It’s no secret that I love food. I love preparing it, I love taking pictures of it, but most of all, I love eating it.
While I love Osaka Buffet in Moline and it’s definitely my favorite restaurant in the Quad Cities, Bishop’s Buffet is high on my list for its desserts. I also enjoy Exotic Thai and the LemonGrass Cafe.
Before moving to the Midwest, my favorite restaurant was 101st Airborne in Nashville, Tennessee, but it’s now closed. A couple of years ago, I found a comparable establishment in Cleveland, Ohio, called the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant.
I seriously think all of those favorites have been bumped down my list one spot after last night.
Ray is giving a speech in Indianapolis, Indiana, today, so I decided to tag along since it’s my day off.
We left after work Wednesday and stopped at the halfway point to have dinner. When I decided to go along, I did a Google search of restaurants and narrowed it down to two places. After Ray and I looked at the menus together, there was no debate.
The restaurant we chose was DESTIHL at 301 N. Neil Street in Champaign, Illinois.
Its website describes it as “a culinary destination in central Illinois: a gastrobrewpubTM which creatively fuses craft beer and full-flavored dishes from America’s melting pot using many local ingredients and both modern and traditional techniques.”
And, let me tell you, that is truth. Honest advertising!
The menu featured many interesting appetizers and “small plate” choices like beer-battered asparagus, bacon & brussels, and flatbread & spread. Ray chose “Shrimp Ceviche”, which was shrimp, cilantro, lime, red onion, jalapeño, avocado mousse, and corn tortilla chips.
My pick was “Watermelon & Feta”, consisting of cubed watermelon, house olives, feta, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic glaze, and micro greens. Not only was it very tasty and refreshing, it was so beautiful that I ran back to the car to get my camera because I was so mesmerized by the presentation.
We both ordered sandwiches which were fantastic and had great flavor. Ray choose the Spicy Chipolte Chicken, which was chipotle chicken, sweet chili mayo, white cheddar bleu cheese dressing, arugula, torta bread, garlic and cumin with hand-cut sweet potato fries. It was very spicy.
I ordered the Pork Torta sandwhich, It was braised pork, black bean puree, pickled red onion, jalapeño, tomato-guajillo sauce, cilantro, feta, torta bread, garlic, and cumin with hand-cut sweet potato fries.
We shared the sandwiches which gave us a chance to sample both. They were delicious, but I would have been just as happy ordering several appetizers and “small plates”. I know my diet would have enjoyed that, too.
Between the appetizers and the sandwiches, we sampled a small, four-ounce handcrafted beer each. They have so many flavors from which to choose. I picked a Strawberry Blonde Ale, which obviously strongly featured strawberries, and Ray decided on the Lawnmower Ale, which was infused with lemon and lemongrass.
And, finally, it was times for dessert. We both decided from the beginning of the meal that we were having the “Sour Cherry Bread Pudding”, a baked culinary delight made from cuban bread, sour cherries, vanilla cinnamon custard, old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce.
Bad boy Ray surprised me by also ordering the”Pumpkin Bread Pudding”, (cuban bread, pumpkin custard, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter pecan ice cream). While it was good, it was a little dry. However, the Sour Cherry Bread Pudding was nothing short of heaven and I could sit there all day, diet be damned, eating it.
I seriously want to stop back there on the way home from Indianapolis Friday!