Subject: Hometown restaurants (Peoria, IL)
Hi, Ziners... If you come to Peoria, IL and want the best pizza in town, head for Leonardo's! They have great deep dish and thin crust pizza and also also have good sandwiches and pasta. They now have two locations, the original location at 700 East War Memorial Drive and a new location at Grand Prarie Mall. Service is very friendly. Music on Friday & Saturday nights, from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM. Here's one popular group that plays there, Applegate and Company. Have a listen :-)

Mr. G's If you have a craving for a Chicago dog, but you're in Peoria, head for Mr. G's at 601 W. Main Street, near Bradley University. Get a Chicago dog, with the best fries, and they load them on! (309) 676-0676

Khaki Jack's For the best burgers in town, in my husband's opinion, there's a little place called Khaki Jack's, located at 7221 N. Allen Road, not far from the Grand Prarie Mall. Foster's & Guinness on tap -- a pint of Foster's is only $2.00! The pub has an Australian theme and some of the friendliest service in town. My husband's favorite is the Jack Burger, and my favorite is the Melbourne, a grilled chicken sandwich, with sautéed onions and roasted red peppers, and your choice of cheese -- I like Provolone. Great fries! Another plus, this place is decorated so nicely for all the holidays... the owner's wife's specialty. (309) 691-8010

Avanti's Restaurant How about a Peoria specialty, the Gondola? They're good and inexpensive. The bread, a sweet Italian, is made fresh daily, and you can dine in or get them to go at Avanti's Restaurant, in several locations, but the one we usually go to is located at 4711 North Rockwood Drive, right by Northwoods Mall. A warning... if you go for carry-out at lunch time, expect a bit of a wait. They're extremely popular! They're efficient, though, so you won't wait too long :-)

Basta Mangiare We like Basta Mangiare, in the mall next to K's Merchandise, which is on Pioneer Parkway... maybe a little more difficult for a visitor to find. My favorite dish is their Chicken Alfredo. Portions are huge, so you may want to split a dish... salads are fresh, and their calamari is very good, as is the bruchetta. 7800 N Sommer St Peoria, IL 61615-1934 Phone: (309) 692-9393

Rizzi's We also enjoy Rizzi's in Downtown Peoria for pasta.... it's located on the riverfront at 112 State St. The food is good, and portions are large... my favorite dish is traditional, the pasta with meatballs. (309) 673-2500:

Lindsay's on Liberty For upscale dining, there is Lindsay's on Liberty, located at 330 Liberty Street, in dowtown Peoria. (309) 497-3300. We have not eaten there, but I would like to :-) Just the fact that Jimmy Binkley plays jazz piano in Lindsay's Lounge nightly, would be enough of a draw. He used to play at another restaurant in Peoria, which has since closed, and we enjoyed him immensely.

The Spotted Cow Last, but not least, is ice cream... The Spotted Cow, located at 4614 N. Prospect Rd. in Peoria Heights, is a Peoria area favorite :-) Lately, I have enjoyed their Pumpkin ice cream. They also serve lunch, though all I have ever eaten there is the ice cream. (309) 682-8120

Best, Sandy in Illinois