Monday, November 29, 2010

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea is located in NorthPark Mall in Davenport. It opened about 7 yrs ago across from the Sam Goody-turned crap store-turned sports memorabilia store. It was opened by a South Vietnamese native who moved to the area when he was 9. According to Yelp, It's now owned by "Jeremiah is The King of smoothie, bubble tea, and coffee making."

I've passed over it since it opened and still have no desire to try the Taiwanese tea laced with tapioca bubbles. Ever since my unfortunate experience with burping Orbitz,

I just can't consume bubbles. However, when I saw this picture of the colorful, delicate club sandwich Richie devoured during a lunch break, I've decided I must try it out. Or at least try a sandwich, hold the bubbles.

Though the sandwich was delicious and the ingredients fresh, Richie commented that it took a while to prepare. It seemed as though the workers weren't sandwich artists or enthusiasts. Clearly they are better accustomed to creating teas and fresh fruit smoothies, about which he also raves. Fresh fruit, sandwiches, and far the healthiest place Richie has ever eaten and also the healthiest choice in the mall. I'll report back after my sophisticated palate has given it a try.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Trekking outside of our normal eating zone, Richie and I headed to Schaumburg Illinois to purchase unassembled hip Swedish furniture and cheap but trendy Swedish clothes.

Just a block from the massive mall was a smaller strip mall populated with boring overpriced stores and an epic Dick's. (teehee.) Within the parking lot of this plaza stands a small burger joint called Meatheads.

Meatheads is run by the mastermind behind Potbelly's and Einstein Bros. Bagels, so I would expect rapid growth over the next few years. They started in 2007 and now have 5 locations in Bloomington and a few Chicago suburbs. They seem to be an aspiring Five Guys-type joint, except they offer a few more options.

Considering the Merriam-Webster definition of meathead as a "stupid or bungling person," it may not seem like a smart moniker. Or if you are old or lame enough to remember Meathead as Archie Bunker's annoying liberal son-in-law, the name may not scream appeal. Then again, Potbelly's hasn't seemed to deter anyone from eating their hefty sandwiches.

Meatheads is all about the meat...and fries...and atmosphere. The meat is never frozen angus, fries are fresh cut from whole potatoes!, and the restaurant decor is very sleek, modern, and clean.

We walked in and gazed up at the giant menu above the counter. It seemed a little daunting and confusing at first, but then I realized they just offer a lot of people pleasing build-your-own burger options.

Richie opted out of choosing his own toppings and went with a Meatheads Signature Burger, the Texas Ranch with a side of Cajun fries. However, he still had the choice of a fried or grilled burger. Pretty neat eh? (He went with grilled.)

I built my own chicken burger with mustard, tomato, and pickles. In hindsight, a pineapple would have been really good on it. Then I went big and requested a side of chili cheese fries as well.

Richie enjoyed his burger. Said it was cooked and seasoned well. However, the fries stole the prize. Medium-cut, perfectly fried, and dusted with Cajun spices. Laissez le Bon temp rouler!

My chicken sandwich was also spot-on and the toppings were crisp and fresh. The chili-cheese fries were fan-freaking-tastic, as evidenced by this photo of me gorging myself.

Prices were fair, slightly more than fast food, but with much better quality of food, it is definitely worth it. If you find yourself in the mood to PIMP MY BURGER

give Meatheads a try. Don't forget the fries! Peep the menu HERE

Mr. B's Cafe

Mr. B's in Hoopeston Illinois is the latest conception of L & M's old lunch counter. We decided to assay it to see how the new proprietors are managing.

On this blustery morning, we blew in for a breakfast binge. The interior has changed only a little. They now have a shiny fluted sheet metal wall with handy coat hooks behind each stool. The long lunch counter and stools remain intact.

The menu is up on the wall with the grooved slots and individual letters that was probably painstaking to piece together.
Fox News...what else?

I ordered an egg sandwich with ham and a side of hash browns. I don't know why I ordered a sandwich, considering I can't eat bread, but it seemed more substantial than just requesting an egg.

Richie wanted to order a Haystack, which rivals Ross' Magic Mountain as a giant mound of breakfast foods erupting with cheese and gravy. Apparently, we arrived after the gravy robbers and the sausage gravy pot was depleted. So 2 eggs and bacon would suffice.

Our meals came out as they were finished. I dissected my sandwich and was pleased to find that the ham wasn't some limp slice of Buddig. It was a thick seasoned cut from a ham steak. A true Iowan favorite.

The hash browns were also pleasing, a nice golden crust enveloped the mid-layer of potatoes. They were crispy and light rather than greasy.

Richie devoured his scrambled eggs and bacon, but apparently a couple corners of his stomach were still empty.

How can anyone resist homemade pie? They had 5 or 6 flavors to choose. Richie ordered a slice of apple and was easily talked into making it a la mode. It was very sweet and they warmed the pie before plopping the scoop of ice cream on top, so the ice cream and apples coalesced into a sinful cinnamon soup.

I am a cake stan, but the Crunch bar pie was calling me, so I got a slice to go. And go it did, right into my mouth on the car ride home. It was creamy with a light cocoa flavor and chunks of Crunch bar. Scrumptious.

We were all impressed with the food and service, and I would opine that it has improved since the new owners took over. Bravo Mr. B

Goodbye long shiny checkered diner!

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