What do you do when your husband’s company picnic is scheduled for a gorgeous Sunday afternoon? Ride for breakfast and then to the party, of course!
At least, that’s what we did when that exact situation presented itself a few weeks ago. The picnic — at Sommer Park just outside Peoria — was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., giving us plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely Ride to Eat before making our appearance.
We decided to try Victoria’s Country Diner in Lacon. The reviews were excellent, and the location was just far enough from home for some quality wind time. Plus, the husband felt that since the water tower had been altered to say, “Bacon,” we “just had to” eat there — can’t argue with that logic!
The place was exactly what you’d picture when thinking “small town diner.” Most everyone seemed to know each other, so we “outsiders” stuck out a bit. Fortunately, the staff was really friendly and provided great service.
In addition to a packed lunch and dinner menu, Victoria’s offers an array of breakfast options — from eggs, meat and toast to omelets, sandwiches and griddle favorites.
A child at heart, I prefer my breakfast to taste more like dessert, so I got the Belgium Waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. Knowing you, my readers, may want something more substantial for breakfast, I also went for the small Biscuits and Gravy (at least, that’s how I justified it), and the husband ordered the Country Fried Steak with two eggs over easy, hash browns and English muffin.
After smiling back at my waffle, I dove in. The strawberries were broken down just enough to be soft and provide a light “glaze.” Topped with airy whipped cream, the dish was sweet but not too sweet, which is something I really like since too much sugar makes me crazy (think 5-year-old on Mt. Dew!). The waffle was crisp and surprisingly light.
The B&G also was quite good. The creamy gravy had plenty of sausage and provided a nice contrast to the traditional biscuits underneath.
While I was unable to finish my breakfast, he decimated his Country Fried Steak — and I can’t blame him! The light crunch of the breading paired well with the gravy and didn’t overpower the beef. I didn’t try the rest of his meal, but he was quite satisfied, noting the eggs were cooked perfectly to his liking.
Overall, our breakfast adventure was a great success, and we agreed we’d have to make it back to Victoria’s sometime soon to try lunch. But first, we had a picnic to get to.
We had a little time to spare after our meal, so we took advantage of it and found the nearest car wash. The bike had gotten quite dirty over the summer, earning a well-deserved bath. Before we knew it, it was bright and shiny again, and we were on our way — for a little while anyway!
Just outside town, I realized I should’ve asked for a pit stop a bit sooner. There’s not a whole lot on IL 26 between Lacon and Spring Bay, so my choices were limited. Thankfully, he remembered the Marshall County State Conservation Area has some outhouses close to the boat dock. It fit the need, but trust me, it wouldn’t be my first choice if for no other reason than the spiders.
Rolling over the McClugage Bridge, we spotted a house boat making its way upstream. I thought it was a great photo opp, so I very carefully fetched my phone from my purse and snapped the pic. What a beautiful way to spend a beautiful day!
Once on the Sommer Park property, I realized I hadn’t been there before. I was intrigued by the pioneer-era landscape and took it all in as we slowly worked our way back to where the party was being held. Of course, I had to get a shot in front of the old schoolhouse!
The party was a lot of fun, but we had been out most of the day and were ready for home, so we said our goodbyes and pointed the bike north.
Note: Victoria’s Country Diner is located at 223 N. Washington Street in Lacon, Ill., and opens daily at 5:30 a.m.