Sunday, October 30, 2005


Thursday evening found me and the wife having a late-night dinner at Perkins following my night class. This has become a typical move for us, as I don't get out of class till 8:45 and sometimes the wife works till 10:30, so neither of us really want to do any cooking that late.

Perkins has been a place for the nighttime denizens to meet on the weekends and do whatever they do. Used to be a 24-hour place but they only do that on Thursdays-Saturdays now.

This restaurant is a typical family-type restaurant, nothing real special about it, but in my experiences, they do everything just fine, especially breakfast. I've never had a bad breakfast, as they have lots of choices, especially the omelettes!

The wife had a bread bowl chef salad. I guess you can't really mess those up, so no further comments needed for that. I had a spicy chicken finger sandwich with fries. This sandwich is chicken fingers wtih pepper jack cheese and tomatoes on sourdough toast. It is awful dang good, and big to boot! Fries are decent, but you can catch them on a bad day and get subpar fries. Nothing I hate worse than subpar fries!!

SOoooooo.... if you're looking for a good breakfast or a late night dinner of some sorts, this is a good choice. There's not a lot of choices for this kind of thing in Peoria, so this is the one I typically will go for.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pizzeria Uno

Long a favorite pizza of mine, when it came to town a few years back I was quite ecstatic. I really cannot stand the cheap-0 pizzas like Papa John's and Domino's and, to a degree, Pizza Hut. The one thing about Uno is that they are truly a Chicago deep-dish variety.

If you're not familiar with the placement of Peoria's Uno outlet, it's in the lobby of the Mark Twain Hotel down on the corner of Adams and Fayette. With the new overpass at Adams over I-74, it's even trickier to get into the parking lot from Adams, but there is a spot. Plus you can access it from Fayette.

With said new overpass, it's a bit raised, so if you're sitting inside along Adams, there's a bit of a small courtyard (could have big possibilities when the nice weather returns!), but then a wall is the rest of your view.

About the food-the only thing I've ever had as an entree is the pizza, specifically the Chicago Classic. Twice the cheese, twice the tomatoes, and twice the sausage on an extra crispy crust. This is the kind of pizza with the sauce and such on top, which is the way real deep dish pizza is.

Me and Aaron dined there on Wednesday night. Sat at the bar and watched game 4 of the World Series and had ourselves the pizza noted above. For appetizers we had the buffalo chicken quesadilla, which instead of tortilla is made from pizza crust and grilled. It's pretty tasty. The big surprise was the... I forget how it's listed in the menu but it means to be a sort-of potato skin, only it's more of a pizza with mashed potatoes, topped with cheese and bacon. How tasty!!

Our server/bartender, Lea (or Leah, forgive me) was nice and kept the refills coming and even let us sit there and watch the game while the place was closing all around us.

Pizzeria Uno-HIT LIST!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Congratulations... the Chicago White Sox, for their four-game sweep of the 2005 World Series.

I don't ever root for the Sox, but I think I'm happy for them, and for the city of Chicago.

Next year it's my turn to celebrate. Next year is the year of the Chicago Cubs!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Back Into Town

I've so ignored the Peoria area eating establishments for a week now! For this, I apologize to all the restaurants for their lack of my business. I can't help it if I've been getting good home-cooked meals and otherwise dining in other states.

On our trip through Iowa, Minnesota and back, we ate a great deal of good food. We started with Hardee's in Macomb. Anyone who's ever attended Western Illinois knows that the Hardee's on West Jackson serves a breakfast called the Harold. If I recall correctly, it was named for a special man who ordered his meal the same way every morning: biscuits and gravy, with scrambled eggs on top and hash rounds on top of that, all self-contained in one nice tray. It was as I remembered it from 14 years ago.

Now I'm not going to go through every place we ate, because for most everyone, it doesn't apply. But a few highlights: the wiener schnitzel at the Ox-Yoke Inn in Amana, Iowa, Bubba Gump's in the Mall Of America, the Sunday Brunch at the Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel. The rest of the places were good eatins. We stopped at a place in Hudson, Wisconsin and had a sandwich. For an appetizer we had tortilla chips and pico de gallo. The chips tasted awful, like they were fried in nasty grease. But the pico was good stuff.

Anyhoo, keep reading. The restaurants will soon once again be repeating the same phrase-"Thank you, Floyd. Thank you for giving us your money for all the food you just ate!"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Out Of Town

Me and the wife are leaving out of here Friday morning for a night in a bed and BREAKFAST in Amana, Iowa, then on to the Mall of America on Saturday, so there won't be any reports from Peoria area restaurants.

However, when we get back, I'm sure I'll be wanting to talk about Bubba Gump's!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


So Monday night found myself, the wife, her friend Steph and all of our's friend Jarrett at Avanti's up on Main Street.

Even people who come here for a visit remember the name Avanti's. What wonderful bread you have, you Italian cheapo-bistro you!

