If you are looking for a lot of food at a reasonable price while traveling old Route 66 through Bloomington, Illinois, Shannon’s Five Star will fill the bill. Located where the Five Star Truck Stop used to be, it is a diner / coffee shop serving three square meals a day Monday through Saturday and breakfast on Sunday until noon.
Daily specials range from meat loaf on Monday to walleye on Friday, and the regular lunch and dinner menu includes steaks and fried chicken, hamburgers and Italian beef, and all sorts of fried sides: cheese balls, onion rings, French fries, mushrooms, and chicken strips.
Breakfast is the meal we enjoyed, especially a huge and hearty hash brown potato plate that includes thin-sliced ham (or sausage or bacon) laced among the spuds along with grilled onions, melted cheese, and sausage gravy … plus eggs, if desired. It is not technically a Springfield horseshoe, but it has all the sledgehammer authority of one. Insatiable appetites also will want to know about the breakfast skillet: another ginormous meal of fried potatoes, onions, and peppers topped with ham, bacon, and sausage (all three), eggs, and sausage gravy.
Shannon’s is a large, friendly place with speedy service that includes coffee refills throughout the meal. While we wouldn’t take a day’s detour to eat here, we will return when ravening for big breakfast in Bloomington.