Clay Deal sent me an email shortly after I started this blog, telling me how much he enjoyed it. I appreciated hearing that and I ended up going out with he and his wife, Lisa. We had a good time and I found out that he’s the Integrated Marketing Specialist at Xapsis, which is a local marketing firm. You can read more about Xapsis here, what I like about this company is that it’s a true local business, all the work, which consists of design, copywriting and programming is done right here in downtown Peoria.
After I met Clay, I kept running into people who are Xapsis clients. My friend Tim who’s the co-owner of Emack & Bolio’s hired Xapsis to design their website. It turns out that my friends at Kitchen Cooked Potato Chips are also a client of Xapsis and I keep hearing ads for Xapsis on the radio.
So I decided to have lunch with Clay and Doug Fouts, who’s the Managing Director of Xapsis and the original founder of the company and hear more about what they do. Clay suggested we eat at Adams Street Cafe, which I found out is a downtown cafe that’s been in business for years and I’ve never been there. Perfect! Let’s go to lunch.
It's a nice day out as we head to downtown Peoria.
And here we are, I've driven by Adams Street Cafe many times, but I've never gone in. Time to check it out!
Here's today's specials. They have a pretzel roll sandwich, I'm finding out that pretzel rolls are big here in Peoria, this is my third encounter with them since I've started this blog. As always, I'm early (are you catching this Duncester,) so let's go in and wander around until Clay and Doug get here.
The front room in here is big and with the glass walls up front, it allows a lot of light to come in.
As you can see, there's an extensive menu in here and they're having Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday. I'd love to come, but as I stated yesterday, I'm going to my parents for pizza and beer for Mother's Day.
Here's the owner of the Adams Street Cafe, Joe Slyman. Joe's a friendly and gregarious host and it turns out I went to high school with his brother Floyd. Hi, Floyd! Adams Street Cafe has the distinction of being the oldest family owned cafe in downtown Peoria. Let's take a little tour of the place.
Tables line the walls in the back and face the orange striped walls.
There's lots of pictures on the walls, which I always love, let's take a gander at some of them.
He autographed the wall in here, very cool!
For some reason this Santa photo creeps me out. Yikes!
There's lots of fun little trinkets to look at all over the place in here.
Here's a table with a little diner on it along with a mini doghouse and some flyers and business cards, hey...
How'd those get there? Har dee har har!
Alright, it's just about time for Clay and Doug to arrive on the scene, let's go outside and wait for them.
And as soon as I step outside, I run into the aforementioned Clay and Doug. After a shake of the hands and some exchanging of the pleasantries, we decided to go back in and have some lunch.
Adams Street Cafe is popular and as you can see a line has formed. I think I can guess where most guys eyes are pointed at right now, no ands, ifs or butts about it!
Here's Joe telling us about the daily specials. It's worth the price of admission just to hear Joe describe the food of the day in here. He's really passionate about what he serves and it's fun to listen to his vivid descriptions of the food of the day. Today he was really pushing the pretzel roll sandwich.
We ordered and the food arrived in record time. Clay got the Adams Street Combo Sub with homemade potato chips.
Doug got the New York Sloppy Joe in honor of my former stomping grounds.
Joe was so passionate about the pretzel roll sandwich, I just had to order it. I also got the homemade chips.
And I'm glad I ordered it. The sandwich is sliced turkey, gouda cheese, spicy brown mustard on a fresh pretzel roll. Delicious!
It was a great lunch and I really enjoyed talking to Clay and Doug about Xapsis. The company is just three years old, but it's dealing out state of the art ideas for local businesses in this area and they also have clients all over the country. Xapsis provides integrated marketing for businesses via website design and development, search engine optimization, social media strategies, and mobile web marketing. Very cool to hear about such forward thinking being done in Peoria's business community.
And then, poof! We were gone like the wind, leaving just two cups, some MBIP business cards and a pen in our wake. I gotta quit leaving pens behind! Thanks to Clay and Doug for having lunch with me and to Joe Slyman for being such a gracious host. We'll see you all tomorrow.
Food For Thought
Favorite pizza in Peoria (or nearby, this applies to all questions): Clay: Double A’s. Doug: Thin Crust: Knuckles, Thick Crust: Old Chicago.
Recommendation for Saturday Night Cheeseburger: Clay: Kaydee Kats. Doug: Smashburger.
Best local ice cream and favorite flavor: Clay: Emack’s! Doug: Emack & Bolio’s, Lemon Sorbet (with real lemon chunks!)
If you could take a trip back in time, where would you eat a meal in Peoria? Clay: Not because of the food, but I’d pick the old Denny’s that use to be on Sterling. My Mom, Dad and I would always stop there on the way back from picking my Dad up at the airport when he’d fly back in from work. Doug: Shakey’s Pizza, after church on a Sunday afternoon.
Even though you should try to eat local, the one chain restaurant in Peoria I would recommend is: Clay: Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. Doug: Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse.
Favorite local sandwich: Clay: The Cuban at One World or the Horseshoe at Richards on Main. Doug: The Big Club at Abe’s Deli.
Best little out of the way joint I know is: Clay: Man, I don’t get out enough...but I’d say the Warehouse in Hanna City (Connected to Gil’s.) Doug: The Burger Barge.
Someplace that has really good pub grub is: Clay: Donnely’s Pub. Doug: The Fox Pub and Cafe.
My favorite spot for breakfast is: Clay: Childers on University. Doug: Le Peep.
If you had to choose a last meal in Peoria, what would it be (feel free to use items from different restaurants): Clay: Kouri’s Cheese cubes, Double A’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and a skillet cookie from the old Cheddar’s for dessert. Doug: Have to think about this...