yea, last night while watching andrew zimmern they were wanting to know if I could fix them some snake-
oh sure honey I’ll run right out to the freezer and get some now..
hello reality check
They must really think that freezer is magical….
No problem. You check out half the spots on the way down and the other half on the way back home.
Thanks for all the info Buddy- that is quite the exhaustive list,
and more than I think even my empty legs boys can eat….
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
So, here I sits with my many Route 66 guides in front of me, hoping to find you some good options for some good eats.
If you’re really going to do Route 66 from the start in downtown Chicago, you can get your day going with breakfast at Lou Mitchells, located at the corner of Jackson and Jefferson.
Further on down the road (Ogden Avenue to be specific), in Cicero, you will find two more 66 originals, Henry’s Drive In, on the left, just past Austin Avenue, and Bunyon’s Drive in, a bit further down and on the right. You’ll know Bunyon’s by the giant towering over the entrance (the first of at least two giants associated with Route 66 drive ins), holding an equally giant hot dog. If you’re not interested in fast food, The Skylite Restaurant is at 6334 Ogden in Berwyn. They have a nice Route 66 display there.
As you approach Joliet there will be some interesting choices. First up is the Route 66 Cafe & Grill, just past LaGrange Road (Rt. 45). They do breakfast and lunch only so the timing might be just right for a midday meal. Next stop is the Route 66 Root Beer brewery at 6970 S. Wolf Rd., in Indian Head Park, (708) 784-0216. Not sure if or when they’re open to the public so call ahead. Also in Indian Head Park is the Wolf’s Head Inn. According to the guide; "very plain outside, but a treat to explore inside."
Next up is the Route 66/Roadfood classic, Del Rheas Chicken Basket. Guess what the house specialty is…
Just outside Lemont you will come across a non-food diversion, Montana Charlie’s Little America Flea Market. They’re only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but if you’re in the area and you like flea markets, this is a good one. Another fried chicken place, the well known White Fence Farm is about 2 miles down the road from Montana Charlie’s.
Three towns past Joliet you will be entering Wilmington, home of the other drive in with a giant in its parking lot, The Launching Pad. The Pad’s giant is eerily similar to the one outside Bunyon’s, except this one is wearing a bizarre 1950s influenced space helmet and instead of holding a giant hot dog in his hands, he cradles a miniature space ship, also vintage the ’50s.
Gardner is next with the Riviera Roadhouse. As you face it, the Riviera looks like an old farm house with a general store attached to it. The reality is that the general store is the kitchen and the restaurant is in the basement, with all the food coming down via a dumbwaiter. The room actually looks like a 1950s unfinished basement with concrete floors and walls, decorated for a neighborhood party.
Dad and I discovered the Riv on a return trip from Kansas City some years back. We were traveling up I-55 toward Chicago and I had remembered reading about the Riviera while making a pit stop at the Route 66 Hall of Fame at the Dixie Trucker’s Home. It was raining pretty hard and we wanted to stop anyway so we started looking for the Gardner exit.
We had just passed a sign for the Mazonia State Fish Farm when Gardner came up. We worked our way through town and after a couple of mis-turns we wound up in the Riviera parking lot. We dodged the raindrops and went downstairs to the basement. The rain had the the typical effect one would expect from a typical 1950s basement; there were puddles of water scattered throughout the room. We were skeptical to say the least, but there was something deeply endearing about the place and we didn’t want to go back out in all that rain so we stuck around.
Our waitress brought us our menus and I noticed that the selection was heavy on fish. I jokingly asked her if they got their fish from the nearby Mazonia State Fish Farm. Without missing a beat that dear woman snapped back, "Fish farm? Hell we just scoop ’em up off the floor!" It was at that moment I knew we were in the right place.
In Dwight you ll find Stark s Family Restaurant and Federson s Pizza Garage. We ve eaten at Federson s and it s okay. But ,20,363182.008,1,23309,184.108.40.206
363189,363182,363182,2008-01-25 16:22:41,RE: St.Louis/Springfield IL-Best bets w/11 yr old boys”
Ted Drewes is a must and on the list
The Candy Kitchen I understand is a daytime only stop for malted milk shakes.
The root beer place sounds great and we all LOVE a root beer.
I do keep hearing about horse shoe sandwiches but they just sound so unappealing greasy to me….
like a gallbladder attack on a plate
I’m not much of a french fry gal unless they are really good
as in fresh cut double fried (and on the dark side)
and as things evolve there is now flak from the boys that they want to drive to Amarillo-to the Big Texan don’t ya know…
This from two little big shots who couldn’t even finish a Big Wally hot Dog!
depends on how much driving the hubs wants to do….
I am a big fan of the Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis, which is like stepping back in time. Great sundaes, malts and atmosphere.
I took Alton Brown’s advice while STL this summer, and hit the 3 donut shops that he hit on Feasting on Asphalt:
World’s Fair Donuts
St. Louis Hills Donut Shop
all three were real good.
also got some cannoli and a gooey butter cake from the Missouri Baking Company on the Hill.
And of course you’ve got a stop for frozen custard at Ted Drewe’s planned for St. Louis, right?
Just a few blocks north of the Cozy Dog is Roadfood’s very own Dr. of BBQ. His bright yellow trailer will be on your left as soon as you pass under the viaduct. Because you’ll be dealing with one way streets, you need to go the next cross stret north of his spot, turn left and go to the next southbound street. Make another left turn and head back south to the Dr.’s lot.
Further south, in Litchfield, is the Ariston Cafe a frozen in time Route 66 classic from the ’20s.
North of Springfield, in Gardner is the Riviera Roadhouse, another throwback to ancient times (the first half of the 20th century). The Riviera is actually in the basement of the building. According to legend, back in the days when Route 66 was the main highway between Chicago and LA, the Riviera was a major stop and watering hole for some of Hollywood’s brightest stars.
More as I think of it…
Have a great trip,
looks like we’re doing a mini-66 over spring break,
from Chicago to merramec caverns-ish and back
(maybe a teeny bit further)
What recs do you have for eating places with our twin boys in tow?
They are pretty adventurous eaters,
but there’s a limit to how much pizza their Mom can take-
No limit on BBQ however [;)]
Cozy Dog is well-know to us and a given-
other don’t miss stops?
Also welcome are fun places for other activities-
keeping in mind it will be late March and some things are closed (Grant’s Farm) or unavailable (baseball)
St.Louis/Springfield IL-Best bets w/11 yr old boys
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