Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time flies

So, I have been briefly mulling over ideas for a blog post regarding my fifth anniversary with my blog, Support your local central Illinois businesses. Problem was, I thought the anniversary was in May. Turns out it came and went March 5, and I didn't realize my error until this week.
Once I realized how far gone the anniversary was, I had decided to let it slip away.
But I thought it fitting to point out that today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners' day. So get out there and support your favorite Mom and Pop. Pick up some meat at your local butcher shop, have a drink at your favorite watering hole, pick up a bottle of your favorite Illinois wine or stop by your favorite bakery for a treat. Mom and Pop are always glad to see you!

El Mexicano

Just down the road from the Hofbrau on NE Jefferson sits a pretty non-descript restaurant serving Mexican food. In the early 90s the building housed a Daylight Donuts.
We've been to El Mexicano twice now for food, and I know my mom is a fan as well.
The food is good, prices are reasonable and the servers are efficient and polite.
There is seating for a few inside if you want to dine in. There are several picnic tables outside so you can enjoy your burrito alfresco, and they also do a good carry-out business.
They currently don't accept credit cards, so you can leave home without your Visa card.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Publik House

On a recent night after work, we decided to make our first visit to The Publik House in Peoria Heights.
I ordered a nice glass of Cabernet and took a look at the menu while my husband enjoyed a beer.
He had arrived before me and had already made his decision: fish & chips ($13), served with hand-cut french fries.
After hearing a description of the spring vegetable risotto ($9) from one of the employees, I decided to give it a try.
My meal arrived in a bright white bowl that set off the distinct green color of the risotto, nestled with asparagus, leeks, scallions, crisp green peas and shavings of parmesan cheese. It was unexpectedly delicious.
We also decided to splurge and split a dessert: peanut butter mousse sandwiched between two warm peanut butter cookies, paired with a serving of spiced chocolate milk. It was scrumptious.
The menu featured unique offerings for appetizers, sandwiches, soups and entrées, certainly not your ordinary pub fare.
The Publik House made for a great midweek diversion.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Palanza's in Sunnyland is closed. The sign on the door states they are closed for repairs, and will reopen under new management. Palanza's has been in operation since 1957.

Emo's of Peoria will hold their grand opening Monday, March 28. Proceeds from all sales between 5:30-10 a.m. will benefit the Arthritis Foundation’s Let’s Move Together Arthritis Walk on Saturday, June 4th at the Shoppes at Grand Priaire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Azura Boutique has moved to Peoria Heights.

Peoria's Ice Cream Shack opened for the season yesterday.

Jack's Around the Map Café in Peoria's Metro Center has closed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Donnelly's Shamrock Pub

Trying to find a place to meet my husband near Peoria's Northwoods Mall for lunch, I thought of Donnelly's Shamrock Pub.
The parking lot alone was crazy, trying to jockey around people who were circling the lot. Inside was pretty crazy as well. I had no idea this was such a popular lunch spot.
A bartender took our orders, as we were seated in a booth near the bar. My husband decided to try the chicken sandwich (starts with a W, but the name escapes me now) that his sister likes, which has bacon, cheese and mushrooms on it. I ordered a tuna steak sandwich, and we split an order of fries.
Both sandwiches were good, and were each around $7.
With efficient service, we were in and out in good time.
If Donnelly's was closer to home, I'd probably be there a lot. I see that one of my favorite bands, Bogside Zukes, play there every second and fourth Thursday.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Asia Grill

Last week I met my husband for lunch at Asia Grill in Peoria's Junction City.
We were greeted upon our arrival and escorted to a table in the dining room, and our drink order was taken before we were left to look over the menu.
For lunch you can select an entrée paired with white rice, brown rice or pork fried rice and an egg roll or crab rangoon for $5.49. Drinks were reasonably priced.
I selected the Szechuan chicken with brown rice and crab rangoon. My husband ordered Mongolian beef minus bell peppers with fried rice and an egg roll.
My entrée was just spicy enough, prepared with quality white meat chicken and the brown rice was expertly prepared. The crab rangoon was of the sweet variety, rich and delicious.
I was curious about one of the desserts listed at the table, Tempura ice cream, but was sufficiently full with my lunch combo, so I will have to check it out another time.
The two servers working the dining room checked on us several times. When we were ready to pay, things had gotten a little more harried and it took a few minutes for us to get someone to cash us out, but it was not a big deal and she did apologize for the wait while ringing us up.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Pooch Couture Pet Boutique is now open in Peoria's Junction City.

I've been watching the Project Pack the Place site with interest. The latest offer to catch my eye is for Julie's Corner Store in Lacon. I've heard nothing but good things about the shop. March 8-13 the Pack the Place offer is for Julie's Chocolate Cork Room for a $4 wine tasting and a flight of fudge. The featured wines are Illinois wines. Pick up your coupon here if you plan to check it out.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


We noticed last weekend that Emo's of Peoria was accepting applications, and it looks like they have some signage posted on the windows. Could it be that it's almost coney dog season already?

3 Reales Mexican restaurant and grocery has opened in the former Yamamoto Grill in Peoria. I'm hoping to swing by there to get some goodies for an upcoming party and maybe try some of the food.

The Brickhouse American Grill, which had restaurants in Des Moines and Peoria, has closed their Peoria location in the former Cheddar's spot.

Midwest Uniform Supply will be moving from Sheridan Road to University Plaza near the German Specialties store.

Kelly Ornamental Iron will be moving from Peoria to East Peoria.