Friday, October 28, 2011


EB Buildings and Lumber Co., established in 1960, is celebrating their grand reopening today and tomorrow in Princeville. There will be food available and prize drawings.

I've noticed that Thirty-Thirty Coffee Co. is almost ready to open their shop in the Kickapoo Building on Main Street in Peoria. Watch for them to open in early November.

Sentimental Journey

We headed out shopping in Washington last week for Moonlight Madness and paid a visit to several of the stores.
One of my first stops was Sentimental Journey, located in an old red brick building on the square. The store shares a building with the Framer's Gallery.
The first thing that snagged my attention was the Wee Forest Folk mice. I used to love looking at these mice in their costumes at The Mole Hole in Bloomington/Normal years ago! They are adorable.
My friend mentioned that she was a big fan of Vera Bradley, and Sentimental Journey had a nice selection of the bags.
Soon I also noticed several items made in USA in the shop including Eucalyptus Stoneware baskets. My friend explained to me that you warm the basket in the oven and it holds heat to keep your bread warm once it's on the table.
I also noticed some jackets made in the USA by Winding River. They were tapestry style patterns and are reversible as well. They looked like something my mom would enjoy for Christmas.
The shop was also filled with plenty of baby gifts, ornaments, and Christmas villages, just to name a few of the items.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The former Harold's Hamburgers in Sunnyland is being spruced up. I heard that the new tenant may be a bar.

The old Steak 'n Shake at 2613 NE Adams in Peoria also appears to be getting ready to reopen, this time  with some sort of a Chicago style food focus. The most recent restaurant located there was Lee Family Restaurant.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Round up

A few months after Peoria's Chevy's closed, I hear Bloomington's location has now suffered the same fate.
If you are looking for Mexican food in the area, there are a lot of options. El Mexicano and Mi Familia have good authentic style food. Lorena's Mexican Restaurant and Jalapeno's are a great option if you'd like to add a cerveza or margarita to your meal.
This Saturday we had dinner at Tequila's Mexican Bar & Grill in Washington while they had a live mariachi band in house. Our meals and service were good, and the band lent a fun festive flair to our experience.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mama Rae's

An ad in a local flyer for Mama Rae's in Morton caught my eye due to the retro diner feel of the graphics. We set out on a recent Sunday to give it a try.
We found the restaurant attached to a gas station near I-74. The location used to house the Morton Family Restaurant.
The walls were painted a warm red and there were a few vintage looking signs and some movie memorabilia on display.
We were seated in a booth and it took a little bit before our waitress had a chance to stop by and take our order.
I ordered the Irish skillet, one of the breakfast specials which was a layer of American fries, corned beef, and mozzarella topped with two eggs and toast on the side for $6.99. My husband ordered Rae's spicy cajun, a grilled chicken breast sandwich topped with cajun spices, grilled mushrooms and onions, which came with soup for $6.99. The waitress recommended their tomato soup, which was hearty and filled with ravioli pillows.
My skillet was stick to the ribs good, topped with my choice of scrambled eggs. I honesty could have done without the American fries at the bottom of the skillet and would have been just as happy with the price, but I'm sure many others appreciate the portion size.
An older gentleman nearby was dining alone and all of the employees seemed to know him and stopped by to greet him by name and check to make sure he had everything he needed.
We had plenty of drink refills and everyone was friendly at Mama Rae's. There are currently some coupons available on their web site, so it's worth a check if you're planning to visit soon. Dinner is currently served Thursday-Saturday only.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wild Berries

My husband had tried Wild Berries a few years ago in Normal, but I had never been there.
We made our first visit to the new Peoria location the week of August 22, when they had been open just a few weeks.
We had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated.
The menu has a ton of options including breakfast all day (which I am a sucker for), and many things sounded good. I ordered the Sante Fe chicken wrap ($8.45) for lunch, which came with soup and choice of waffle fries, fruit, pasta salad or orzo salad. I selected the beef barley soup and fruit.
My husband ordered a chicken sandwich (pretty sure it was a daily special) with some sort of garlic sauce, along with soup and fruit.
Our sandwiches did take a bit of time to arrive, but the soup was out quickly and the waitress checked on us often and kept the drink refills coming.
The beef barley soup was homemade, as are their other soups, and it was thick and a bit spicy.
The wrap was stuffed with chicken salad and cheese and was good, although far too much for me to eat.
My husband's chicken breast was large and did not appear to be your standard institutional frozen flock variety, which may be why it took a bit longer to prepare. I appreciated the quality.

This week we returned to Wild Berries for lunch again and did not have to wait for a table.
I decided to try something off the breakfast menu, and although I was glad to see multigrain pancakes and cranberry nut pancakes on the menu, after seeing "Wild Berries Famous Swedish Pancakes" I figured I had to try them. They were listed as being served with lingonberries and lingonberry butter, for $7.75.
My husband had another special chicken sandwich, this time a panini with chipotle sauce.
This time our food came out much more quickly.
I absolutely loved the pancakes. I spread the sweet lingonberry butter on them and gobbled them right up, then enjoyed my Canadian bacon and lingonberries as a chaser.
We also tried their cheesecake shot dessert, which was a shot glass layered with crumb topping, some pink fruity topping and some gooey cheesecake goodness. I don't know that variety of fruit the topping was, but it almost tasted like strawberry lemonade to me, and whatever it was, it was good.
We were seated in sight of the cash register, and often during lunch I noticed a handful of people waiting to pay, so as soon as we had our bill and I saw a break in the line, I darted out to cash out.
Our server this time was a man, and he was also johnny on the spot with refills and was cheerful and witty.
I'm glad to have a new tasty place for breakfast food.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


German Specialties in Peoria has closed.

Thanks to reader tips yesterday letting me know that the Lariat Steakhouse in Peoria is under renovation. The Journal Star reported today that the owners hope the renovations will be completed by Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bemer's Village Inn

Housed in a block building built in the 1970s, Bemer's Village Inn, along the river in Spring Bay, has that broken in feel of a place that's been popular for serving up huge homemade tenderloins for decades.
I tried said tenderloin, the 1/2 version ($4.75), and found it to be large and properly fried, dressed with my choice of onion, pickle and mustard. The loin hung way outside of the boundaries of the bun.
We dined with a fairly large group in the bar, which gave us a good excuse to order some appetizers. We started with onion rings, which were a tasty, thin variety. Next up was the winner for me, the corn fritters, which I swear were about the size of racquetballs.
The Village Inn features daily specials, many of which include their salad bar, and they are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Lost and Found, which was located at 1315 Seiberling in Peoria Heights, should be open at their new location in the Heights, 1307 E. Duryea, on Saturday.

Tavern on Prospect will celebrate their 2 year anniversary with a bash this Saturday starting at 5 p.m. with complimentary small bites served from 7-9 p.m. at their location in Junction City.