Monday, November 14, 2011


After a lovely visit at Tanner's Apple Orchard, we headed to Peoria for a bite to eat. We stopped at a local chain restaurant that was started in 1966 by a Swiss immigrant who was well versed in the cheese-making business. Let's face it, he probably also an excellent chocolatier and fondue whiz.
Well this peaceful Swiss decided to start making pizzas and other Americanized Italian dishes. Luckily, he covered them in his fresh cheese and it all came together for the best.
Avanti's is well known in the Peoria area. If you're looking for "authentic" Italian and good looking waiters, you could blow 50 bucks at the Biaggi's down the street. If you're looking for cheesy goodness and haggard, but polite service, you'll find it at Avanti's.

We visited the location at 4711 N Rockwood, which is a nice looking place, but I miss our old hangout on University and Main and seeing the crazy bike man.

This Avanti's is at least larger and more modern.

We were seated and served quickly, probably to keep the peace. (heh more Swiss jokes) Your meal always begins with a Matterhorn sized bread basket and little golden wrapped nuggets of butter.

The slightly sweet bread is warm, soft, and chewy. There's nothing better than slapping butter on a warm piece of bread and watching it melt into the pores.

Avanti's has a typical menu filled with pizzas, ravioli, spaghetti, and subs. Prices are cheap enough to keep the Bradley students satisfied. They also have a daily special, in which I partook.

An Avanti's favorite is the Gondola, a boatload of layered meats and cheese on a sweetly singing bread roll.

Ham, Salami, American cheese, Lettuce and Mayo..Why is this famous?

 Richie likes to double fist his food, so he also ordered the pizza bread.

I went with the special which happened to be chicken cacciatore. A grilled breast of chicken concealed with tomato sauce, in a web of linguine.

My grandpa made some mean cacciatore and this one was pretty surly too. The tomato sauce is chunky and probably too sweet unless, like me, you enjoy eating frosting with a spoon.

Avanti's always ends your meal with a cheap bill and starlight mints. The hills are alive with the smell of garlic and, honestly, the mints do little to mask it, but it's a nice gesture. For a cheap meal that satisfies the American palate, flee through the Alps and check out Avanti's.