A couple weeks ago I was buying beer at Huck’s and a couple approached me and said they read MBIP every day and that they really enjoy it, which made my night. Their name’s are Chip and Jennifer, check out the photo at the end of this post at the Bonus Photo. The next day I got an email from Chip Joyce and today he’s the guest star on this week’s, “Lunch With...” post. See how easy this is? Say hi to me and you get to be a special guest star on MBIP. Let’s go meet Chip and see what his story is.
Here we are at today's lunch destination, Apple's Bakery. Like so many places in Peoria, I haven't been here in years, I had lunch here about a decade ago. I'd say I'm overdue for a return visit.
Obligatory somewhat psychedelic doorway mirror shot. This is kind of acid-flashback inducing. Kind of a nice way to start the lunch hour!
It's very nice and homey inside of here and the bakery smells are fantastic.
And so the MBIP card is dropped, let's see if I win!
And I also gave a card to Jackie, who's one of the many friendly people on duty here today. She served me up an iced tea. As always, I'm early, so let's go take a look around and find a table to sit at.
There's the kitchen, where the baking magic happens.
Here's the tables in the front room, it's nice in here, but a little too bright for my tastes. Let's keep looking for a table elsewhere.
This back room is somewhat shielded from the sunlight and it's got a comfortable feel to it...
And here's the table I chose. I marked our territory with my iced tea cup and went out in search of toys.
And look, here's a whole box of them. Oh happy day!
I surrounded some dinosaurs with armed and dangerous angry army men at our table. You could cut the excitement with a knife, but I don't have one. I need to find out where they put the silverware in this place.
Who’s that man behind the Foster Grant’s? Why it’s none other than this week’s special luncheon guest star Chip Joyce! Chip’s a Peoria native who grew up in the East Bluff and continues to live there now. He went to Woodruff High School and is currently an Account Executive for Radio Peoria and he represents the following radio stations around town: Power 92.3, 105.7 The Rocks, WGLO Classic Rock, River 97.3 and WVEL. Chip’s also involved in Peoria’s theatre scene, which he describes as, “vibrant.” As a director, he’s directed numerous productions locally, his next one is "Jekyll & Hyde" at Eastlight in June. He also recently appeared as "Hedwig" in the hit production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at Corn Stock Winter Playhouse. Chip also writes and he’s working on a couple of stories for MBIP, so be on the lookout for his byline to pop up here on one of these weekends!
Here Chip performs a scene from an upcoming one-man play he’s written called, “Clap On, Clap Off.” I’d tell you more about it, but Chip said he’d have me disposed of if I gave any more of the plot away. You’ll just have to wait for it to go into production, so there! Chip’s an interesting guy and we had a great conversation. That’s one of the things I love about doing this blog, meeting cool people and making new friends.
We're here for lunch and so it's off to the ordering area we go. Here's Chip checking out the menu.
Here's Char another friendly behind the counter person, waiting to take our order. I love her smile!
The orders are written down...
And baboom, through the magic of the interwebs, lunch is served! Chip got one of the wraps on the menu and it's served with chips and an orange slice, which is a nice touch of irony on a plate, considering the name of this place is Apple's.
Thumbs up...okay, that's a wrap. See all this theatre lingo I've learned from Chip?
I got the ham and cheese which is served on freshly baked homemade bread and a pasta salad.
The bread here is amazing! It's got a bit of a sweet taste to it and it's delicious!
Since it's a bakery, Chip and I decided to get some dessert. Should we eat healthy and get the low fat granola?
Naaahhh, let's get some fattening cookies! We let Jackie pick out some cookies and here she presents them in wonderful Home Shopping Network style!
Wow, check these cookies out! The first is a frosted lemon bar, the next is an M&M cookie, then a chocolate chip and the last one is called a "Monster Cookie." I'm guessing that monster's taste a little like chicken, we'll see.
In honor of the Monster Cookie, I saved this dinosaur from the army men firing squad. I want to thank Chip for joining us for lunch at Apple's Bakery. It was a great lunch! See you all tomorrow.
Thoughts For Food
Favorite pizza in Peoria (or nearby, this applies to all questions): The Pizza Peel in Lacon. Incredibly charming place and some of the best pizza ever. (But Bacci Pizza by Bradley is also my jam, big time.)
Recommendation for Saturday Night Cheeseburger: Kaydee Kats all the way.
If you could take a trip back in time, where would you eat a meal in Peoria? Far too many. It would have to be a full dining tour. Oogie’s was a great place I loved in high school. Pepe Taco was the family favorite. Lots of memories of Hunt’s, King’s, and the Woodcutter with my grandparents.
But if I only get one, I think I would choose Heritage House. I have incredibly faint memories of dining there as a tyke. My grandma used to tell stories of her friend who would line her purse with baggies and sneak food home from there. Her theory was “It says all you can eat-they don’t say you have to eat it here.” Smart lady.
However, I’d trade eating a meal back in time if I could experience one last movie at Westlake Cinema (with contraband penny candy from Ben Franklin or Webbers Grocery Store).
Even though you should try to eat local, the one chain restaurant in Peoria I would recommend is: Wingstop or Qdoba. I eat at both so much. And both are locally-owned franchises, so you’re still supporting fellow Peorians.
Favorite local sandwich: Probably the roast beef sandwich from Castles’ Patio Inn. But if anyone can suggest where to find the best Monte Cristo in town, I’m listening…
Best little out of the way joint I know is: The Hungry Moose on Farmington Rd. A great diner owned by friends. Heavy on quality and light on the wallet.
Someplace that has really good pub grub is: The Fieldhouse has some pub grub that’s really ahead of the curve. I can never make up my mind what to order there, it’s all so good.
My favorite spot for breakfast is: Probably Childers, a local classic. I haven’t eaten out for breakfast in Peoria as much as I’d like to lately.
If you had to choose a last meal in Peoria, what would it be (feel free to use items from different restaurants): Wow. Another tough call. I know it would involve Chilli cheese dogs from Emo’s, cheese spread from Castle’s, fried pickles from anywhere, and the homemade potato chips with Parmesan salt from Salt.