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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chenoa Family Restaurant Review ~ Chenoa, Illinois

The boys and I left really early on Saturday morning from Peoria, IL. We gave up our free breakfast in order to get on the road. We made it a couple of hours (I may have actually only been about 45 minutes before the whining started about the hunger pains. That would be me whining, the boys are real troopers). We decided to pick the next exit that advertised any type of eating establishment. This is how we made the decision to eat at Chenoa Family Restaurant

We were definitely in farm country (it made me feel like I was back home in Dexter with the endless fields). I apparently was quite impressed with the corn based on the amount of pictures I tried to take of the field across the street from the restaurant.
There were quite a few cars there already considering how early we were there so I took it as a good sign. One of my favorite things about this place was all of the patrons there that clearly were regulars.

The friendly waitress brought us to our booth and was quick to bring out our drinks.

That coffee was delicious and I could have easily drank many cups of it, if I didn't have to drive afterwards and didn't want to stop every couple of minutes to visit the rest stops of Illinois.

The restaurant seemed really new and was much nicer than I was expecting in a smaller town (no offense Chenoa, this is just based on my experience of living in a small town for many years). The kitchen was quick and before long our orders were out.

Riley picked the breakfast burrito. He found it tasty enough but nothing special. It is hard to compare because we had eaten at some really awesome restaurants on this trip.

Gabrian picked the kid's pancakes with sausage links. He loved his breakfast. It had pancakes and sausage. Other than eggs, he couldn't ask for anything else. He scarfed those pancakes right up.

I went with bacon and eggs. It was perfect choice for a diner. The eggs were yolky (my favorite way to eat eggs) and the toast was buttery. Nothing special but it sure hit the spot.

Overall, Chenoa Family Restaurant was exactly what we needed for our breakfast needs. I would love to try their desserts if we ever make it back. If you would like to try them for yourself, they are located at 508 W Cemetery Ave., Chenoa, Illinois.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Emack & Bolio's Ice Cream Review ~ Peoria, Illinois

The boys and I left the New Amsterdam restaurant completely stuffed. But not so stuffed that we couldn't fit in some ice cream from Emack & Bolio's. The staff was super friendly and welcoming (even though I suspect we arrived shortly before they were about to close).

They had such a fun cone and bowl collection. Since we were on a vacation, I let the boys go hog wild and pick any cone they wanted (instead of being stuck like normal with the plain boring cones).
There were so many awesome choices to pick from but the boys and I finally came to our decisions.

The boys picked fancy cones with ice cream (I am so ashamed as a travel reviewer to admit that I don't remember what they picked as their flavors, I do know that it was amazing ice cream and we look forward to going back to try more). I saw the word malted and I knew I had to get a malted shake with vanilla ice cream. I love malt powder more than just about anything (in the ice cream world). This shake was like angel singing amazing. I choose to believe that it was points free for weight watchers and I sucked that puppy down. We enjoyed our choices as we walked back to our car.

Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Emack & Bolio's and can't wait to go back. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at the Peoria Riverfront Visitor Center.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Amsterdam Bar & Restaurant Review ~ Peoria, Illinois

After the boys and I spent the day touring Bradley University (and maybe taking a couple hour nap afterwards), we were ready to get dinner and see a little of Peoria. I knew that we wouldn't have much time exploring the city, so I targeted exploring the Riverfront with the little bit of time we had. I had researched the restaurants available and had semi-decided on the New Amsterdam before we got there. 

We found a parking spot when we arrived at the Riverfront and then set off to explore a little.

We got distracted with a some selfie taking before we got very far. I was finally able to prod the boys into movement again.

After a beautiful walk, we finally arrived at the restaurant. We were able to grab a table outside and had a beautiful view of the river.

Our waitress came out and got our drink orders started (it was a little confusing at times because it seemed like we had different servers at time, we never knew who to go to for help).

The boys got soft drinks and I started with the Moscow Mule. I finally came to the decision that this is not the drink for me. It is nothing against the restaurant, but I finally had to admit that I just wanted to drink out of the cool copper cup and I don't really like drinking that much lime juice straight up. Oh well, I know when to admit defeat.

Gabrian entertained himself by walking around the edges of the patio and took pictures of the flowers. I like to set him free with the camera. He has no shame in what he takes pictures of and he can at times get some pretty interesting shots.
We started off with the French Onion Dip Appetizer. This went over really well at the table. I was surprised how much we like the veggies with the dip (we are not always fans of raw veggies).
Riley ordered one of their Flatbreads. I don't see it on the menu any longer but I believe that it was a BBQ chicken concoction (I went and looked at my receipt and it was the Spicy BBQ Flatbread). He really liked it and finished it all off.

I ordered a really spicy Jalapeno Won Ton appetizer for my meal (this also is not longer on the menu). It burned my tongue but definitely was tasty. I also ordered their chili which was not my favorite. It didn't have beans and I have realized that the beans are my favorite part of chili. I only made it halfway through the cup before calling it quits. I was ready for a second drink and went with the Endless Summer. This thing was as tasty as it was beautiful. I really enjoyed this sweet and refreshing drink.

 Gabrian picked the Kid's Cheeseburger. This thing was huge! Gabrian found it super tasty and really enjoyed it.
When we received the bill it had a lot of discrepancies. Many of the prices were way off compared to what was listed on the menu.They did get it fixed but it took a really long time and it rubbed me the wrong way. It made me question how many people are they ripping off?

Overall, our experience was ok. I would probably give them a second chance but I would definitely go over the bill with an eagle eye. If you would like to try out New Amsterdam for yourself, they are located at 120B SW Water Street, Peoria, Illinois.