Midwest Eating Tour

Eating our way through each state is what we do best.

PhilBillPaul and I took a whirlwind trip for a wedding.

On the drive up in the middle of the night, we began our day with a less than stellar breakfast at Denny’s. The grand slam that wasn’t.

We did laugh (and feel a little sick) reading about this new twist on a grilled cheese.

Are you kidding me? Yes, that is four fried cheese sticks inside the grilled cheese. I LOVE cheese but seriously? Don’t even look at the nutritional info for this scary sandwich.

We did not order this. We did discuss that several of our children would have.

For lunch we used that not-handy GPS that took us to a non-existent Culver’s. We would not be deterred and drove around in circles until we found one. Thank goodness because while I’ve had Culver’s several times in the past few years, PhilBillPaul reminded me on the whole trip, he had not.

We made it to the Quad Cities in time for rehearsal dinner with a beautiful wedding the next day.

You know you are old when you attend the wedding of the baby that was about to be born the weekend you were getting married 24 years ago.

picture “lifted” from Dan’s facebook page

We celebrated our anniversary on Monday, 10-10 in the town we got married in after we watched that baby get married on 10-8-11.

It was an extra special wedding since that baby’s mom is a sorority sister and the baby also became a Pi Phi. That’s a story for another blog post.

Thanks Ann and Dan for being such lovely hosts and allowing us to celebrate with you on this important day.

We dined with that baby’s parents the day after the wedding. Village Inn breakfast with pumpkin pancakes with pecans. Oh my.

We do love visiting all the restaurants we don’t have in the South.

PhilBillPaul had just one night before he flew home for work and to hold down the fort so we were able to have Sunday dinner with my mother and siblings at our favorite italian restaurant in Rockford ~ Lino’s.

How can you beat an October dinner special of half lasagna and half pasta of your choice, salad, coffee and ice cream for $7.00? Yum!

On Monday before his flight, we crammed in an orchard visit.

Fond memories at the orchard where we have visited for so many years. Everett’s first visit was when he was about six weeks old.

They’ve all picked berries and had cider donuts in the cellar.

And pie.

It was nostalgic mixed with a little sadness that it has turned into a big orchard business machine.

I only bought one.

On our way to O’Hare, we got a perfect sausage and cheese pizza from Anna Marie’s.

That was his anniversary present. I’m pretty sure pizza is for 24 years. PhilBillPaul sweetly said he’s looking forward to the next 24 and we both agreed a trip without our 4 darlings was a very good present to ourselves.

Or maybe 24 years is honey? I could never keep track of that stuff. My sister kindly picked up 2 lbs. of Midwest honey for him because he doesn’t like most of the honey we’ve tried in the South.

We were both bummed we couldn’t squeeze in a meal at Gray Brothers but we just didn’t have time.

I continued the eating tour without him and had lunch with a high school friend. We hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years. We had lots to catch up on and lunch might have lasted until 5:30. Hi Melodi!

Movie night with sisters and mom meant one more Midwest pizza with Wisconsin cheese that embarrasses the cheese down South.

Dinner with two high school friends. {I really failed at food pictures on this trip and you know my point and shoot and cell phone photo skills are so awesome – guess I was too busy eating but trust me, the Wisconsin cheese curds on this night were delish.}

I squeezed in dinner with one of my aunts on my drive home.

After a good night’s sleep at an Indy hotel (thank you Toni!) and preparing my self mentally for the long drive home by myself, I did a quick search for a vintage drive-in with my kind of food.

I scored big.

It reminded me of the first drive-in I can ever remember going to called “The Teepee.” It was a giant treat when we were kids and our dad drove us to this cool place for the best cheeseburgers ever.

I was sure a cheeseburger wouldn’t be as good as the ones I remember fondly so I opted for a pork tenderloin sandwich.

It was a great choice and took me back to a time when we had pork fritters from the freezer at my Grandad’s farm. Definitely a Midwest thing!

Crinkle fries and coke with crushed ice. My personal little heaven.

Ketchup, salt and extra napkins in brown bag without even asking. Top notch service warranted a generous tip!

Loved every bite – it was a great meal to eat as I headed back to Georgia.

Late in the day, I found Culver’s (again) for one last treat before I crossed into Tennessee.

Don’t judge.

Thank you Bowling Green. Pumpkin pecan custard was flavor of the day and with caramel topping added, I was one happy driver!

Consider this your personal eating guide if you need to travel from Georgia to Illinois or back again.

I arrived home safely at almost midnight and was back in the car with PhilBillPaul and Scary Baby on Saturday so we could see the darling twins up at Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega.

That one in uniform was suppose to march in the parade but volunteered to take pictures instead because her little feet hurt in her tiny, shiny elf shoes.

I love everything about Fall – especially the food! Be sure to share any Midwest favorites in the comment section and I’ll add them to my list for next time.


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Melodi says:

    Yeah! I made the blog! My fifteen minutes of fame! I think I need one of those 4 hour lunches about once a month! 🙂 Glad you made it home safe – I have just one question – Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? Tee hee hee!

  2. 2

    Glad you had a great time in the Midwest! We are always glad to help you with any olfactory or taste sensations. Love the entrance photo of me and Alex – I hadn’t seen that one yet!
    Kathleen North recently posted..Unfolding soon on a campus near you

    • 2.1
      Sherra says:

      I still have several great photos to send you and your mom. I’m sure you already have compiled a digital album, journaled and printed mini books as favors for the wedding party. LOL Really, you were a beautiful bride and I can’t wait to hear when you start your event planning business!

  3. 3
    Ann says:

    Dan and I were thrilled that you and Phil made the trip up to see our lovely daughter get married! It’s so awesome that you were there with me for her sorority initiation as well as her wedding! When are you coming up again??? XXXXOOO

  4. 4
    ~julie says:

    Culver’s is the BEST, though I do miss Friendly’s. Do they still exist? Was wondering when you would post fall apple run photos. Congrats to the happy couples (10/8/11 and 10/10/1987). Would be fun for you to celebrate every fifth year or so together. Perhaps the proud parents/old friends could throw a joint 5 year/29 years and counting anniversary party for you both.

    • 4.1
      Sherra says:

      Friendly’s? A midwest chain vaguely familiar so I had to consult my friend Google about. Don’t think I ever lived close to one because how could I have totally missed it? Farrell’s ice cream parlor I remember when we lived in Michigan but sadly, no Friendly’s–thinking maybe it’s popular in Ohio?

      I’ll suggest the party idea to Ann. I’m just thinking the newly married may not want to hang with the old married folk. LOL


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