Not That Springfield – The Food

One thing to always consider when traveling is where to eat. I’m all for exploring the local flavor and completely avoid, at all costs, the hotel experience.

Since I was in the Midwest, I hadn’t had any comfort food lately, and I could see the sign from my hotel room, I had lunch at  Bob Evans.  Did you know they have a “55 & Over” Menu? Smaller portions of the food that matters.

Chicken Fried Steak.

A pleasant surprise was the offer of “take-out sweet tea”. Yesandthankyou.

Ok, So we already know Springfield, IL is not Simpson’s Springfield. I had hoped if it was, coupled with the birthplace of Lincoln, I’d be drowning in awesome history.   Up till lunch on my second day, my only Lincoln Experience was, Lincoln Taxi. Eddie and Rock had taken my back and forth for lunch to The Jolly Tamale .

I ordered the special, Two Sanchos (basically a meat burrito) and drink (sweet tea, of course!). I then realized they have sopapillas! Since my last sopapilla order was in Philly and resulted in cinnamon and sugar-coated chips, I knew I need to snag a real one.

Eventually I made my way downtown via my Lincoln cab driver, Big Boy Bob. Let’s just say, he was so big, he drove the car with his left foot and could drive his taxi with one eye on the road and one eye on me. Just sayin’

BBB dropped me off downtown and I made my way to Cafe Brio. This snug restaurant (where there were plenty of wall outlets for the phone) was a welcome relief in my search for genuine dining. My only other options were  Bennigan’s and an upscale steak house.

I ordered the Spinach Salad – Spinach, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Goat Cheese, Pecans, Poached Apples, Hot Bacon Vinaigrette

The portions were reasonable and the warm bacon vinaigrette was a surprising taste to the salad.

Before heading back to the hotel, I wanted to walk around downtown, so I took the suggestion of a local and went to The Celtic Mist.

They had PBR,  and of course Miller Lite, but I tried out the 312. The local “urban ale”.

Finally! A Springfield experience outside the life of hotel living!

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