Monday, June 29, 2009

The Buzz Coffee Shop

Again, not so greasy but definitely a cool local place, we hit up The Buzz in Eldridge. It started last year as a coffee shop and has since expanded into an art gallery/ice cream /sandwich shop.

The artist who has his work displayed there is also the chef. He has come up with some pretty cool sandwiches, but I guess the Reuben is the best. (The menu calls it a "ruben" but I'll get over it) The owner is very sweet and said that if it's not the best reuben you've ever had, he will give you a refund. Well I've never had a reuben, plus i just yacked my guts out this weekend, so Richie tried it out.

It must have been the best, cause he didn't ask for a refund. They have a bunch of other paninis plus two special sandwiches called the Picasso (turkey, swiss, sourdough, with avocado pepperoni dressing) and The Michelangelo (turkey, mushroom, french bread, cheese/basil dressing). Every sandwich comes with a pickle and chips. Nothing is over $5

I had to try something, so i took one for the team and got a watermelon shake. There are a bunch of unique shake, smoothie, and coffee flavors. The watermelon shake was nothing like the sherbet from Whitey's. It was vanilla ice cream blended with watermelon flavor, so it was very smooth and creamy. Im totally rationing it- it's sitting in my freezer so i can eat more tomorrow.

Also I got my nephew a strawberry "pop" (smoothie) and instead of leaving a half filled cup hidden in his toy room, he drank the whole thing. nothing got on his shirt either. miracles do happen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Village Corner Deli

So this is the least greasy joint so far, but I decided to review it because it's sort of a hole-in-the-wall place. Yesterday my mom and I decided to shop in the Village of East Davenport. It was hot as balls out, so we worked up an appetite. After drinking some sodie pops at Lagos, we found this deli at 1030 Mound street. My mom said Mound street used to be where all the hookers hung out.

I'm a big hater of Subway and this deli is why. First off, Village doesn't smell like a 13 yr old after gym class. Secondly, you get more than like two pieces of flat lunch meat. They have fresh cut meats and a bunch of cool sandwiches that they invented. You can also build your own by choosing the bread, meats, etc. The bread isn't a hoagie bun, it's two soft, thick slices. It's definitely an eat half now and save the rest for later kind of sandwich. Which is what i did. The price is comparable to that of a footlong from Subway. They have delicious sides like potato, fruit, and pasta salads.
I got a sandwich called "The Gobbler" which obviously has turkey on it. The bread was multigrain and awesome. It usually comes with a flavored mayo, but I am not a mayo fan, so I left that off and added Boetje's at home. The swiss cheese was real cheese, not a pasty square that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Ok, enough ripping on Subway. The Village Corner Deli is for fans of Hungry Hobo and real sandwiches.
Thanks to my mom and her fabulous modeling

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grinders and Spaghetti House

Having lived in Peoria, we needed to find a QC restaurant comparable to Avanti's. Well I remembered Grinders from my days as a broke college student at Ambrose. (Most of their lunch specials are $2.50 for a real home cooked Italian dish.) Tonight we stopped at the old 1208 W. Locust location for sandwiches.

Richie got a meatball sub with mozzarella. All the subs are served on an 8 inch bread loaf. It is sooo sweet and doughy. eat it, love it.

I got a baked chicken sandwich. This does not even compare to the limp chicken breasts served at Subway. It's warm, juicy, and hasn't been sitting there for hours.

I believe their most popular sandwich is the Gondola- ham, salami, cheese and lettuce. The pasta is also very delicious and reasonably priced. Many families were there sharing a meal. Here's the yummy cheesy garlic bread.

Afterwards we hit up Whitey's which is a regular stop for us and most people from the QC. A few guys traveling through from Alabama were there for the 2nd time this week and have plans to stop again on their way out of town. It's that good.
I deviated from my usual blueberry yogurt and got two scoops, one smurf, one gummy bear. For those completely out of the loop, Smurf ice cream tastes like fruity pebbles. Richie got a sherbet freeze- a mixture of watermelon sherbet, cherry flavor, awesomeness, and Sprite.