Cheap is the indicator here. And by cheap, I mean good prices, not tawdry or weakened or anything like that. Besides ordering a pizza, is there an entree on the menu over $7.00?

This place has the run of everything pasta, as long as you're okay with meat sauce, marinara or alfredo. You want fancier? I suggest Ponte Vecchio. Rizzi's is good, too. But i'm getting off track. We're talking about Avanti's.

Spaghetti, linguini, tortellini, ravioli, some meatballs, maybe a piece of chicken breast. All makes for decent eating. The spaghetti sauce tends to stay with you for a few hours longer than you want. One single burp lets the entire neighborhood know that you dined out tonite!

Pizza's are good, too. Not thick, not thin. Right there in the middle. I've always liked the sausage and black olive pizza. Me and my old buddy Scott used to order those up quite a bit, so there's probably some sentimentality clouding my judgment. It's a far sight better than the Pizza Hut's, Domino's and Papa Johns.

But, of course, they've made a name for themselves with their famous sweet bread, and especially the Gondola. Former Peorians who come home to visit the loved ones will, on occasion, fill a cooler up with Gondolas for their eating enjoyment at home, wherever that may be. I've noted this happening with MANY different people. The guts of a Gondola are simple-lettuce, American cheese, ham and salami (mayo and mustard optional), but when thrust upon that sweet, yummy bread? It's like a chewy heaven.

Eaten tonight-a 6" sausage and black olive pizza (guess who), pizza burger (sauce, meatballs and cheese) X 2, pizza bread deluxe, or whatever they call it (onions, mushrooms, green pepper, pepperoni, cheese, some kind of sauce), and the Monday night special-all you can eat linguini for four bucks! Just awesome!

This place is suggested if you're not in the mood to cook but don't have a great deal of money. Hey! Which describes me! And most everybody I know, too.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Casa del Floyd

Big ole pot of chili sitting on the stove. Not as absolutely wonderful as some of my various and sundry chili's of the past (I am the Chili Master among my friends, and if they don't think so, then CHALLENGE!!), but for my first attempt in close to two years, it'll do.

I cheated on the first bowl, however. Put some cheese in it, which is something I never do.

And no, you can't come over. 8-)

Golden Corral

Following a good whipping in the first game of our softball tournament this morning, we decided to drown our sorrows in as much scrambled eggs and bacon as we could. Our happy crew, consisting of Jason (a name you'll see often on this website), Charlie, Russ and his ladyfriend Jennifer, Pat, Jared, Herb and Mike, set off for Washington, Illinois, to the Golden Corral breakfast buffet.

Very typical fare, but a lot of it. Highlights-the Omelet Bar (my capitalization for reverence), smoked sausage, chipped beef and toast (S.O.S.!!!), and all things worthy of receiving syrup. Jason accidentally forgot to read the label on the bottle of the no-sugar syrup, so he corrected his faux-pas with a packet of sugar. Caveman.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time breaking this place down, but I just wanted to highlight that such a place exists, and for $7.38 or something like that (and that includes the drink), you can have anything, practically, for breakfast that you want. What you receive in the number of choices, you do lose in quality, but come on. How bad can ham be? Or hash browns? Or little boxes of Lucky Charms? Or French toast?

But what really made it special was two things-the company in which I shared my meal, and the fact that we got there at such a time that after a while, they switched to lunch. Too bad-the omelet sacked me, else some fried chicken would have been heading my way.

Club Cabaret

Saturday night took me and a buddy, Jason, to Club Cabaret. Before you think I've delved into talking about nudie bars, they do indeed have a dining room. It used to be a pretty nice room, with around four tables and three nice booths in the back, but they've trimmed it down to just the two front tables. The rest of the former dining room has turned into a "VIP Room". I won't get into guessing games as to what goes on in there, because my best friend (who is not my wife) Aaron works there.

We showed up to the place around 6:00 and, wouldn't you know it, the dining room was full! So we bopped around, visited with our buddy and watched the ends of the Cardinals/Astros game (go None Of The Above!) and the USC/Notre Dame game.

When we got a table, I think we caught the waitress during a rather busy time. They do serve food out on the main floor as well, so she probably had a few tables to take care of there, too. She finally got around to us and got the table cleared off and got us our drinks and took our order. When it came time to order we chose to split a humongous plate of nachos. Two grown men could make a filling meal out of this. It's got everything (except guacamole, dangit) you could want with an enormous blob of sour cream on top. Absofabuloso!

My buddy got an order of potato skins (cheesy and good, according to him) and 20 chicken wings. Now, the chicken wings is arguably the best deal going. These are gigantic wings, not the shriveled up ones you tend to get at other places. One can order them hot, mild, breaded or unbreaded, and maybe a few other options. He got the mild unbreaded ones. As always, they were just dandy.

