I had the honor of locating this quaint and comfortable little java joint while attending the Illinois Association of Traffic Accident Investigators conference. Spotted it just down from the Super 8, and just along my way to the Embassy Suites. A coffee oriented friend of mine in these parts (sub-Packer Country, south of the boarder!) highly recommended this place as having "The Best Americano In East Peoria." So how could I not try it out?
Very easy in and out to this small local with ample parking for more than just a few cars. The humble appearance of the outside is quickly contrasted by the very warm and charming interior. Tables, couches, and separated room areas all lend to just about anyone's taste in a stay-here coffee atmosphere.
On the first day, I was actually running late so I only had a chance to grab and run. The staff was exceptionally friendly and professional. Very efficient - they know their stuff at the coffee mill. I had their (now confirmed!) famous americana and a banana nut muffin to go for breakfast. The Americano was exceptional. Liked it by far better than the prior day's Starbucks at the Embassy (which was no slouch in itself). The short trip to "work" only allowed me to scarf down about half of my muffin. It was moist with great flavor. I am used to large chunk nuts, but they chose a finer grind for their topping, which was unique and delicious. Now, this is not usually how I rate food.......BUT.......at lunch I returned to the car to charge my phone, and decided to grab another quick bit of what I now expected to be a "for biological purpose only" item. It still was moist and tasted great. In fact, a the end of the day there was still some left. Now dried out mostly, but wow - still great flavor!
Day two allowed me a bit more time to chat with the locals, which I later found included Fred the owner. Excellent conversationalist and a man who knows he coffee! I forget what he had suggested and mixed for me, but it was a "true Lat" maybe? A strong and small, mostly espresso drink that really jump kicked my taste buds, and my morning!
They also have their own selection of unique popcorn flavors on hand. I brought home 4 flavors and was a hero upon my return. Great tastes you usually don't see with popcorn!
I truly hope I find another reason to frequent the Peoria area in the future, if for no other reason than to be able to stop by and enjoy more fully the food, drink, atmosphere, and Fred's company! Hey Fred, hows about franchising out up north - maybe next to the Packer Stadium?! :)