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