Even though this blog is called, "Meanwhile Back In Peoria," it’s subtitled, “A Travel Blog In and Around The River City” and sometimes I venture outside of Peoria. One nearby city I stop by now and again is Pekin, Illinois and below are 15 posts from our neighboring city featuring dining, shopping and cultural points of interest that I’ve spotlighted in the last five and a half years of doing this blog.
Saturday Suggestions: Eating & Shopping In Pekin
You have to get up early to enjoy Spudnut Donuts, but as this post from 2013 shows, it’s worth the early morning trip!
Maurie’s of Pekin
Maurie’s is a legendary Pekin shop for candy, ice cream, coffee, magazines, books and now they have a full kitchen as well!
Pekin Daily Times
I will always have a special place in my heart for the Pekin Daily Times as they were the first newspaper to ever pay me to write feature stories and it was through Kent Davy (my editor) that I ended up living in New York City for 19 years. This post features a tour of the paper and newsroom back in 2014 and I’ve also posted some of the features I wrote for the paper back in the early ‘90’s.
East Court Village
This is a post from last May where I went to the spot in Pekin that used to be the Pekin Mall and I payed my last respects to the Bergner’s that’s now closed.
Sangalli’s Italian Steakhouse
The most recent post from Pekin, is from a Saturday night dinner a few weeks ago at a fairly new Italian steakhouse in Pekin where I had a great meal and a nice evening.
This is a road trip that I took with MBIP pal and Wheelman, Scott Turley to Jimbo’s Jumbo’s sandwich shop for the 17th week of the year-long MBIP sandwich tour.
JR’s Mini Mall
Link: #CaptainsKids—Part II
I love this post! I had put up a picture of Captain Jinks with some kids back in 2013 and asked if anyone knew who the kids were and where they are now. To show the power of the internet, within 15 minutes of putting that up, I got an email from Robert Owens telling me that it was him and his cousins. He owns and operates a store in Pekin called JR’s Mini Mall and I met him there and got a photo of him and took a tour of his store in Pekin.
Speakeasy Art Center
Brandon Hovey wrote this story about the Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin back in 2013.
Cobbler’s Corner and Roxy’s Lanes
Cobbler’s Corner and Roxy’s Lanes have both been in business in Pekin for decades and I visited both of them two years ago.
Maquet’s Rail House
I had dinner at this fine Pekin restaurant with Erik Reader back in 2016. Check out the photo of Erik stuffing a hamburger into his face!
Bob Gordon and I had the 51st sandwich of a year-long sandwich tour at Andy’s Diner in Pekin just about a year ago.
This was the start of the fourth month of the MBIP Year of Pizza tour and I visited and had some great pizza at Mickie’s Pizzeria back in 2014.
Rock Of Ages
Link: Shop Hop—Rock Of Ages
Rock of Ages record store has been in business for decades and I visited it and took a tour of it four years ago.
McCritter’s Bar & Grill
The shortest food tour I’ve ever done here on MBIP was a six week soup tour. Back in 2015, I went with my friends Kevin, Star and Nathalie to McCritters for the last stop and it ended with a whole tray of different soups!
Cranwill’s is Pekin’s only drive-in restaurant and I had a couple hot dogs here back in 2013. I need to stop back there this summer, stay tuned for that!
Maurie’s of Pekin
This is one of my all-time favorite posts! While doing a story on Maurie’s of Pekin, I took photos of graffiti in the basement from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and asked if anyone knew anyone who had written some of this graffiti and lo and behold I heard from Tracy Dirst who told me that she had met her husband because of this graffiti. You can read the whole story and see pictures of Tracy and Steve Dirst and their graffiti love at this post from 2015.