Eric's Blog

Going to Ernie's was a suggestion from my wife earlier this week. She went with some co-workers on Tuesday and ordered the two-piece chicken dinner (Tuesday Special) for $3.49. She was excited about the price and the enthusiastic review from her co-workers who brought it back to the office to eat.

We need to do more stories on businesses on Peoria's South Side. They show unique character while staying in business at the same location while others have moved out of this troubled part of town.

I will go back on my own time for that fried chicken!
The full name of Eric's business is Eric's Mini-Market and Carniceria Hispanic American Restaurant.

That's a mouthful so we just keep it at Eric's Restaurant, which is how it appears on the carry out menu they gave us.

He's been working seven days a week for a long time. His wife seemed ready for a vacation.

I didn't have time to mention in the piece that they have a liquor license. Another customer was sucking on a beer with his soft-shell taco.

Doug really can be picky and does not like many places we visit. He really liked Eric's. Made to order goes a long way in a small business. This is the kind of restaurant I would like to visit every week.

You could go to Eric's and run across the street to the Miller Park Zoo and make it a great day.
This is one of the most unique outdoor experiences You Gotta Eat has had in a while.

I was in awe when first laying eyes on the lovely view offered out the back door of this first class hotel in East Peoria.

They've taken the time to buy some simple but effective Tiki torches to add to the backyard feel. Warm and cozy. The Illinois Rive boarding the property makes it a prime piece of real estate. This is the type of development which helps make the Peoria-area a nicer place to live.

The price for our meal was more expensive than most establishments we feature. The old adage holds true; you get what you pay for. And I think the Riverside Cafe will be worth digging a little deeper into your wallet.

Back to my roots and classic eating today. Green Gables is a true Central Illinois gem. I've been going to this local landmark since my college days at ISU.

My folks owned a share of cabin at Lake Bloomington in the late 80's and early 90's. Lake Bloomington is such a beautiful place, I would stay with them and commute to WEEK in East Peoria during the month the little green house on the lake was under Shangraw occupation.

These days, when camping with my kids at Lake Evergreen, we'll take a break from making meals on the fire and run over to Green Gables for a burger and fries.

It isn't cheap. But like they say, you get what you pay for. And Green Gables is worth each penny.

The Landings Had the nicest setting of the three restaurants we've visited so far. The Harbor is quaint. The owner picked it up three years ago after wanting to invest in a marina in the Ozarks or Puerto Rica.

The bartender we talked with was Miss Teen Illinois in 2004. Rebecca Hall says she went to Disney as a finalist and told she could become a model if she lost another 20 pounds. And she only weighed 112 at the time.

They didn't want us to talk about the support hanging from the rafters. But that was one of the reasons we came. A sales guy told me about the late night fun at The Landings.

There is a small hotel next door for boaters who want a shower and a bed on dry land.

They plan on doing some extensive remodeling at The Landings. We may have to go back and see if the bras are part of the new look. I hope so! That makes it a unique spot to visit.