John O' Donnell Stadium

My favorite summer activity is going to JO'D, well I guess it's called Modern Woodmen Park now, for River Bandits games. Seeing as I have season tickets, I have been there over a dozen times but we finally decided to review the food.

They have 4 concession stands that serve the basics and another 5 specialty stands for Rudy's Tacos, philly cheesesteaks, footlong brats and sausages, grilled pretzels, and popcorn.
We hit up the philly cheesesteak stand and got all the fixins. On a side note, I would not recommend eating Rudy's unless you are okay spending the 7th inning stretch in the tiny bathroom stalls. and maybe the 8th and 9th innings too. nasty stuff I haven't eaten in years.

Here's the cheesesteak...steak, american cheese, and peppers--oh yea, ready to bite into this one


And i devoured some soft serve ice cream in a helmet before I could take a picture. so here is the aftermath...

All in all it's pretty much overpriced mediocre food, but that's to be expected at a ballpark. I recommend going on a Thursday for $2 drinks and getting a hot dog and funnel cake with fruit on top.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boozie's Bar and Grille

Bars often have delicious food and loud stinky atmosphere. However, Boozie's, located on 3rd street in downtown Davenport, was a pretty chill place. Maybe it's because it's above a Catholic book store.. or maybe Wednesday nights are slow.

The building itself has an interesting history which is printed on their menus. It was built in 1899 and they say that some people claim it used to house a brothel, but no one can actually back that up. It really was a few different relatively uninteresting businesses/offices. Eventually it become a restaurant, was sold, and was named after a cat, Boozie. His picture is on the wall. He's long gone.

A lot of people say they have the best burgers in the QCA, so the burger connoisseur and I checked it out.

Their burgers feature a sauce known as Boozie sauce of course. Richie figured it to be a "delightful mix of bbq, ketchup, and a bunch of random spices." He also said "it made the burger." They sell the sauce in jars if anyone's that interested.

We ordered chili cheese fries as an appetizer which got mixed reviews because I enjoy kidney beans in chili and Richie does not. These had beans. He picked around them.

I also ordered lemon pepper chicken breast which wasn't very lemon-y but was very juicy. Plus they gave me a whole handful of pickle slices!

All-in-all i would say Boozie's has the best bar food downtown and burger lovers should def. try it out


Richie recently stopped at Lou's Drive-In on his last trip to Peoria (4229 N Knoxville). We had been there last summer and I vaguely remember eating a chicken sandwich so I will defer to him for a review.

Lou's Drive-In opened in 1953 as a hot dog and root beer stand. Today it's menu includes a little bit of everything from tamales to tenderloins to Boca burgers. The best thing on the menu is the homemade root beer. They seem to have a two step process which remains a mystery to me as it involved two cups and two liquids that somehow came together to form the best root beer in the Midwest. I also enjoyed a strawberry malt.

The cool thing about Lou's is the outside seating and car hops that will take your order and bring your food to your car if you leave your lights on. And the food isn't tasteless like that multicolored craphole they call Sonic's. It's not open year round, so check it out when the weather's warm

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tastee Freez

"Suckin on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freez" I kept getting that song stuck in my head when we visited the Tastee Freez on Rockingham road in Davenport. Sometimes West Davenport feels like a different state...a southern state...a redneck state. We definitely watched a guy scream at his kids that he never wanted them and "if you think that hurt, wait til we get home." A bunch of people in line thought about calling the cops, but we couldn't really tell if the guy was hitting them or not. I hope they at least got to eat their hot fudge sundaes. :(

It definitely looks like a legit place with the neon signs and what not.

I went out on a limb and got a twist cone. I swear, next time I will try a shake or sundae.

Not gonna lie, in a taste test I doubt I could tell a difference between t
his and DQ.

Richie got a country bur
ger and asked what made it a country burger? They said, I don't
know, it's made in the country
? We think it's because it has thicker patties and cheese sauce. I think the cheese sauce made Richie's day.

The fries were okay and the Mountain Dew tasted funky. In conclusion, would recommend the food but not the atmosphere. yeesh.

