Jeanette Kendall knows East Peoria. She’s the editor and reporter of the East Peoria Times-Courier (in addition to being the Executive Editor at Times Newspapers in Peoria) and she’s also the author of, “Images of America: East Peoria” which was published last year by Arcadia Publishing. You can check out the book by clicking right here.
I’ve been wanting to go back to Carl’s Bakery in East Peoria and have lunch and take some photos of the giant chicken outside and Jeanette agreed to join me. Her office is in the Peoria Journal Star building, a place I haven’t been to in over twenty years, so I thought it would be fun to start there and then head over to East Peoria for lunch and a few photos of the giant chicken outside of Carl's. So it’s off to the MBIP moblie we go!
Down the road we go into the wild blue yonder with melting snow on the road, love to see that and hopefully spring will soon be sprung!
Here we are at the Peoria Journal Star Building. I haven't been in this place for over twenty years, the outside hasn't changed a bit.
Let's enter and see what's happening inside.
It's amazing, the lobby in here hasn't changed one bit. It's like walking into a time machine. The last time I was in here I was told that you, "Just don't walk in off of the street and write for the Peoria Journal Star." It's a long story and one you've probably heard a billion times if you know me. Anyway, time to let that go and move forward!
And forward we move as we meet the receptionist, Christi, who's very friendly and we had a nice chat about the newspaper and some of the people she's met while being a receptionist here. She told me she once had to entertain Rod Blagojevich which sounded like quite a hairy experience!
I next met Laura who was with the Journal Star for two decades and is now working for TimesNewspapers. She knows the woman who told me that, "You just don't walk in off the street and write for the Peoria Journal Star," but I really need to let that go. So let's just move on...
While talking to Laura, Marlo approached me and it turns out she wrote an article for POP magazine back in the day about the old Julien Hotel downtown. She's now an editor here and it was great to see her again!
And here's today's luncheon guest star, Jeanette Kendall at her desk in her office.
As I took this picture, something told me I was off track and I needed to return to Jeanette...
And here she is, clutching her "Dammit Doll." We had a nice conversation about writing, Peoria, East Peoria, newspapers, blogs, TV shows and then we remembered that Carl's Bakery closes at 2PM, so we needed to hit the road!
Here we are on the aforementioned road and there's Carl's Bakery straight ahead, time to play chicken!
There he is, the big chicken in front of Carl's Bakery. Speaking of Carl's Bakery, I need another shot with the bakery in the background...
There we go, let's get inside and out of this snow and let lunch begin!
The chicken doesn't stop with the giant bird outside, here's one on top of a big-ass doughnut and as you'll see, there's more to come...
Let's go inside and you'll see what I mean.
See what I mean? And it's only just the beginning!
There's the front counter, since it's near closing time it's almost out of their famous doughnuts and apple fritters.
Hey, what's that over there...
They have Jeanette's book for sale in here, very cool!
Here's Carla who was working behind the counter and reluctantly let me take a photo of her back there.
And here's more chickens on some plates hanging on the wall.
Here's one guarding the coffee machine.
And here's a whole group of chickens on a shelf, I think they're planning a break-out, but I'll never tell!
These two women told me that they're regulars in here and the lady on the left said she'd tell her granddaughter that she was going to be on the internet. So if you're tuning in, granddaughter, check out your grandma here, exclusively on MBIP!
There's the silhouette of Jeanette back at our booth. Time for me to join her and let our lunch time begin.
And here we are, Carla just took our order and lunchtime is officially under way.
We each got an order of coleslaw to start off with. It's freshly made on the premises and very tasty.
Jeanette got the grilled cheese and homemade potato wedges...
I got the famous broasted chicken and the potato wedges. I'm not quite sure how you "broast" something, but the chicken was delicious. Crispy on the outside and really juicy on the inside. And the potato wedges were an unexpected treat, Carla suggested that we put butter on them and eat them like little baked potatoes and that's what we did and they were delicious!
Of course Carl's Bakery is featured in Jeanette's book and here she is showing the page it's featured on.
On the way out Jeanette's editorial eyes saw the perfect closing shot: A copy of the Times-Courier in front of a Carl's coffee mug! I snapped the photo and we were on our way. We'll see you all tomorrow!
Thoughts For Food
Favorite pizza in Peoria (or nearby, this applies to all questions): Palanza's in Sunnyland.
Favorite local restaurant: Lorena's Mexican Restaurant in East Peoria.
Best local ice cream and favorite flavor: Ice Cream Shack. Flavor: Vanilla.
If you could take a trip back in time, where would you eat a meal in Peoria? It has to be Hunts or Bishops.
Even though you should try to eat local, the one chain restaurant in Peoria I would recommend is: Panera.
Favorite local sandwich: The cheeseburger at the Fillin' Station in Sunnyland.
Best little out of the way joint I know is: Pepper's Cafe in Peoria.
Someplace that has really good pub grub is: Ludy’s or anywhere that has fried pickles.
My favorite spot for breakfast is: Childer's on University.
Favorite place for lunch: The Emerald Tea Room in East Peoria.
If you had to choose a last meal in Peoria, what would it be (feel free to use items from different restaurants): The pub cheese and crackers from the Patio Inn, the rice entree with cherries in it from Sizzling India on Main Street (don't know if it's still there); a salad from One World, the cheese and chocolate fondue from Mango and a strawberry lemonade from Red Robin.
Carl's Bakery & Restaurant
819 E. Camp Street