It's become a yearly tradition here at MBIP to go get a taste of Hunts Family Restaurant in the summertime. I know it's been closed for years, but there's still a place here in Peoria where the Hunts Family tradition and summer ice cream recipes live on and that's in the Snack Shop at Proctor Hospital. You can read the original post about my Hunts discovery by clicking here, but basically I learned that Faith Hunt, the wife of Hunt's owner, Gordon Hunt was a volunteer at the Proctor Snack Shop for 35 years and she gave them the recipes for all the Hunt's ice cream treats years ago. The original typed recipes are on the kitchen wall in the snack shop for proof! It's mid July and I think it's time to make our yearly summer stop at Proctor Snack Shop, where the Hunts ice cream legacy lives on!
But first, let's travel to the corner of N. Park and Farmington Road and see what's there these days in place of the legendary Hunts Family Restaurant and Drive-In.
And here we are at the corner on Farmington Road where Hunts used to be. Two years ago I came here and looked around and haven’t been back since, so I thought we’d take a look around before we go get our ice cream treats. The building off to the right is now a place called, Royal Hookah and I thought it might be interesting to stop in there, but they don’t open till late afternoon, so I’ll have to come back and do a post from here after work some night. I think this is the only hookah bar in town, so we’ll come back and see what the story is in here, stay tuned for that! Next door to that is a hair salon, called, Do or Dye. Well, I checked the door and looked in the window and they appear to be closed. Looks like something didn’t get done and they up and died! Okay, I’m in the mood for a Hunts ice cream treat after this little excursion so it’s off we go to...
Proctor Hospital which is now called: UnityPoint Health - Methodist/Proctor but I still just call it, Proctor. So there! In we go through the giganzo revolving door and here we are in the lobby and there’s the Sodas ‘N Snacks shop over there...
I love the blazing neon sign above the counter in here!
As we approach the counter I see two familiar faces and one brand new one! From left: Diana, Jean and Toine. I met Jean and Toine in past trips, but I’ve never met Diana and since she’s the new one on the block in here, it was decided that she’d make the Hunts treat for the afternoon! I decided on a chocolate ice cream soda and if you don’t believe that they use the old Hunts recipes, here’s proof...
Behind the counter are the original recipes all typed up. I’ve blocked out some of the type because they’re secret recipes and if I published them I might get my legs broken! Okay, time for Diana to to step up and make the chocolate ice cream soda!
Check it out, she’s done this before! Diana flew into action mixing ingredients and adding just the right amount of ice cream and whipped cream and the last step is the cherry on top! Outstanding work, Diana!
Here’s the chocolate soda in all its glory and myself and Diana holding the finished product. I’ve got an official hair net on, just in case there was an impromptu health inspection during the making of the chocolate soda!
Now let’s grab a table and sample this summertime Hunts ice cream treat!
Wow, I’m always amazed at how good these Hunts sodas are in here! It certainly takes me back to the old days of having a sweet treat at Peoria’s premiere drive-in and family restaurant!
And as you can see from this menu, you can get a full lunch in here and the prices are more than reasonable and this place is open to the public, it’s a real hidden gem for lunch in Peoria!
And the nostalgic sweets aren’t limited to Hunts ice cream selections, there’s also cakes and individually wrapped thumbprint cookies from Trefzger’s Bakery!
And for a final photo, I thought I’d put up an original menu from Hunts Family Restaurant and Drive-In that I got from Urban Artifacts! Memories! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Proctor Snack Shop
Proctor Hospital (Near the main entrance)
5409 N Knoxville Avenue