Utica, Illinois

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oigetit
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Utica, Illinois - Mon, 11/1/10 2:36 PM
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In Utica, Illinois, out on Route 6, you will find an old farmhouse with a large alligator statue next to the road.  In this house you will find some of the best cajun food you'll ever eat.  It is called Ron's Cajun Connection. Ron is a relocated cajun from Lake Charles, LA..  This place is a must.  They were just nominated to ABC Nightline's Platelist contest.   His website is www.ronscajun connection.com

6star
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Mon, 11/1/10 3:45 PM
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Here is the full URL:
http://www.ronscajunconnection.com/

oigetit
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Mon, 11/1/10 8:23 PM
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Thanks 6Star
 
I didn't think I was old enough to post a url .
 
 


ScreamingChicken
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/2/10 10:26 AM
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Forum member Kland01s recommended Ron's to me for a recent trip through Illinois but I had the bad luck to arrive right after a very large group had been seated, and since I was on a bit of a schedule I decided to get back on the road instead.  However, since Ron's is very near Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks I'm thinking that might be a good reason to return to the area.
 
Brad

kland01s
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/2/10 11:15 AM
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We're big fans of Ron's, for many years that was a good half way point for us for trips between our house and Peoria. We'd eat in but usually take home a large order for friends at home who love Ron's food too. Sorry you didn't make it  Brad but do try again! Ron's fills up fast so we try to get there right at their opening time.

Rusty246
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/2/10 11:20 AM
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That's one area where Florida is certainly lacking I believe, cajun food.  I printed out Ron's recipe for Catfish Court Boullion, sounds delicious.  I wonder why it's not on the menu??

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 12:33 AM
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Well now I'm goll-danged ticked off big time!  I've got a rare weekday off from work next week so Mrs. Roadhouse and I planned a trip to Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks and figured a trip to Ron's would be just the way to end our day before driving back to Chicago.  I just checked their website and find (naturally) they're closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  Dang it all!
 
So, IIRC, there's a fried chicken place, also in the general vicinity of the parks and I'm thinking we could stop there.  Does anybody from that area know the place I'm talking about?  I'm almost certain I've seen it discussed here on Roadfood, but can't find the thread or any other references.
 
Any help out there folks?
 
Buddy

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 12:45 AM
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Just did a wee bit more research and came across Rip's Tavern in Ladd, Illinois.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?
 
Buddy

kland01s
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 8:15 AM
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BuddyRoadhouse


Just did a wee bit more research and came across Rip's Tavern in Ladd, Illinois.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Buddy

 
There is a thread on lthforum.com on chicken in LaSalle County by poster jimswside and Rips is well covered there, Rips even have their own exit sign on I-80!

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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 9:09 AM
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BuddyRoadhouse


Just did a wee bit more research and came across Rip's Tavern in Ladd, Illinois.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Buddy

Here is the most recent "review" comments on Rip's Tavern on Roadfood:
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=398644&high=Rip's+Tavern
 
Be sure to read Jim Ross' comment
.
<message edited by 6star on Sat, 11/6/10 9:11 AM>

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 1:31 PM
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Well that just stinks!  The two best Roadfood restaurants in north central Illinois are both closed on Tuesdays.
 
Arrggh.
 
Okay, any other suggestions from my knowledgeable colleagues?  Anything within say, 20 miles of Starved Rock and Matthiessen, or anything near I-80, between Peru and Chicago?  We've got a few days to work this out folks so let's hear what you've got.
 
Thanks,
 
Buddy

johnnyb62
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 3:30 PM
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Hi west of utica about 15 miles i believe is a town called Wyanet off of I80 & rt6 there is a awesome bbq place called Main Street BBQ the pulled pork &ribs are to die for.

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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 10:24 PM
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johnnyb62


Hi west of utica about 15 miles i believe is a town called Wyanet off of I80 & rt6 there is a awesome bbq place called Main Street BBQ the pulled pork &ribs are to die for.


Wyanet is 8 miles west of Princeton; or 13 miles west of I 180; or about 36 miles west of Starved Rock.

