Take the best day of your life and put it in your mouth.
It’s like getting punched in the mouth with flavour.
These phrases belong to Rickard’s Beer, but they may as well have been written for the good eats you will find in Springfield, Illinois. Better known for its Abraham Lincoln attractions, the Illinois capital (pop. 116,250) is also a mecca for quality Mom and Pop eating establishments. Here are seven:
Maid Rite Sandwich Shop, 118 N. Pasfield, (217) 523-0723
Two loose meat sandwiches made right, fries and root beer satisfy for lunch.
D’arcys Pint, 661 W. Stanford Ave., (217) 492-8800, http://www.darcyspintonline.com/
Order one of the famous horseshoes, like the buffalo chicken, topped with fries and cheese sauce on Texas toast. Joining the elite clean plate club requires a labour of love.
Cozy Dog Drive-in, on Route 66, 2935 S. Sixth St., (217) 525-1992 http://www.cozydogdrivein.com/
Get cozy dogs, shoestring fries with added salt and vinegar, and a smooth Route 66 Root Beer. Employees will correct you, if you refer to the cozy dogs and corn dogs.
Joe’s Italian Pizza, 1552 W. Jefferson St., (217) 787-6005
Joe’s boxes economical take-out. The extra-large of cheesy square pieces feeds four. The double-decker version contains extra chewy texture.
New Buffet City, 1774 Wabash Ave., (217) 698-6069
To see the entirety of this mega-buffet spread requires walking, in some cases in a wheelie-walker. Explore each of about a dozen stations. One may pick and choose from an expanse of Chinese food, as well as gargantuan steamed crab legs, pizza, fruit bar, decent cheesecake, fountain soft ice cream, and a ton of other comfort food.
Magic Kitchen Thai Restaurant, 115 N. Lewis St., 412 Peoria Rd., (217) 525-6975
Green chicken curry, cashews and rice works all taste buds.
Sunrise Cafe, S. Second 1201 St., (217) 753-1311, take out the double bacon cheeseburger, built on rugged patties, with crinkly fries. Check bag for gum drops.
“The best burger in town for me is the double cheeseburger at the Sunrise Cafe with grilled onions and pickle. This is the burger I broke a tooth on,” says Springfield-native and good eats connoisseur Megan Clark.
The city is also the land of Lincoln, a place where you can visit: the former home of the 16th President, his museum, library, and a restaurant that hangs a plaque telling of his dog’s assassination. Once you’ve consumed the requisite quantity of history, it’s time to find your flavour.