Dining Out: Main Cafe Delivers Good Food You Can Bank On

PEORIA — You can still get a good meal in Downtown Peoria by going to a bank. I’m talking about the Main Cafe, 416 Main St., in the basement of the Commerce Bank building.

You might remember it most recently as Pepper's Cafe, a place where you could get breakfast or lunch cafeteria style. Sadly, owner Frank Pedulla passed away last year and the place has a new name and a different set-up under new ownership.

Open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, the cafe is still a cozy spot for lunch, especially if the sun is too intense to be standing in line at the food carts.

We dropped by on a rainy afternoon (with no carts to be seen) to check out what kind of changes have taken place since the place changed hands. The biggest one is that it's more of a sit-down place now. You can still stand in line and get the special of the day, but that's more for folks that are taking their lunch to go, we were told.

You're encouraged to take a seat and check out a menu before giving your order to the one and only server, a busy man, indeed, during the lunch hour.

I went with that day's special, Parmesan chicken on penne pasta ($7.95), while my dining partner opted for the home-made chicken noodle soup ($3.99). We both took advantage of large glasses of ice water that were available.

The pasta dish was tasty with the tender chicken providing a nice touch. Garlic bread also was provided.

My companion's soup was classified as first-rate with large noodles drawing much of the praise.

The dining room at the cafe hasn't changed much. Everything is wood — tables and chairs — and there's still a comfort factor that comes from settling down in such an old-school environment.

Since you can now order from a menu at the Main, we'd better tell you some of the things available. First, there are plenty of salad choices including a Cobb salad ($8.95). The Big Burger ($6.25) is a half-pound sandwich served with hand-cut fries. There's also a bacon burger ($7.95) available.

On the sandwich side, you'll find everything from grilled cheese ($4.95) to hot pastrami on rye ($7.95). Several chicken tender options are also on hand including a plate of Gibby's garlic Parmesan chicken tenders ($8.95).

The breakfast menu is conveniently concise. You have your pick from four offerings: the ultimate breakfast ($8.95) which includes three eggs, two sausage patties, three slices of bacon or ham, hash browns and toast or biscuit; an omelette ($6.95); classic breakfast ($6.29), which is two eggs with sausage and bacon (or ham), hash browns and toast; and a breakfast sandwich ($3.95).

Coffee is $1.49, or you can elect an upgrade to Leaves and Beans coffee ($2.49).

The bistro tradition that started in this basement cafe when it was Fahey's Downtown back in 2005, then Pepper's, carries on with the Main Cafe.

Steve Tarter can be reached at 686-3260 or [email protected] Follow him at [email protected] and facebook.com/tartersource.


Source : http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180524/dining-out-main-cafe-delivers-good-food-you-can-bank-on

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