I wasn't feeling very inspired, so I just got a Cajun cheeseburger, which I believe means they seasoned it up a bit more. Came with all the usual burger veggies. Side dishes included a baked potato and a dinner salad with their house dressing, which is a sweet bacon type thing. I think they referred to it as Brittany. Either that or I overheard the DJ from the main room announcing the next dancer. That would explain why my baked potato was named Athena.

I've tried a number of different things on the menu, which includes ribeyes, prime rib... well, maybe that's all I've had. But both are EXCELLENT! I prefer the ribeye, always done just right (medium) and a sizeable portion. Good prices, too; the big ribeye is like 18 or 19 bucks.

The waitressing staff are always very nice. Tonight ours got a bit busy, but once the food started happening she got rolling, too. For making us wait early on (which wasn't a big deal anyhoo) she charged us for a half-order of the nachos, so that was something she didn't have to do. Wish I could remember her name!

Club Cabaret is on the HIT LIST! I just wish they wouldn't have shrunk the dining room. Jason made the comment that it felt like a training area for waitresses instead of a true restaurant.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Jimmy John's

Okay, I'm going to be a bit biased about this place. I work extremely part-time at the Metro Centre store and subsequently get discounts and free sammitches, so that makes the place already awesome, and a major player on the HIT LIST.

I'm not going to enter a post here for every time I have myself a free sammitch, but just this once I will let it be known what's good. To me, anyhow.

Today's sammitch was a #1, known as the Pepe. Usually it's ham, cheese (provolone!), lettuce, tomato and mayo on the French bread. I leave off the tommy-toes, go easy on the lettuce, and put a toot of Dijon mustard on it.

Also good sammitches: #3 Sorry Charlie (good tuna), #4 Turkey Tom (leave the sprouts and tomatoes off, personal preference), #12 Beach Club (avocado!!), and the #16 Club Lulu (mmmm... bacon.... but you gotta pay for the cheese, which is SO unfair).

And the guy running the place, Greg, is an old friend, and the rest of the people working there are great!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Texas Roadhouse

Now I've never been too enamored with this place. It doesn't help that it's right next to Chili's, which is one of my favorite restaurants.

It's always crowded. Why? Not the best food around, but it's not real bad, either. I've had bad luck with the steaks. Me and a couple of friends would order the 16 oz. ribeye and theirs would be big and cooked right, while mine looked like the crap that fell off the truck and rinsed off and cooked. Everything else I've ever had was decent enough.

Buuuttt.... a couple of Saturdays ago myself and four friends went to this joint, put our names in for FIVE diners at a TABLE. When we were seated approximately 50 minutes later, we were given a small booth with a chair at the end of it. I don't like to squeeze my fat ass inside booths anyways, but I was four days removed from having an appendectomy and didn't really want to rub my healing wounds up against a table. About 3 minutes into our seating a table with six chairs came open after the two diners that were sitting there left. I caught the lady diner's eye and she motioned for us to grab that table. I asked our waitress if we could switch over to the table and she responded that we could indeed, and she helped us take our silverware and basket of rolls (good rolls) to this new table, and then proceeded to take our drink order.

Before the drinks arrived some young punk came back and said, "I'm going to have to ask you to move back to your table. This one was saved for another party." He was quite assholey about it, especially when told that we did have permission by the server to move here. He was hearing none of it and didn't quite understand that it was what we requested in the first place... a TABLE!!! I pushed away and started for the door. He started saying, as I passed him, "If you like, we can put you back on the waiting list for a table." I commented to him, in a very nice voice, "Not fucking likely."

So, across the parking lot to Chili's (left our cars in the Texas Roadhous parking lot... passive/aggressiveness), 15 minute wait, TABLE, and better food!!

As soon as I can figure out how to do it, I'm going to add a sidebar to this blog and have a SHIT LIST and a HIT LIST. Texas Roadhouse has the absolute pleasure of being the first on my SHIT LIST!!

Applebee's is on there too. Sucky food, and their French onion soup tried to kill me once.

First Post

I wanted to create this blog to express my opinions and views about local restaurants. I know we get reviews in the Peoria Journal Star, but they happen once a week, usually focus on new restaurants, and are relatively politically correct. With my little piece of the Internet, I'm going to call it like it is, not pull punches, and really let you know what's what with dining.

I do a lot of dining out. Between being lazy AND busy quite a bit of the time, I don't always feel like doing a great deal of cooking, even though I like it. Plus our kitchen's small and unwelcoming. Functional, yes. But not bent towards my creative side.

I'm going to talk about bad experiences, good experiences, fancy places and dives, fast food and slow food. What I hope I can provide is a heads-up to readers about choices they may make in where they go to eat.

Not quite sure if there's anything else like this in Peoria. There's listings of area restaurants to be found, but not much else than that.

The thing that prompted me to do this? Read my next post, which will cover the first of many restaurants.