Hayden's: Wilmington, IL

So the Chicago Foodie Sisters got together for a lunch date since the twins just had a birthday. One of the twins lived in Central Illinois, so we tried to pick a central location to meet. A place we had in mind that we'd been to before, Station 343 in Dwight, was closed on Sunday, so we had to pick out an alternate location. 

We ended up at Hayden's Crossing Bar & Grill in downtown Wilmington. It was a no-frills place in a quaint old building with lots of woodwork and exposed brick. I got the salmon, which was very good. Since we were there for lunch, I wasn't able to get a baked potato or rice (which aren't available until dinner time), but the waitress offered to substitute with mushroom - and they were really good, especially when dipped in ranch. I tried my sister's steak salad, which was really good and when I spotted my sister's hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, I definitely felt sad I'd ordered hot tea. I tried one spoonful, but would have really enjoyed more.

It was a pleasant place to stop for a bite and I wish I'd had more time to explore - the entire street was lined with antique shops. I also finally got to get a glimpse of the Gemini Giant located outside an eatery called The Launching Pad. The Gemini Giant is a statue I'd written about before in articles about muffler men and Route 66, but I hadn't seen it in person. Google it if you're not familiar - it's a lovely, nostalgic, roadside attraction.