September 23, 2010

Fall at Tanners

By Eric Shangraw

September 23, 2010 Updated Sep 23, 2010 at 11:04 PM CDT

More than fifteen-thousand customers have been to Tanners Orchard in the first three weekends of September.

You can have lunch there during the week.

Eric Shangraw is sampling the fall goodness in this week's You Gotta Eat.

For many central Illinois families, the pilgrimage to Tanner's Orchard in the fall is an annual tradition.

It is a chance to play between the giant gourds, feed the friendly goats, and eat anything made with an apple.

During the week, which is much less crowded than on the weekends, Tanners serves lunch.Everything is made fresh to order.

"In the last few years we made a menu. We have grilled sandwiches. Deli sandwiches. Salads. Wraps. And soups. And everyday we have a special," said co-woner Jenny Beaver.

Our visit coincided with the arrival of two tour bus loads of visitors. Everyone said its worth the wait in line.

"We enjoy coming here. It is a church group. We enjoy coming here and we always come for lunch because the food is so good," said customer Mary Popejoy.

"I'm having a fruit-plate and it is absolutely out of this world," said customer Betty Sawickis.

Photographer Doug Smith had the beef pot roast sandwich minus the tomato and onion. A bit skinny for this big boy, but that's what happens when anyone makes a paninni sandwich. With root beer and chips, he had no qualms about the quality.

I had the fruit salad. This healthy choice comes with apples wedges, mellon, grapes, pear, strawberry and watermelon surrounding a scoop of homemade chicken salad. Perfect choice for any Indian summer like day.

I washed it down with the award winning apple cider.

Our bill; $15.98.

Doug was still hungry. So he went with a double dessert; pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin donut. I had a vanilla ice cream while sitting in the shade.

Tanners is a fine way to say so long to summer.

Tanners is open seven days a week from 8am-8pm. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11am-2pm.

Tanners Orchard
Route 40
Speer, IL

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