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Retro American Tap

Last week we decided to try Retro American Tap for lunch, newly opened in the former Old Chicago spot along Peoria's river front.
As we were greeted and taken to a booth we were told that our lunch options included a Retro potato bar, horseshoes or selections from the sandwich menu, and were welcomed to take a look at the potato bar.
I did walk by the bar and noticed a decent selection of items in addition to the several potato options, such as a southwest corn pudding style dish, Jalepeno cornbread and lots of potato toppings. I decided to eat from the potato bar for lunch.
My husband ordered a bacon cheeseburger, and I was informed that my potato bar came with soup or salad ($9.99 including a soft drink). I opted for their  Greek style salad.
Sandwich options included catfish, a Philly, honey chicken, pulled pork and more paired with a choice of three types of fries or bacon potato salad.
While we waited for lunch the chef visited our table and asked what we had ordered. When he found out that we had not opted for the potato soup, he soon brought a sample by. The made from scratch soup was creamy, rich and flavorful, and even had bits of sausage in it.
For my tuber from the bar I took a yam and topped it with a bit of butter (or spread) and a scoop of brown sugar. I seemed to notice a bit of cinnamon, which I'm guessing was mixed in with the brown sugar that added a nice touch. I also sampled the corn casserole and the cornbread, both of which had a decent kick.
On a side note, my husband did dart over to the room off to the side to check out the "arcade". I didn't take a look, but commented that maybe a sign might be in order telling people it was back there because I never would have realized it.
Our server was very cheery and did a good job taking care of business.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


I've been watching with interest the renovations going on at the Kickapoo Building on Main Street in Peoria. My husband heard on the radio this morning that it is going to house a coffee shop complete with the former Jumer's bear.

Le Bistro has opened in Peoria's Metro Centre.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Lost & Found

Last week I stopped by Lost & Found in Peoria Heights. What a cute shop!
There were vintage items mixed in with fun new stuff. Things like home decor, colorful drink tumblers, pretty gift wrap, handmade earrings, stationery, junk free soaps and bath salts and much more all artfully arranged in the Lost & Found shop.
And today I see that they are featured on Seize the Deal with a $20 store credit for just $10.
If you have some gifts to buy or are looking for something fun for yourself, stop by and take a look.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tobin's Pizza

A couple of weeks ago on my husband's date night he announced that we were going to Bloomington to try Tobin's Pizza.
In business since the 1960s, Tobin's is one of the top names in pizza in the Twin Cities. From what I hear, either you are a fan of Tobin's or you are a fan of Lucca, kind of like the whole Beatles/Rolling Stones debate.
I would have to say after trying Tobin's, I am a fan of both.
The decor was what a pizza parlor should be: not too bright, not too new, cozy and well loved. I would have preferred hearing some Italian mob hits, but that's because I'm not a fan of country music, which is what was playing during our visit.
We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table during the height of Saturday night dinner, which many other people were happily doing.
After hearing that this was our first time there, our waitress told us about their most popular deal, the Family Buck Stretcher. Order a 16" pizza and for just $1 more you can receive the same topping pizza in a 10" size to take home for later. We opted for their "Special" with sausage, mushrooms, onions and pepperoni but skipped the green peppers.
The piping hot pie was thin crust, nice and crispy and the toppings were of nice quality, simple and flavorful. I especially enjoyed their sausage, which I usually just tolerate to appease my husband.
I did see that a ton of what appeared to be birthday cookies were going out of the kitchen and noticed that they have a birthday club that seems to be wildly popular.
We also noticed that a gentleman who appeared to be an owner was visiting each table to make sure everything was OK, and was also pitching in to help bus tables on a busy Saturday night.
They also were doing a bustling delivery business and the parking lot was an almost never-ending stream of delivery cars.
If you're not a fan of pizza, Tobin's has many other items on the menu such as fried chicken and spaghetti, but I can't imagine not having pizza when I come back.
If you're already a fan or want to give it a try, there are currently a few $50 gift certificates available for $25 to save you some dough on your pie.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Retro American Tap has opened in the former Old Chicago spot on Peoria's riverfront. We plan to check it out next week.

The former Cheddar's/Brickhouse location in Peoria will soon be home to a new restaurant. I believe it's called Sam's Roadhouse.

I noticed a hot dog vendor among those now set up near the courthouse in downtown Peoria. We plan to check it out in a week or two.

This Saturday at 8 a.m. the Peoria RiverFront Market opens for the season. Looks like there are some new vendors including a coffee roaster and a kettle corn vendor.

Basta Eastport (East Peoria) and Basta O'Neills (Washington) are the Pack the Place lunch spots for June 16. Buy one lunch, get one half off with coupon.

Peoria's Illinois Antique Center is now closed.

Davis Bros. Pizza in Peoria Heights has closed.