April 30, 2009

Country Diner

By Eric Shangraw

Country Diner

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

A viewer dared Eric Shangraw last week to find a place with exceptional biscuits and gravy.
"You Gotta Eat" meets the breakfast–challenge head–on at the Country Diner in East Peoria.

The Country Diner is an unsuspecting dinky dive specializing in breakfast.
Opening at the crack of dawn seven days a week, customers come to jump start their day with a cup a Joe and a wise crack about the Cubs losing again the day before this one.

"We get together and have our session about every morning. We spread gossip and tell lies," said customer Bob Thrush.

"It is just a little hometown family owned restaurant. It is a great place," said customer Sheree Ghent.

But the morning tale shared here daily, which is no fib, is the big bad batch of biscuits and gravy.

"A lady I work with told me they had the best biscuits and gravy. So I came to try them," said customer Tim Figueroa.

Owner Niki Chapman hears enough compliments on her B's and G's to be brim with confidence when the subject is broached at breakfast.

"I do make it all from scratch. I don't believe in using mixes. It makes a difference. Hence, people tell me I have the best biscuits and gravy and I believe I do," said Chapman in her tidy kitche.

Guest eater and photographer Dave Jansen ordered what they call the "city boy" breakfast: Country ham, eggs over easy and a side of biscuits and gravy.
DJ was a–okay to his morning meal.
I went with a full order of the bulky biscuit plate.
–Fluffy buttermilk biscuits. –Thick gravy with a great a–m seasoning and sausage.
I was stuffed after consuming three–quarters of the order. I was ready for nap at 7:45 in the morning!
Our bill; including orange juice and coffee; $13.69 plus tip.
This is not just gossip; the Country Diner may bake the best biscuits we've ever devoured.

The Country Diner is open seven days a week.
3625 E. Washington, Road, East Peoria.
She's on Route–eight, also know as Washington Road in East Peoria.
They close at two each day.

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