Big Dave and Holly's

Big Dave and Holly's occupies what used to be Dairy Sweet, (1204 N Cody) a walk up ice cream place in LeClaire Iowa. I think I had been there once before after a softball game in Princeton. Anyways, the place is a mini restaurant now so we decided to check it out before going to downtown LeClaire.

I love this sign and the Aqua Teen-esque characters:

I ordered a hot ham n cheese and a small twist cone. I enjoyed both, the sandwich had cheese on both pieces of bread. whoa getting crazy. but it could have used some pickles. Ive been on a big pickle kick lately. the ice cream was typical soft serve. I practically lived off of soft serve when I worked by DQ, so it's all good to me.

You can't tell, but the Mississippi river is right across the street. That's probably why the bugs were so bad. There is limited seating inside the building, but it was a nice day so we braved it.

Richie got a cheeseburger. We eat a wide variety of foods obv.

He said the burger was delicious because they buttered the bun up real good...( his heart must hate him)

The potato salad was "blah" and the fries were typical for a drive in.

I would eat there again on our next excursion to LeClaire, but chances are I will eat ice cream and the hot ham n cheese again. We will probably try out Lydia's or the Faithful Pilot ( ohh fancy) next time.

Wrigley Field

On May 1st, we made the long annoying drive to chicago for a Cubs game. Important things first, we got our food...

Richie got a combo sandwich. This is why he will have a heart attack in 3 yrs.
Italian beef, cheese, a sausage, and giardiniera which I had to google--A hot and tangy, pickled pepper and jalapeno topping for Italian beef sandwiches, sausages, French dips, pastas, pizzas, and more.

That was gone before the first pitch.
But that's not all...
The Cubs came from behind to take the lead, so we stepped back onto the concourse to get a classic Chicago dog with grilled onions.

I had one of those mini Nancy pizzas which is not worthy of a picture.

Anyways, Cubs won and no one too obnoxious sat nearby. The 5 hour drive home sucked.

<-Probably taken before the onion dog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pizza King

And another Hoopeston joint, Pizza King (111 E Main), an Indiana pizza chain.

After the 3.5 hr drive to Hoopeston, we stopped to satisfy our craving for a RIB CHEEZY. Which is basically one of those pork patties shaped like ribs (i remember those from school lunch) smothered in bbq sauce, onions, and mozzarella cheese, cooked open face in a pizza oven. Tastes a lot better than it sounds.

nom nom nom

You can't find these delicious sandwiches and thin crust pizzas much further west than Hoopeston.

The three of us split this delicious beast.

We were happy and full....

Hennings Root Beer Stand

One burger was not enough...

One day after hitting up L&Ms for lunch, we visited Henning's Root Beer Stand in Hoopeston. (411 S Dixie Hwy)

Henning's has everything you would expect from a root beer stand

Homemade root beer...

Hamburgers and fries....

And a telephone to "phone in" in your order.
Sufficiently awkward and nerve racking when the whole restaurant can hear you be indecisive.

However, I did settle for a grilled chicken sandwich. Nothing too fancy.

Richie devoured his Ranch burger and fries
and a root beer or two.

It's what A&W tries to, but ultimately fails to be. Hometown deliciousosity. that's not a word. it's a state of being.

L & M Lunch Counter

The first greasy joint we visited is L & M Lunch Counter in Hoopeston, IL. We stopped there for an early lunch in April. L & M's is in the almost deserted downtown area of Hoopeston. This place could be straight out of The Sandlot.

Richie ordered his typical burger and fries

I ordered a hot ham sandwich with a pickle and mustard. Even though I ate breakfast about an hour earlier, I devoured this sucker.

We split a vanilla milkshake. It was very vanilla-y

L & M's was originally started across the street from it's current location. It was called the Darb and featured a pool hall and bowling alley. When the owner died in the 1950s, Larry and Mick Farrell took over the business. In the early 60s, L &M's moved to its current location at 307 East Main st. In 2008, it was sold to new owners but retains the same menu and location. Besides the cash register from 1992, it's like visiting a 50s time warp