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Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Tipton, Indiana
posts: 25
reviews: 12
Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

We are a couple of 50ish couples, taking a spring road trip across central, and north central Illinois. ( Not Chicagoland). We are looking for a Really Cool place to eat Breakfast or lunch that we will talk about "How Great It was" for years to come. Advice Please!

14 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,627
reviews: 88
1. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Down-state. O.K. WHERE downstate? Give us a city or two to work with. What do you consider "Realy Cool" - Amish Fried Chicken or Catfish Fritters?

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 31,967
reviews: 66
2. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurants/

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 405
reviews: 25
3. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Sunday brunch at Starved Rock Lodge, make reservations in advance and go hungry

Tipton, Indiana
posts: 25
reviews: 12
4. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

We will be heading west on I-74 thru Danville, thru Champaign, into Bloomington. From Bloomington we may head north on 39 thru Peru into Rockford. ...Or we may keep on 74 thru Peroria, Galesburg and the Quad cities. our final destination is the Galena, Illinois--Dubuque, Iowa area. But this is a Road trip. We do not mind getting off the beaten path for a "WOW" place. As far as food, we are up for about anything but sushi.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 405
reviews: 25
5. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Starved Rock Lodge is in Utica which is 10 minutes from Peru. The regular dining is good, but the Sunday brunch is awesome. The building, it's history, and the view is pretty cool too.

http://www.starvedrocklodge.com/history/

Tipton, Indiana
posts: 25
reviews: 12
6. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Thank U!

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,627
reviews: 88
7. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Aah, now, Dubuque:

Yen Ching on Main Street yenchingdbq.com/‎

L. May is nearby www.lmayeatery.com/‎

Pepper Sprout is also in the downtown area. http://peppersprout.com/

Catfish Charlies' http://catfishcharliesdubuque.com/

I don't know if you'll talk about them for years to come but they are, IMO, the best dining in Dubuque. You might stay at the Julien Dubuque Hotel while you're there. http://www.hoteljuliendubuque.com/

Delavan, Illinois
posts: 905
reviews: 35
8. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

OK. Even before you get to Illinois, one of the best restaurants in the Midwest is the Beef House in Covington, IN (exit #4). They don't know how to fix a bad steak and their rolls are also memorable.

www.beefhouserolls.com/full-menu/full-menu

For a restaurant that is a surprise, try the Harvest Café in Delavan, IL (just southeast of Peoria). This restaurant is a true 4-star offering in a one-horse town. People from Peoria get limo drivers to bring them here nearly every Friday night. I live here and find it a bit too pretentious for me (just check out the description of the chicken salad for example). But if you are looking for something that you will always remember it will definitely fill the bill. They practice a farm to table style of cooking with everything locally grown and in season. And it truly is absolutely delicious. But living here there are times I just want a hamburger, for which I have to go to the local bar because hamburgers aren't on the menu at The Harvest Café.

http://harvestcafedelavan.com/

And, speaking of the local bars, I'm not a drinker, but the Old Town Bar and Grill (located across the street from the Methodist Church at the south end of the two-block downtown) is surprisingly good as well. One of the best rib-eyes I've ever had anywhere was served here, and their lunch specials are never disappointing, though probably not what you mean by Wow!

My daughter's favorite restaurant is the Landmark Café in Galesburg. Crepes are their specialty. And my daughter and wife would tell you that you have to order the spinach bisque and also get some of their specialty coffee ground to take home.

http://seminarystreet.com/landmarkmenu.aspx

If you are serious about changing your route, you might want to consider Cliffbreakers in Rockford. I've only eaten here a half dozen times, but they've all provided the WoW experience. A great buffet on Sundays, and excellent dinners any other occasion. Ask for a window seat that looks out over the river.

http://cliffbreakers.com/dining/

Another diversion is the Candlelight Inn located in both Rock Falls and Sterling (and also in Clinton, IA, just across the river as you pass through Fulton from the Quad Cities to Galena). This place has the best fried chicken(called Chicken George) anywhere. Now, I know you might not think of fried chicken as a Wow!, but you haven't tried it at the Candlelight yet. The steaks are pretty good too, but it's the Chicken George you're going to remember and actually consider a return trip for.

candlelightinnrestaurant.com/locations/…

candlelightinnrestaurant.com/locations/…

candlelightinnrestaurant.com/locations/… (the original restaurant)

If you can only try one, it is Cliffbreakers that I would recommend as the best of the best, but I don't think you will be disappointed with any of them.

Delavan, Illinois
posts: 905
reviews: 35
9. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

Oh, and the prettiest part of your drive is going to be on taking IL-84 north from the Quad Cities along the river to Galena. Remember it is a road trip, so don't take the route through Iowa unless you just love cornfields. Two cool spots to stop are the working Dutch windmill in Fulton, down on the levy.

cityoffulton.us/visit-fulton/fulton-attracti…

The other is Mississippi Palisades State Park just north of Savana. Depending on the weather, your memorable meal might be as simple as stopping at the KFC in Savana and getting a bucket of chicken to take to the picnic grounds on the bluffs overlooking the river.

…state.il.us/lands/…palisade.htm

A nice dinner and view is also available at Chestnut Mountain Lodge once you get to Galena, but I figure you've already got that part of your trip figured out or you wouldn't have already planned your destination.

chestnutmtn.com/restaurants_sunsetgrille.cfm

Just in case you haven't. My favorite place to stay in Galena is the Desoto House Hotel in downtown Galena. They serve a pretty nice breakfast as well.

http://desotohouse.com/

Tipton, Indiana
posts: 25
reviews: 12
10. Re: Lookin' for THE place to eat, we will talk about for years

U talk about WOWING SOMEBODY! turkce_bilmiyorum the comments and detail u have given me are GREAT. THANK U so much!!!!! I looked up all of your ideas. They all look exciting!

THANK U, Thank U Thank U!

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