PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Walking into Hearth in Peoria Heights you'll discover rustic elegance.
Works by local artists and recycled barn siding line the walls.
It's a perfect atmosphere to enjoy classic American comfort foods with a touch of the South.
"We smoke our meats in house," said owner Hugh Higgins. "We have a South Carolina pulled pork, dry rub Texas beef brisket, oyster po' boy, catfish po' boy."
The two-month old eatery also serves up steaks, pork chops, shrimp and grits and salmon.
The latter is a big favorite for one first-timer diner.
"It's so fresh tasting and moist," said Karen Kimball. "And then there's this delicate crust."
"The grits are just so creamy and the shrimp has a little spicy kick to it," said diner Diane Scoma.
The menu's seared salmon salad was calling Marshanna's name.
Once you dig in the bed of greens, you'll find homemade spiced pecans, veggies and dried cranberries.
Italian is her dressing of choice.
Chad poured the house blackberry balsamic vinegarette on his side salad.
He took Marshanna's idea from last week, ordering the half-pound Hearth burger with cheese.
For the side, he enjoyed sweet potato fries with a drizzle of sweet balsamic.
For dessert, we shared a piece of hummingbird cake.
It's a crushed pineapple and banana mix with vanilla crème cheese frosting.
Our total came to $34.64 plus tip.
4604 N. Prospect Rd., Peoria Heights
Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am - 2pm
Dinner: Tuesday-Thursday, 5pm - 9 pm
Friday-Saturday, 5pm - 10pm