Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This week I heard the news that Gilles Tap on Route 150 in Kickapoo has closed, hopefully only temporarily. Gilles has some great history, established as a tavern in 1933 at the end of Prohibition.
Some of my oddest, most interesting bar experiences have taken place in that little white bar with it's scuffed wooden floors.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Small Business Saturday dining

I was the lucky recipient of a Small Business Saturday $25 American Express gift card from FedEx, which we used towards our dinner at Basta O'Neill's in Washington on Small Business Saturday.
I and a friend of ours were both tempted to order the special, walnut and pecan crusted tilapia served with vegetable risotto. Accompanied by crusty bread and salad, the meal was very good. Even better was the cannoli my husband and I shared after dinner, filled with a creamy and sweet ricotta mixture.
My husband had his standard there, fish and chips and we all shared a bottle of Cabernet.
The gentleman who waited on us was professional and provided great service for an enjoyable evening out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The Pekin Daily Times reported that Jimbo's Jumbo is set to reopen in Pekin.

You may have heard about FedEx giving away 30,000 $25 gift cards to support Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 26. I managed to score one of the cards and will use it to supplement my support of local shops and restaurants this weekend.
Remember to support your favorite mom and pop restaurants by either dining there or spreading the cheer with gift cards for those on your "nice" list.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Salt restaurant on Prospect in Peoria Heights opens today serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A sign has gone up for the new restaurant in the former Steak n Shake location on NE Adams in Peoria which reads Juicy's Famous Steak and Lemonade.
A sign has also gone up at the former Lonny's Dairyland spot on Farmington Road that reads O's Tacos -n- More. In addition to dine in and carry outs, they will have a drive thru for your taco toting convenience.
Boss Hogs has taken over the Cracklin' Jake's spot in Banner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Keil's Bar & Grill

The sign at Keil's Bar & Grill on S. Summit Drive in Sunnyland reads established 1994. The location did serve as home to other establishments during the past couple of years, such as the Golden Greek, however Keil's reclaimed the spot late this summer.
We stopped at Keil's for dinner last month before heading to a movie at the nearby Sunnyland Cinemas.
We entered the family-friendly dining room and were greeted and seated in a booth by the windows.
They were featuring some dinner specials which included a salad bar plus a pizza and pitcher special, however I decided to order the French dip which came with homemade fries or chips. I selected the chips, and my husband ordered a Reuben.
The chips were good as was the French dip, served on a long Ciabatta style roll.
Keil's serves food Tuesday-Saturday starting at 4 p.m. and opens at noon on Saturdays.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Firehouse Pizza on Main Street in East Peoria has opened a pub next door.

The 3rd Thursday Pack The Place Lunch will be held at Rizzi's on State. Print your coupon for 25% off your bill and head over this Thursday for some great Italian fare.

Salt restaurant plans to open very soon on Prospect in Peoria Heights. They've posted some photos on facebook that have my tastebuds intrigued.

Kudos to Smo-King Pit and June for receiving 100 on the most recently published restaurant inspections.

Friday, November 11, 2011

EP's Timeout and Sports Eatery

EP's Timeout sits along East Washington Street where Diana's Family Restaurant once did in East Peoria.
I've eaten at the sports-themed bar and restaurant about three times, twice for lunch and once for breakfast.
The most recent time we had lunch there, they had $5 lunch specials that included a soft drink, which is quite a deal. My husband and I both had hot beef, the comfort meal featuring white bread, roast beef and a scoop of mashed potatoes drenched in beef gravy. With the weather turning cooler, that meal sounds great about right now!
In addition to a Sunday breakfast buffet, which we have not tried, EP's breakfast features a good selection of the usual suspects: eggs, biscuits and gravy, waffles, French toast, pancakes, meat and the like. The food was better than the cheap breakfast fare some places offer up.
The menu runs the whole gamut, from pizza to wraps to salads and healthier fare, plus stuffed burgers and hot dogs. And yes, there are plenty of TVs in case you want to catch a game while you're there.

Monday, November 07, 2011


Thirty-Thirty Coffee Co. is now open on Main Street in Peoria.

I noticed a new sign for 2 Doors Down on Main Street at the former Whammy Bar location.

The Country Diner in East Peoria has closed. Looks like it will soon reopen as an El Mexicano of Peoria fame.

SOPs on Main in Peoria has closed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Yesterday I read with dismay the news on that Mr. G's Chicago Style of Peoria had closed, and also received emails from some of my loyal readers about the closing. The Journal Star printed a story in today's paper about Mr. G's.

I also heard from a reader that a new Lebanese restaurant will open soon in Peoria's Parkway Plaza called Kabab-G.

I noticed some construction going on recently at the former Lonny's Dairyland location on Farmington Road in West Peoria, and someone gave me a tip that it may be opening as a Mexican restaurant.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Ironstone Room

A few weeks ago we met my parents in Manito to have lunch at The Ironstone Room. We started off in Willett's Winery by sampling some wine and took a look at the banquet space between the winery and restaurant, which was new since our last visit.
The restaurant is housed in a former bank complete with vault. The walls are a warm yellow accented with white trim, and the room has an airy feel.
We started off with the Leon Millot red wine to accompany our food selections. I ordered the Ironstone Reuben ($7.95) with the bacon cheddar potato salad as my side. My husband ordered the Grand Gourmand salad ($8.95) with bleu cheese dressing.
Next we tried the Noiret, also a red wine, which really paired well with my meal. Thinking about it now, I'm regretting that I didn't go back to the winery after eating to pick up a bottle to take home.
The Reuben, topped with not only cheese but a slaw that included apples and a hint of horseradish, was served on crisped Pumpernickel. The creamy potato salad was filled with big cubes of cheddar and bacony goodness, and my husband kept stealing bites of it from my plate.
His salad was filled with Bavarian ham, honey roasted turkey, cheeses, greens and veggies topped with bacon crumbles and hard boiled egg.
Service was good and this stop made for a quite enjoyable Sunday destination.