River Side Cafe in East Peoria

I was on the road a couple days last month from my home in the Chicago burbs to central Illinois. I was heading down there to be a speaker at a conference of the North American Millers' Association. I have a sister who lives just outside Bloomington, so I added another stop on the itinerary. I'm an author of two children's books and my sister has been urging me for a couple years to visit her kids' school to read to the kids and talk to them about being an author. So, it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. My nieces and nephew were excited to have me at school and it is always fun reading my stories to a young audience.

On day one of my trip I visited the school and then I went back to the hotel where I decided to stop for a bite at the hotel restaurant. I was staying at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria and settled in for a quiet bite all by myself, which almost never happens. I don't like dining solo and 99.9% I have my husband or my dad or one of my kids or a friend as my dining companion.

I spotted a steak burger on the menu that had Ropp cheese on it and I remembered that my penpal that I was assigned through the Illinois Farm Families City Moms blogger group was from that farm and I had to get it. The "Traffic Jam" Burger had house bacon jam and tomato jam (super yum!) with Ropp Farms White Cheddar. The burger was FANTASTIC! And there are a lot of spectacular burgers on the menus of restaurants in and around Chicago. This would give any of them some pretty stiff competition.

Instead of fries, I opted for a salad and it, too, was just pretty awesome. The bleu cheese dressing was amazing.

The next day, my speaking engagement was scheduled for the afternoon. So, I got together with my sis for lunch before heading there. After throwing out a few other places and trying to stay with something that wouldn't take too long, we opted to have lunch there at the hotel. So, knowing how delicious the burgers were, that's what I recommended to my sister and it's what I ordered. Yes, another burger the very next day at the very same place.

This time I got "Basic Burger" with smoked bacon, whole grain mustard aioli and American cheese along with some fries. Another very big thumbs up.

There are also tables outside with a spectacular river view. And should I find myself in the Peoria area again, I just may have to return for another burger.