Tag Archives: Ride to Eat

Catalpa Grove Tavern — May 5, 2018

With the rare opportunity for a Saturday afternoon ride, we carefully considered our lunch options. Since I was thinking a little outdoor dining sounded good and we had not yet eaten there, Catalpa Grove Tavern was the obvious choice.

Our tires hummed along the highway, and I soon found myself lost in the rhythm of the ride, easing into a peaceful groove. As the last of my cares dissolved in the wind, we rounded the last corner into Toulon and the Catalpa Grove parking lot.

The “outdoor” bar hadn’t yet opened for the day, so we grabbed two stools at the large U-shaped main bar and explored the menu.

Catalpa Grove Tavern

The main dining area at Catalpa Grove Tavern in Toulon, Ill., has a large bar and quite a bit of natural light.

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McMahon’s Pints and Plates — December 3, 2017

Whenever the Midwestern winter holds off long enough for a ride in December, we just gotta take advantage of the opportunity.

On this particular Sunday, the BikerSpot Magazine was hosting Funday at McMahon’s Pints and Plates in Sunnyland. Knowing the ride could be my last wind therapy session for a while, I layered up to make it easier to embrace the slight chill in the air and better enjoy the adventure. Continue reading


Big Catz BBQ — October 8, 2018

I absolutely love barbecue. I repeat, I. LOVE. BARBECUE! Chicken, pork, beef — it’s all amazing after a stint in a smoke-filled box, so I really was itching to try a new (to me) place in Knoxville called Big Catz BBQ.

Big Catz BBQ

The bike really fits the scene at Big Catz BBQ in Knoxville, Ill.

The drive was perfect for an early October day, with hardly a cloud in the bright, blue sky. We hummed right along and found ourselves in the parking lot just a few minutes after 11 — perfect timing since we skipped breakfast to save room for our lunch feast. Continue reading


Carrigan’s Pub — October 1, 2017

It was October 1, and fall seemed to be descending upon us rapidly. But, it was one of those beautifully sunny fall days that made for perfect riding — and the perfect Sunday Funday adventure.

Since BikerSpot Magazine was hosting Sunday Funday at Carrigan’s Pub (a place we had yet to try), we were headed down the valley and across the river to East Peoria. And since it was the ideal autumn afternoon, what better route to take than the curvy, climby road through Detweiller Park?

Detweiller Park

The road through Detweiller Park is one of our favorite routes down into the river valley.

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Crank’s Bar and Grill — September 24, 2017

Since its inception, my blog has encouraged readers to send me their ride suggestions, to no avail. So when “Greg” recently commented with a recommendation for Crank’s Bar and Grill in Minonk, I was ready to roll — especially after he mentioned fried deviled eggs!

Illinois River

A serene scene along River Beach Drive on the Illinois River.

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Alley Loop Saloon and Deli — May 29, 2017

We originally planned to see the Sister of Liberty in Oregon, Ill., on the last day of a previous summer vacation but had to cut it from our itinerary at the last minute due to weather. With a long Memorial Day weekend ahead, we decided not only to go see the Sister but also the Black Hawk Statue in Lowden State Park.

Illinois River Bridge at Henry

My view as we made our way to the Illinois River bridge at Henry, Ill.

Our first destination was Black Hawk, which is way in the back of the park, so imagine how surprised we were to ride all the way through to discover the statue was covered in black plastic, apparently the result of recent repairs. Continue reading


The Boiler Room — July 30, 2017

Ah, Sunday. Time to Ride to Eat once again, and our destination was set. Thanks to Funday, we were on our way to the Boiler Room in Kewanee.

Back roads beckoned, so we took the less traveled route until we happened upon fresh road maintenance — and its gravel topcoat. No. Thank. You. We hung a left and continued. Even with our re-route, we still had to ease our way over several yards of gravel before turning back onto the highway. No good, but nothing we haven’t had to do before.

Back Roads

We explored the road less traveled, winding our way through central Illinois.

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