Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Gobble 'til you Wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who have come across my site. Hopefully your day went well and you got lots of good food. I know I did! And still another meal or two this weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2005


I remember the old days when an evening of drinking ended at a little local restaurant called Lums, up on Knoxville near the top of the hill. Wienerwald chicken for the win!!

Sadly, the place is long closed, and has been two or three different restaurants since then, all with little staying power. Hope the newest incarnation lasts, because it's such a treat!

Yamamoto Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar has brought us back the spatula-and-fork banging chefs who scared away the evil spirits inhabiting the big stainless steel grill that is in front of every table. Used to be a place over on Brandywine that did the same kind of thing, place called Shogun. I was never rich enough to go there, but it was a place like that, or if anyone's ever been to Benihana. The magic of your food cooking takes place before your very eyes!

The decor is pretty typical of an Asian cuisine place, no real variance to be had in any situation. The station we sat at was a horseshoe-type sitting arrangement around the grill in which the chef would wheel out his cart of foods to be prepared in accordance with our orders.

Following a rollicking night of bingo, seven of us headed to Yamamoto. Dining with me and the wife were Angie of Angie & Joseph fame (Joseph got a headache and skipped dinner), Katie of Katie & Ron fame (Ron's sick, poor little magical feller) and Greg and Heather, the newliest of newlyweds. Only myself and Jenny were new to the place, so everyone chipped in with advice on stuff to get, except for Angie and Katie who were wrapped up in their Hurricanes. We sampled some sushi, which thankfully was cooked, I think even deep-fried, making it all the better. It was known as the Peoria roll, which had typical sushi stuff, only cooked. Heather had something that wasn't as cooked, but it was still quite tasty.

For dinner me and Jenny split a stir-fry thing with shrimp and lobster. Greg had everything in his dish-beef, shrimp, lobster, and chicken, I think. Looked hella good. I think Katie had some beef and maybe something else, and Angie had vegetables cooked up on the big griddle.

Preceding the dinner was bowls of onion and miso soup, and a salad with a ginger-orange dressing. I liked the onion soup, and the dressing on the salad was good, but I didn't want to eat more than my forkful.

This food is stuff that you can probably make at home for a cheaper price, but the premium paid is for the entertainment, and it was definitely worth it.

Yamamoto-HIT LIST!!

Friday, November 18, 2005


I'm on Yahoo! How cool!

And another thing: Woot!

This is the coolest site, except for this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Katie makes good hashbrown casserole.

Did I mention that already? 8-)

Dynasty Chinese Buffet

This is the one way out north on University, not the one in the middle of town. It's weird that there's two of the same-named places on the same street. Weird... and coincidental? No, not really. I think they're owned by the same person/people.

Anyhoo, I know it's risky to go to a buffet later in the evening. We showed up around 8:00, thinking they'd be closing at 9:00, so I was prepared to see a few empty pans and some pans that looked like it was cooking hours-old meat right there in the buffet. To my astonishment, they were open until 10:00! Well hot damn! Gonna get some decent food and not have to worry about the final hour bad buffet doldrums!

Dammit. I was wrong. A number of the pans were almost empty, and some of the meaty-type stuff like the mongolian beef and the pork and some-damn-thing were but a few strips of meat that looked like I wouldn't have been able to get them out of the pan for their having been laying there for hours. Sweet and sour chicken-only about two pieces. The very bottom of the pan egg drop soup. Beef brisket that looked to be about 80% fat. Damn. And their new mongolian stir-fry option closed at 8:00. That didn't make me upset, just disappointed that I didn't get to try it.

I discussed the situation with my wife. I said that if a buffet is going to be open for another two hours they have to attempt to provide some fresh stuff now and again. Otherwise, close the place and don't try to make a few extra bucks just from the leftovers. They'll get the extra bucks, but they won't get any more from that customer at any time of the day. I mean, even if they just took a handful of food and cooked/fried it and put it out just to make it all look shiny, at least there's an attempt, and there's another happy plateful for moi. I know that we didn't eat $24.07 worth of food.

So, do the smart thing-don't go so late, because chances are this could happen to you. Allow enough time that they HAVE to put more food out.

I do prefer the two Chinese buffets over in East Peoria. The China Gate hasn't ever let me down, and the new one by Wal-Mart, Ming's, has a great selection of dishes, but are a bit spendy. S'alright, though. I'll pay for happy belly time!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Joe's Crab Shack

So me and the wife, along with Ron, Katie, Jason and Krista met down at Joe's Crab Shack on the riverfront (or is that the Riverfront?) on Saturday night. It wasn't packed to the gills with people waiting, but we still had about a 45 minute wait. No big deal, I had a pretty green drink with a goofy name and we stood around the bar doing our thing.

Soon we were seated and the server was nice. Got our drinks, refills were forthcoming, and the food was hot. The food, however, doesn't seem to be as good as it used to be. Now I've always preferred the Big Red Lobster for my franchise seafood eatings, but Joe's was always decent enough. I had Jumbo Shrimp Pasta, and it was a cheesy pasta with fried shrimp ringing the plate. Meh. Jenny had some kind of lobster, crab and crawfish pasta and that was better only because there was another flavor besides... cheesy parmesan.

