My solo trip up to Illinois and back was not bereft of some good hossin’. Here’s a rundown on the food I had.


We don’t have a Krystal in Tallahassee. I dig these small slider hamburgers. If I’m delving into the TMI territory, I will say I can never eat White Castle again because something about those burgers is rejected by my digestive tract. However, my body accepts Krystals without negative incident. The day I stopped in there was apparently their birthday or something so I got them super cheap.


One of my favorite fast food/quick service places has only recently come to Florida and still hasn’t arrived in Tallahassee. Burgers, frozen custard, and assortment of other great stuff…I love this place. The burgers are like a thicker Steak ‘n’ Shake burger, but even better.

The fries are good, but I went with the onion rings.

And my stand by dessert choice, since I don’t get to go that often, is the Caramel Cashew Sundae. On this particular sundae, the caramel was overwhelming and a lot of it sunk to the bottom and I wound up throwing it away. Still, very good otherwise.


Avanti’s Italian Restaurant

Located right next to the campus of Illinois State University, Avanti’s was a destination place for most ISU students. However, when Jeeg and I attended there, we tended to gravitate towards its neighbor, Burger King where we would grab 99¢ Whoppers. Avanti’s was just a little on the pricier side so this poor college student would opt for cheap food over better food.

That’s not to say I never ate Avanti’s but when it came time to think of places I wanted to eat at again while in the Bloomington-Normal area, Avanti’s wasn’t a “must eat at” place. This was primarily out of lack of nostalgia. Still, when it came time to eat with my former employer turned TV-10 production teacher, we hopped over to Avanti’s for lunch. I neglected to get a photo but I could either take a picture of the sauce stain on my shirt (how embarrassing) or I could just embed this tweet:


Portillo’s has come up on this blog before. And when I went to Chicago for work last year, I made my first in-restaurant visit to one. Fortunately the’ve been expanding into my old backyards and there is one in Champaign and Bloomington. During my stay in Bloomington, I met up with my friend Carl at Portillo’s and I grabbed some of their standard fare.

I had to get a Chicago-style dog but also grabbed an Italian Beef. Had I to do it over, I might have gotten a second or third dog and skipped the sandwich and even the fries this time.


Custard Cup

Custard Cup has come up on the blog before, too. For as often as I get back, I tend to go for the same thing now…the cold fudge sundae. In the past few years, Custard Cup was in some trouble but has since been bought by some former University of Illinois coaches. They’ve made a few process improvements in the shop and even tweaked its offerings of flavors. You can’t go wrong with this classic though.

Taco John’s

This is one of those places that I had access to try when I was back in college, but don’t remember ever doing so. And since then, I have tried unsuccessfully getting to one. Aaron Nix has spoken on the podcast before about his love of Taco John’s so I texted him before ordering to make sure I got what I was supposed to. I didn’t hear back from him in time, but I since received approval on my order of tacos with a side of potato olés and cheese sauce.

Now I’ve had Taco John’s…and I guess I’m good. I mean, tacos didn’t stand out as being better than Taco Bell and the potatoes were the exact same as the hash rounds at Chick fil A. I enjoyed them with the cheese sauce. Maybe…MAYBE…Taco John’s suffered from being at the end of a trip where I had a lot of good food and I was already feeling tired of eating out. Maybe I’ll give them another shot someday if given the opportunity.