October 9, 2008

Carnegie's 501

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

One of Peoria's grandest downtown landmarks, the Hotel Pere Marquette, is mother to a top shelf eatery.
Carnegies 501 is a tightly run restaurant. It needs to be, the kitchen feeds travelers from around the world who stay at the Pere.

But you don't need to be overseas businessman hoping to sign a contract with Caterpillar to take advantage of the Carnegies mid day meal.
As the sign says, the "Hurry Up" lunch buffet is a real bargain.
In fact, the place buzzes with the downtown Peoria business crowd.

It is right across the street from where we work. Good price. Great service. You get to visit with your friends," said customer Amy Bashusen.

"Very good food. Very reasonably priced. They always have the food ready to go when you get here. And there is a new selection everyday," said customer Daryl Dagit.

"I like the buffet. I like the fact that they present it with an different entrée everyday. And today's special is: The Taco Day," said customer Tracey Evans.

Taco Day? Yes, at Carnegies, the lunch hour on the last day of the workweek is Taco Friday.
They set out all the ingredients you need to build your own personal soft or hard shell taco or nacho meal.
It's all you can eat!
–Talk about a lunch steal.

It is not good for me weight–wise. But I like it.

I like it, too. The salad bar is teaming with fresh greens and vegetables. I topped my salad with a nice vinaigrette dressing.
I also built a soft shell taco with meat, cheese, and tomato. Then at the taco supplement station, I poured on the fresh guacamole, and sour cream.
Photographer Alyssa Honert also tore into the taco spread, pleased to make her little Mexican meal.
Eating in such an elegant atmosphere, the only debate is whether this was fine dining or a hybrid of that term.
With drinks our lunch bill: $19.80.
Carnegies 501 is a culinary enthusiasm worth admitting and advertising.
Carnegies 501 is in the lower level of the Hotel Pere Marquette.
They are open daily for breakfast lunch and dinner.
309-637-6500

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