Taste of the Prairie

NMN Club

NMN Club

In the southeast Illinois town of Flora sits a restaurant that customers come far and wide for its food and friendly staff. The building might not catch your eye, but the food will – just ask a local. Called the NMN Club, it originally opened in 1994 as a private club. Owner Bill Wiley named […]



Jodi Allen can probably credit her grandfather with her love of baking. Beginning in her preteen years, he would find recipes and ask her to bake them. And so it began. Iced, in downtown Shelbyville, is owned by Jodi and husband Rick, Shelby Electric Cooperative members. It is Jodi’s love of baking that prompted Rick […]


The Igloo Diner

You might not expect to find an igloo in a small Midwestern town, but you will in Peru, Ill. The Igloo Diner, a local mom-and-pop, has been an icon there since 1937. Rumor has it that when the building was originally under construction, a passerby commented that the big white box looked like an igloo, […]

Babe’s on Plum Storefront

Babe’s on Plum

Located just three blocks from the Illinois River in Havana’s historic downtown, Babe’s on Plum welcomes locals, visitors and boaters alike to enjoy its upscale bar food. According to Kelli Schaeffer, who owns the restaurant with her husband Todd, the restaurant originally opened in 1997 at a different location as a bar called Babe’s, owned […]

Crazy Joe's Fish House

Crazy Joe’s Fish House

The outskirts of Ava, population 600, may not be the first place a person thinks of for a destination dining experience. But it is somewhere to consider if fried seafood, smoked brisket and barbecue in a friendly, down-home atmosphere is an appeal. Crazy Joe’s Fish Shack, owned by Robert “Rabbit” Martin, is located a couple […]

Free Press Interior

Free Press Coffee House/Wm. Watson Hotel & Cafe

In 2006, Jane Ann and Jonas Petty purchased the historic Mansion House, originally built in Pittsfield in 1838. What began as a restoration/renovation of the historic hotel evolved into much more. The Pettys spent more than two years restoring the William Watson Hotel and originally planned to put a bar next door, but the best […]


The Greathouse of Pizza

According to The Greathouse of Pizza (GHOP) owner Trent Groothuis, a picture is worth a thousand words, and pictures of pizza are worth more than 17,000 Facebook followers. For the restaurant’s single location in Casey, Ill., a town of 2,700, he says that’s “pretty incredible.” Although Trent opened the business in 2008, his background in […]

Polar Whip, Energy, IL

Nesler’s Polar Whip

For the past nine decades, Nesler’s Polar Whip has been a local fast food favorite in southern Illinois providing burgers, sandwiches, ice cream and more at affordable prices. You can get a burger with mustard, onions and pickles for just $1, and that’s after a recent price increase. A cheeseburger will cost you $1.25, and […]

Fritz and Frites Interior

Fritz and Frites

Walking into this unassuming restaurant at the north end of Galena’s Main Street is like stepping into a French bistro. French music plays in the background as servers in black vests, white shirts and black aprons move from table to table with plates of German and French food. Alsatian food to be exact – dishes […]


Cozy Dog Drive In

With many stops along the road for Cozy Dog Drive In, the local favorite’s journey began in a USO kitchen on the Amarillo Air Force Base in Texas in the 1940s. Route 66 passed by the base years before Cozy Dog would become a point of nostalgia on the historic highway in Illinois. It was […]