Jason had the chicken fried steak (?) and Krista had a pound of dungeness crab legs. It looked fun and she didn't complain about them. Ron had calamari and Katie had fries. Didn't hear complaints from either of them. (Katie makes great hashbrown casserole).

The menu seems to be set up oddly. Now I consider myself rather a pro when it comes to dissecting a menu and finding the best selections. This one was just odd.

And so, for Joe's Crab Shack, I'm not giving them a negative remark, but for my money, I'm going to Red Lobster and eating many of their little biscuits.

Off the Shnide...

Well, as me and the wife slowly come back from our life-threatening illnesses, the hunger grows. There have been various and sundry food-outs such as Wendy's (rocks!) and McDonald's (only if you have to), even a Taco Bell (goodish). Mostly, it's been finding stuff around here to eat.

So I think I'll put up a new post and briefly discuss our latest outing.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dang it all to heck...

I've been down with a cold since Wednesday, so I haven't been going out and doing too much. Even skipped school on Thursday, and I don't know why, but I feel like I'm letting my teachers down if I don't show up. Heh, makes me sound all full of myself! The only other time I've missed class this semester was for my appendectomy back in late September, so I've got a pretty good attendance record going.

Anyhoo, hopefully I'm back up and eating again real soon!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Good ole Chili's. It's a fail-safe, and a chosen delight. It's been a favorite since they came to Peoria back around 1987 or 1988ish. It's especially dear to Dad. Just ask Mom, because they end up going there if he has his choice (or Cracker Barrel).

Me and the wife hit the East Peoria store last night around 9:30ish. It was either that or one of the other late nighters, and we had to go to Wal-Mart for important business (trash bags and caulk), so off we went. It was very uncrowded, especially in the dining area. I beleve when we got there only one table full of customers was around.

We ordered up a plate of the classic nachos, which are how nachos oughta be. Each individual chip has some kind of beany-meaty dip covered in cheese, topped with jalapeno peppers and ready to dip into sour cream or pico de gallo. Really, I oughta just get two orders of that instead of doing an entree, but what fun is that?

For our dinners Jenny had the soup and salad deal. Hard to mess up a side salad, and the broccoli cheese soup was thick and yummy. Last time she had it I dipped my fries in it. Maybe the start of a trend? I had the chicken tacos, which was new to me. Came with rice and beans, which I didn't actually care for. The tacos were pretty good, but I've had better stuff there, like the burgers and the monterey chicken, plus the chicken fried steak. All good stuff! Every once in a while they have a build-your-own-burger deal going, where you get a little notepad to check off ingredients and styles of burger. It's as close to nirvana as I'll ever get in the burger realm.

All in all, a good experience. I will indeed write about this place every time we go, because I'm always trying something different.

Chili's-HIT LIST!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Lonestar Steakhouse

Over yonder by the mall (the old school mall, not the big cold one) rests the Lonestar Steakhouse. I've had a particular aversion to this place because of the tendence for three ribeyes to be ordered, and mine invariably is the ugly, small, curled up one, yet I'm paying the same price as the other lovely ones (when I say three steaks ordered, that means that three of us each ordered a steak).

But good ole Don caught my attention when he uttered the words "all-you-can-eat ribs". Immediately my aspersions went out the door, only temporarily. I would save final judgment for post-ribs.

So the Don and I, accompanied by Jason, met up Monday night at the feast site. After turning down alcoholic drinks and salads, we waited for our meat portions to arrive. In no time at all, we were faced with a rack each of very good, tender, tasty pork ribs. They weren't over-saucy and were warm and yummy. Absolutely good stuff, for sure. Jason really liked his rice side-dish with the peas and mushrooms, the goof. The Don and I had two more portions, while Jason felt that "personal comfort" was more important than getting your money's worth, the goof.

All in all, a good experience. I'm still hesitant about going there on a non-feast day, but I may not put up so much of a fight the next time it is suggested.

Chez Richman

A lovely little chalet overlooking Heritage Lake was the setting for me and the wife's Saturday night of fine dining. To satisfy the view of fall foliage overlooking a sunset on the lake, we had nothing but the best fare-hot dogs, baked beans, and s'mores!!!

Our friends Greg and Heather Richman, not quite married a month yet, invited a few of us over to their new home out in Mackinaw. Other guests include Ron and Katie, who should have brought the hashbrown casserole, and Joseph and Angie, who brought their own gourmet feast, Not Dogs. A fire pit was prepared, and while the womenfolk gabbed, the fellers took a boatride out on the lake. Us and the dog.

The fire was great, the food was exactly the way I wanted it, the melted marshmallow of the s'mores got all over my hoodie. I couldn't have asked for a better evening out with friends like these folks! Topping off the night was a visit to a haunted schoolhouse in Gilson, Illinois. It's only a shame I frightened the help more than they frightened me.

Thanks to our hosts and friends for a great night!