Friday, October 24, 2008


OOOoooo. I’m busy, getting ready for my exciting trip to Peoria and Springfield.

Soon, I’ll be dining on the fine cuisine of chain restaurants in the heartland. The Applebee’s in Peoria just rocks.

I make fun of these places just because I’m a snooty Chicagoan, which is precisely what people in the rest of Illinois don’t like about us.

Actually, Peoria is a pretty neat little city. There’s this huge river that runs through it (I don’t know which one it is), and you enter the city over this monster of a bridge (I don’t know the name of it). I really like big bridges, so I always look forward to that.

Oh, I found a nice photo. Here is Peoria at night:

There are lots of riverboat casinos in Peoria which folks seem to enjoy. Frankly, I just don’t “get” gambling. I can honestly say that I’ve never gambled in my whole life. Not once. So, I probably won’t be on the riverboat casino.

I joke about the food in all these chain restaurants, but I have to admit there’s one food item that I really look forward to on these trips. And that’s getting a double Whopper at Burger King. (There aren’t any Burger Kings in downtown Chicago that I know of).

I’ve finally learned how to order a double Whopper the way I like it.

You see, their Whoppers come with mayonnaise, which I like. But I also like mustard on them too but they don’t come with mustard. They have a Mustard Whopper, but that doesn’t have mayonnaise, hence the name.

I want both mustard and mayo which, apparently, causes incredible mayhem and confusion amongst the Burger King staff:

Here’s how it all went down at the drive-thru:

“I’d like a double Whopper with mustard, please. That’s all” (I always end with “that’s all” because they always try to peddle something else with it like fries or a drink “Would you like to try a Whopping Pudding with that tonight?”)

“You only want mustard on it? Nothing else?”

“No, I want mayonnaise on it too. Thanks”

“Only mustard and mayonnaise”

“No, I want everything on it too. And mustard too”

“So you want a Mustard Whopper?”

“No, a Double Whopper but with mustard. That’s all”

Only mustard?”

“No, I want everything on it. But I want mustard on it too.”

“Oh! Then that would be a double Whopper, ADD mustard.”

“Yes! Thank you.” (at that point, I want to reach in, grab her hand and put it on my nodding face like Anne Sullivan did with Helen Keller - - "Yesss!!")

“Would you like to try some fries with that tonight?. . . . “

So, apparently I enjoy a double Whopper, ADD mustard.

Also, in Springfield there’s this fantastic seafood restaurant called the Chesapeake Seafood House.

I know!

Seafood in Springfield Illinois; which is really surprising seeing that Springfield is in the middle of a state that’s in the middle of the country which is just about as far removed from the source of seafood as you can get. But it’s there.

They have a seafood platter to die for, and it’s a really nice place too. So, I’ll be there on Wednesday night. I’ve got it planned.

So, tomorrow I’ve got to pack and re-charge all my toys; the iPod, the laptop, the camera, the cell phone.

And rehearse my line for when I hit that drive-thru at the Burger King.

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At 1:57 PM , Blogger I, Robot said...

Bon appetit!

We used to live in south Florida, and we flew to Colorado Springs in the middle of winter to visit some friends.

Crazy, I know, but it gets better. So, right after they pick us up from the airport, they take us out to eat.

At Red Lobster.

At 12:04 PM , Blogger Citymouse said...

I like finding the places the locals go to .. the bar and grill that the mayor hangs out at--- in my town it is Bopps--- I wont eat there because the mayor hangs out there....

At 12:31 PM , Blogger NA said...

I am from Peoria, and I wish I could have directed you to some of our local gems. I am a frequent tourist to Chicago and love finding the "off the beaten path" places (because Chicago is Chock-Full of chain restaurants, especially near rock-and-roll McDonalds).

If you ever come through town again you might enjoy some places on the ILLINOIS Riverfront. Try Kelleher's if you like Irish Pubs with good beer and decent food. River Station has some great food if you'd like to pay a little more. Martinis is fun to enjoy some fancy drinks and live music.

One of my favorites off the Riverfront is called Po'Boys. You walk in and it looks like you're right on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Good food and great authentic live music.

There's lots of other great places in the few blocks of downtown, whether you're looking for a great steakhouse or a pub atmosphere. Rizzi's has some of the better Italian food in Peoria, unless you would rather stick with Olive Garden (sarcasm).

Hopefully you make the trip back and take some of my advice, Peoria's got some great little non-chain restaurants to enjoy.

At 12:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former Peorian, you are accusing the wrong town of offering nothing but chain restaurants. Here are a few local options you might want to try before Burger King.

To save space, I'll let you use google maps to find directions to these restaurants if you decide to try one of them.

Kelleher's - Irish Restaurant downtown on the river with authentic favorites. Atmosphere is amazing, especially if the weather allows you to sit outside.

Sushigawa - I moved away from Peoria to a city with a 7 digit population and I have yet to find better sushi than this place.

One World Eats and Drinks. - A coffee shop that turned into a real restaurant, this place has a hip atmosphere with murals painted on the walls, and an ecclectic mix of food to match. Occasional live music and poetry readings.

Sushi Popo - The sushi isn't as good as Sushigawa but the atmosphere is better, more relaxing.

Alexander's Steak House. - You can grill your own steak (and Texas Toast and Baked Potato) here.

Jonahs - Expensive seafood restaurant.

Places I've never tried but have always heard great things about:

The Hoffbrau House. - German Restaurant. I've never been, and be warned it's in the getto, but many people rave about this place.

Jims Steak House. - From what I hear, this is the best steak house in Peoria, but I was such a fan of the novelty and personality of Alexander's I always stayed true and never tried Jim's.

Burger Barge - One of those mom and pop burger joints. Never tried it.

At 3:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. There is a BK @ 100 W. Randolph and 2328 S. Michigan. There are another ten or so within 5 miles.

2. Illinois River. Runs between East Peoria and Peoria.

3. You are probably thinking of the Murray Baker bridge, but we also have the Shade-Lohman, McCluggage, Bob Michal, and Cedar Street bridges. (Cedar St. is the most fun)

4. Billie Bob Jolie did a very nice job covering some local eateries.

5. There is just one casino, and that's in East Peoria. On the Peoria side, there is a riverboat that does tours, but it isn't a casino.


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