After a couple breakfasts and a dinner Ride to Eat, I figured it probably was time for a new lunch adventure. So, I did a little research and soon discovered our next destination: Perdue’s Grill in Tremont.
Located inside a historic building — the Columbia Opera House, according to their website — Perdue’s is split into two sections: the dining room and the bar.
Our ride had started quite early that Sunday, as we had leaves to deal with that afternoon. Of course, that meant we arrived in Tremont much sooner than we had originally planned, around 11:15. We took two seats at the bar and slowly began to realize that we were the only people in the room. Why was EVERYONE else in the dining area? Turns out, the reason was simple: Due to a village blue law, there are no alcohol sales in Tremont before noon on Sundays. Fair enough.
With an iced tea for him and a cola for me, we looked over the menu. Perdue’s has the typical appetizer, soup, salad, burger and sandwich categories; however, they also offer homemade pizza and nine horseshoe setups. I particularly was intrigued by the Pork Kabobs, Footballs (fried mashed potato bites served with cheese sauce) and Pork Cordon Bleu (grilled tenderloin with ham, Swiss and raspberry vinaigrette). And don’t get me started on the Horseshoe Pizza — that’s some serious craziness!
He was craving something spicy, so he went with the Cajun Burger. Topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and chipotle mayo, the burger was served on a toasted bun that held up well under the slightly gooey sandwich. He really liked the Cajun seasoning on the burger, as well as the snap and heat of the jalapenos.
Stepping out of my normal box, I ordered the Shrimp Po’Boy. The hoagie roll was hearty without masking the four large shrimp and their toppings. I enjoyed the traditional lettuce and tomato, but my favorite part was the chipotle slaw. The creamy dressing cut the fried taste just enough to enhance the shrimp’s flavor.
We split an order of homemade Onion Rings that we both loved. The small, thin rings (my preferred style) had a super crunchy outer coating. I especially liked the really little rings, which practically caramelized under the batter — mmmmm.
Shortly before we finished our lunches, the bartender came by to say that it finally was beer o’clock. Appreciating his follow up and agreeing a Bloody Mary sounded good, we were tempted but instead just thanked him for the heads up and asked for our bill (those leaves would not rake themselves).
As we cruised along the river on our way home, I took in as much of the sunny day as I could, realizing riding season was about over for the year. The blue water rippled in the light wind, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a photo. We turned off IL 116 in to East Port Marina and lined up a shot with the city’s skyline in the background. Satisfied with my amateur photography, we were back on our way.
Back on our side of the Illinois River, we took our normal route home: IL 29 north. I noticed a barge a couple miles ahead of us, so I carefully extracted my phone from my purse and snapped a few pictures as we rode by. Since the river is so narrow at that point, the channel is closer to the shore, resulting in the barges being closer to the highway for a better look.
Having grown up in a house with an action movie fan, I am quite familiar with the crazy scenarios that sometimes make you think, “No way!” Well, the husband and I have this joke about this particular part of the highway that is based on that exact concept.
As you’ll notice in the photo, the road is right next to the train tracks that are on the shore right next to where the barges run. And what you can’t see is that up the river valley from parts of that highway is Grandview Drive. So, picture this…
Steven Seagal is in a wild car chase down the twisty-turney scenic parkway and manages to bump the bad guy’s car, forcing him over the edge. After a rough ride down the cliff face, he launches off the retaining wall for the highway, through the empty trailer of a semi and over a fully loaded coal train, landing on a barge shored up on the bank!
Don’t think Steven Seagal would do it? Possibly not, but you know they would so use that scene if they were doing another Fast and the Furious movie!
Well, now you know what kept my mind occupied on the rest of the ride home.
Note: Perdue’s Grill is located at 201 S. Sampson Street in Tremont, Ill., and opens at 11 a.m. daily.