Sunday, September 30, 2007

So what AM I doing right now?

Well, Henny Penny, there really isn't anything new to report right now, unfortunately. The few times I've been back in Peoria recently have not netted anything worth writing about, because my visits have been quick, like hours long. Way too busy down here in Macomb.

Doing what, you say?

Well, lemme tell ya. Between school (right now I'm down to 44 papers I have to write before the end of the semester), raising up the baby, and other extracurricular activities, the weekends are filled with the wife working, thus keeping me mostly here.

What extracurricular activities, you say?

Well, lemme tell ya. Down here at WIU, we are having an absolute grandiose Mock Presidential Election. We're talking candidates showing up on campus, local and national news coverage, and some high profile keynote speakers (I know who they are, but I can't say anything yet). I have no less than three positions in this event--part of the Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honor society) coordination staff which essentially runs the guts of the event; as a peer mentor who has to make sure my group of freshmen get their butts over to the event, and most importantly to me, I am the Campaign Director of the Biden for President campaign for the election. I have made many contacts with Senator Biden's election staff, and due to the fact that we are so close to Iowa here, and this school has plenty of Iowan students, I am receiving many offers of help and support, from giving my campaign staff signage and literature to having some Iowa state senators or congresspersons come over and talk or participate in debates.

So, all this leads to me not having a great deal of time back home in Peoria. Of course I can blame it all on the wife and her goofy work schedule, but it's my goofy school schedule that is really the problem. God bless her and her schedule maker at work for working around MY schedule!!

Additionally, I have a career fair on campus next Tuesday (the 2nd). Wish me luck, hopefully I can catch the eye of some lucky employer who sees just what a wonderful asset I would be to their company!! Come on, employers!! 3.714 GPA here!! Management and organizational experience!! Not just a good, but a s00per-d00per writer!!!

Restaurant-wise, one notable place I checked out on one of my minutes in Peoria was the Irish place over there in Morton. O'Flahertys? That the name? Good food, slowish service. It riled up the womenfolk I was with, but I'm pretty laid back, and I was absolutely bone-tired, so it didn't get to me as much. I am definitely going to go back there and try it again.

I'm not sure if Peoria gets any commercials for the burger place called Red Robin, of which there is one in Davenport. I see the ads down here all the time, and when I learned that they were as close as the QC, we stopped by there last Friday when me and the family did some shopping and visited the Biden field office. What a cool place! Very franchisey-decor style, but cool menus, fun burgers, and bottomless steak fries! I want to see Red Robin come to Peoria.

I'm not anti-franchise. I know there are some people who would rather go with the local product, and I would too, if I got right down to it. But there are franchises that are worth the while to visit, and I wouldn't write off a place just because they open a restaurant in Peoria that looks exactly like the one in Alberquerque, NM. Someone worked hard to begin that chain, and sometimes a franchise restaurant is the product of a person who worked hard to save up for the franchise and got it up and running. Human agency went into it, and I will be happy to reward whoever gives me what I want.

But for all intents and purposes, give me the family restaurant owned by the guy who has been a Peoria resident for most of his life and actually has HIS family working for it!!

For whoever still visits here looking for new posts, thanks a lot. Once everything slows down a bit, I will begin to eat at places again. Plus, I only have less than three months until we move back to Peoria, and by then I'll have a s00per-d00per job that will allow me to afford to dine out!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

River Station, Peoria

For my father-in-law's 60th birthday, myself and the wife, along with her brother and his wife, planned a nice outing with the help of said father-in-law's wife. We figured that a nice day would be to go to the River Station Sunday Brunch and then take a boat ride on the Spirit of Peoria. Two things stood out about our day:

1) It was the last cruise of the season, save for a few oddwad special cruises.

2) What! A! Beautiful! Day!!!!

We could not have asked for better weather today. The cruise was just wonderful, very crowded. Our strategic positioning of the chairs got us a shady spot up the river, and then by the time the boat turned around to head back, we were the shady side once again!!

On to the restaurant, which was actually before the cruise.

I reviewed the River Station some time ago, and gave it a wonderful review. That was a Saturday night dinner with the wife. The Sunday Brunch, I understand, was a carry-over from the previous incarnation of the restaurant. I can't judge from back then, but today, I can come here and tell you that the food was wonderful!!! They had an omelet station and a meat carving station. The prime rib was my only complaint. I got a very rare piece of meat, and I suppose it's my fault for not requesting something in the medium range. So, my bad. But this meat just looked red, and it wasn't real great.

Buuuuttt.... the rest of the meal? Wonderful. I'm going to run down what I had-scrambled eggs (okay, nothing special), bacon (!!!!!!!11!!! awesome!!!!111!!one!!), some kind of burrito thing with eggs, cheese and chile peppers (yummy), turkey and dressing (turkey nothing big, but good tasting dressing), cranberry-banana bread (I think it was banana, but it was definitely cranberry, and it was definitely good), and some kind of trifle with strawberries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple. That was actually my favorite part of the meal (besides the bacon!!!!!!!11!!!one!!!). I didn't get a chance to get up to the omelet bar, because it seemed crowded every time I tried.

So, all good stuff. My fellow diners raved about the waffles, another thing I just didn't get around to (too much trifle and bacon!). It was pricey. The total bill was around $135 for six of us. The food met the price, but it is a bit spendy for breakfast. I can get a better deal over at the Golden Corral on their breakfast bar. Sure I sacrifice quality, but how bad can you mess up breakfast?

River Station once again gets a thumbs up, and they remain on the HIT LIST!!

What made the day was my wonderful dining company, Jenny and Chloe, Paul and Stefanie from Michigan, Julie and, of course, the birthday boy Robbie. Happy 60th, and many, many more to my favorite father-in-law!!