December 3, 2009

Goodness Cafe

By Eric Shangraw

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

A new Peoria lunch spot just opened this week.

Eric Shangraw takes you to the Goodness Cafe, in this week's You Gotta Eat.

The Goodness Café is the newest sibling of the Peoria Bread Company.
Dave Koehler is the all organic whole grain bread maker and building owner.
He's also a state senator.

"We had a restaurant that leased some space from us for a while. Unfortunately, they didn't make it. So my daughter, whose been experienced in the business, thought she wanted to try it for a lunch business. So here we are. This is our second day," said Koehler.

On day two, Lilly Koehler is back in the kitchen cutting fresh ingredients for the hot sandwiches and homemade soups.

Her dad is a well known vegetarian, but meat is a prominent part of the chalkboard menu.

"We're looking for the lunch crowd. So we know a lot of people don't have a lot of time. So we are going to get you in and get your out but full you up," said Lilly Koehler.

"You can tell it is not pre-packaged. It didn't come from a box or bag. It was quick. It was fast. You could tell it was toasted right there on a grill in the back. Everything was really fresh," said customer Jason Hackett.

I started with a Vegan Minestrone soup. It's loaded with noodles, carrots, celery, beans, stewed tomatoes, with touches of rosemary, dried oregano and dried garlic. As a meat eater, it didn't taste like vegan soup to me.

I also tackled the Spicy-Turkey sandwich. It comes with melted Pepper Jack cheese in between toasted honey wheat bread, with mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce and tomato thrown in for more flavor.

Photographer Doug Smith ordered Ham and Swiss which comes toasted on whole wheat bread.
Doug was pleasantly surprised, earlier expressing reservations to me about being satisfied by a the vegetarian state lawmakers latest business venture.

We non-political carnivores were quite content. They even offer you a free refill on the soup. One was enough for me.

-With potato chips and drinks, our bill; $17.32 plus tip. It is the Koehler bread that will bring you back. The Goodness café does what the name says.

Goodness Café is at 1404 North East Monroe in Peoria, just north of downtown.
They are open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 until two.
The Peoria Bread Company bakery is open Friday afternoons from noon until 6pm and Saturday mornings from 11am-2pm.

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