On a recent trip back home to the great state of Iowa, I was dying for something non-chain. I just hate going to chain restaurants when I'm on a road trip. I want to get some local flavor.
As we were driving I saw a sign for "from-scratch cooking" and I was sold. So just off I-74 at Exit 82, in Illinois, we stopped at the Jubilee Cafe! It's your typical diner: counter with seats, lots of booths and tables. It was EXTREMELY busy for a weekday lunch. Nearly every table was filled when we walked in!
My husband ordered the Reuben and onion rings. This is huge, thick slices of corned beef and delicious sauerkraut and cheese on thick Texas toast. Really a great Reuben. The onion rings are good as well.
I had to get the special. Two pieces of chicken, twice-baked potato casserole, some odd bean casserole concoction and a roll - for less than $6! The chicken is juicy, crispy, and delicious. The twice-baked potato casserole (very, very satisfying) is comfort food at its best; cheesy and creamy.
The surprise of the meal was most definitely the bean concoction: lima beans, kidney beans, and refried beans maybe? Really, I have no idea, but it was beans, beans, and more beans. The surprising thing was the sweetness, like homemade baked beans. This was really great. I was totally scared to try it but then practically licked the bowl!
I was stuffed but Larry loves pie, and they had a giant case of it. Every kind you can think of! I split the chocolate pie with Larry.
Honestly, you'll probably never go, unless you're also driving to Cedar Rapids, IA. Diners like this are why I like to eat out. It's local, it's homey, it's a slice of Americana. But if you ever do find yourself on I-74 in the middle of nowhere Illinois (just southwest of Peoria), then get off at Exit 82 and stop at the Jubilee Cafe and at least have some pie. You'll be glad you did!
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