Archive for April, 2013

IMG_1411It was a warm, sunny day in Central Illinois – perfect for eating and antiquing.  Our final destination was Elkhart, IL but we were going South anyway, so why not just high-tail it to Springfield for lunch to check out their local farm-to-table options.  I chose American Harvest Eatery because it seemed the most authentic – listing the Farms they purchase from and a seasonal menu.  Online reviews didn’t give service high marks, but the food seemed consistent.  Housed in a strip mall surrounded by big box stores, it was not what I had pictured in my mind, but looks aren’t everything.

We started with a Honey Cheese Pot – sweet, rich, and a cute little name we couldn’t resist – whipped ricotta, apricot preserves and a fresh baguette from Katic Breads in Champaign.  I could eat this every morning with an over-size café au lait and believe I was in Paris.  A lovely, silky combination (and my Katic bread never tastes that fresh-must be the travel time to Peoria).  We also tried the Roasted Brussel Sprouts with bacon, maple soy brown butter and marcona almonds.  Salty, crunchy, sweet and savory.  Love the combination, but I like my brussel sprouts really roasted – like potatoes – with a crunchy, charred exterior.  Probably not very pretty on the plate!

Lamb sliders and a special barbeque pork sandwich paired well with Rolling Meadows Brewery Blood Orange Hefeweizen on tap.  RMB is a microbrewery located near Springfield that is not open to the public but sells their beers in and around Central IL.  June Restaurant in Peoria is listed as a vendor and Friar Tuck in Bloomington.  I usually am not a fan of fruit-flavored beers, but the orange was quite subtle and apparently the lot is now sold out for the season so I was lucky to try it!

You can’t possibly skip desert even if you’re stuffed, so we tried the milk chocolate cremeux – a thick, smooth, chocolate pudding with orange ice cream, burnt orange caramel and almond crumble.  Again that salty, sweet, crunchy combination that is such a wonder to your tastebuds.

Actually the service was fine, the food combinations nothing you find in Peoria, and worth the trip.  I would definitely go again.

Full and satisfied we circled back to Elkhart for the Prairie Travelling Vintage Show.  If you’re a fan of vintage 40’s-70’s clothes, furniture, housewares and knick-knacks, join their mailing list at prairievintage@gmail.com.  They are a group of vendors who travel around the Midwest and host pop-up vintage shows.  Great fun and choice vintage finds!

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