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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sat, 11/6/10 10:35 PM
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Reviews sound promising (I know nothing about it or its hours.) for:
Primo's Supper Club
801 6th Street,
Mendota, IL (I 39, Exit 72)
Phone: (815) 538-2700 () ‎
(Mendota is about 15 miles north & a total of about 8 miles west of Starved Rock.)
http://maps.google.com/maps/place?rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS309US309&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=Mendota+IL+restaurants&fb=1&gl=us&hq=restaurants&hnear=Mendota,+IL&cid=17401672171957920372

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sun, 11/7/10 1:06 AM
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Primo's has possibilities--hop on I-39 north to Mendota, then, when finished with dinner, get back on I-39 continuing north to I-88 back to Chicago.  Still, I'm wondering what's available and good in LaSalle or Peru, which are right there near the parks.
 
Buddy

kland01s
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sun, 11/7/10 7:40 AM
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Buddy, check lthforum.com, I know you post there. There is a multi page thread called "surviving Ottawa" I believe that covers a lot of the LaSalle-Peru-Utica-Ottawa area.

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Sun, 11/7/10 2:11 PM
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Cool!  Thanks for the tip.
 
Buddy

DetectDave
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/16/10 6:39 AM
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Buddy, might I recommend Duffy's Tavern located in downtown Utica. They have the best fried cauliflower...read whole...that I ever ate. Super crispy & delicious and it goes quite well w/ the excellent drinkies they make.
http://www.duffystavernandgrill.com/

chainsaw
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/16/10 8:41 PM
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duffy's is a good suggestion... the atmosphere makes the place, and the food is great too!

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/16/10 10:47 PM
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As it turned out, we ended up going much further west for our day trip, to Mississippi Palisades State Park.  We had a glorious day with cool, dry temps, and plenty of sunshine.
 
We grabbed a snack at a place called Manny's Pizza in Savanna, Illinois; a plate of very unauthentic tacos and enchiladas (really, American cheese on top?).  Still, after several hours of hiking the trails (and our last meal was breakfast, nearly seven hours earlier) it tasted pretty good.
 
We drove north along the river a bit longer and then headed over to Galena for a real meal.  We looked up and down Main Street for a good half hour before deciding on Cannova's, a slightly upscale Italian joint with some decent pizza.  Galena is a tourist town anyway, so finding anyplace that isn't overpriced or overrated is a miracle.
 
House salad was actually pretty darned good.  The pizzas were generous in size, but, in my opinion a bit on the bland side.  Particulary the Pesto Pizza with Shrimp and Artichokes.  The shrimp and artichokes were fine, but the pesto was wanting.  All of the intense flavors you expect from a good pesto; the basil, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts were seriously subdued.  Kind of like they were playing to an audience that can't handle that kind of flavor (which may very well  be the case).
 
We also got the Cannova's Classic, which was better.  Diced tomatoes, fresh garlic, spinach, black olives, sweet basil,
house cheese, mozzarella were well balanced and flavorful.  Service was pretty good and prices were reasonable.
 
Even though we didn't get to Starved Rock or Matthiessen I still appreciate the Utica area suggestions.  We'll get back there eventually and head over to one of these places.
 
Buddy
 
Manny's Pizza (and Mexican food)
211 Main Street
Savanna, IL 61074-1627
(815) 273-4259
 
Cannova's
247 N. Main Street
Galena, IL 61036
815-777-3735

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Re:Utica, Illinois - Tue, 11/16/10 11:27 PM
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If you were going over to Mississippi Palisades, you could have stopped in Mount Carroll (just about 10 miles east of Mississippi Palisades on IL 64) to see the Raven's Grin Inn (if you haven't already seen it).  It is not an Inn for eating, but it is a one-of-a-kind place.  It is a year-round haunted/fun house in a turn-of-the-century building (with its own real lady-in-white ghost which you may or may not see).  The owner (who lives there and has built most of the fun house part) gives tours that can last as much as 3 hours.  Everyone that I know of that has visited it wants to go back and take their friends to see it.  It's website is at http://www.hauntedravensgrin.com/ 

BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Utica, Illinois - Wed, 11/17/10 1:16 AM
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The Raven's Grin Inn was featured on Wild Chicago, a locally (Chicago) produced PBS program that visited all kinds of oddities.  Everything from old time haberdashers to kinky S&M shops that didn't have an actual address.  The RGI was featured on one of their Halloween shows.
 
I'd like to visit sometime, but as you say, the owner can be prone to three hour tours and we just weren't up for that after a long day at the Palisades.
 
Thanks for reminding me though, for future reference.
 
Buddy