You Gotta Eat: The Hungry Moose

By WEEK Producer
By Tom McIntyre

January 26, 2012 Updated Jan 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Last week, after eating at Jane's Ice Box, I got to thinking more about dropping in at some diners...little eateries that cater to a local clientele.

Which is how we ended up at 'The Hungry Moose.'

The Hungry Moose is located on Farmington Road in Peoria County. It's a little place that serves breakfast and lunch six days a week during the winter and is home to all things moose-like.

More on that in a minute.

The Moose is home--as diners tend to be--to a regular crew of eaters. Lots of conversation--in my case, about cars and motorcycles. Eventually, staff and customers turn into a kind of extended family.

That's Mrs. Moose--AKA Sharon Ives--tending to the cooking in the kitchen.

I ordered the Swiss and mushroom burger with onion rings. Yes, I was told this is the normal amount of onion rings. Doug went with the rib-eye sandwich and fries. Which he added catsup to. Not a criticism--just saying.

The burger was very good, tender juicy. The onion rings sweet. Doug gave his approval to the rib-eye. It was good diner food. Comfort food. We decided to top off lunch with a little dessert. I had ice cream and Doug the homemade bread pudding. Both came with "moose droppings," which are, in fact donut holes.

Now, why the name Hungry Moose? Well, it started with a trip north for Sharon Ives and her husband.

"Well, it's a love story," said Ives. "My husband and I went up north, and we loved the atmosphere, and I collected moose things. So when we opened a restaurant, we decided it had to be a moose".

And yes, Sharon is wearing moose earrings. A gift from a customer.

Our bill with drinks, came to $26.52. The hungry moose is open 6 a.m. til 2 p.m. daily--closed on Tuesday's during the winter months.

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