Here’s the dilemma when J and I go to my parents house. We either drive twenty minutes to Kankakee for lunch or we eat whatever Lean Cuisine my parents have the in the freezer. Growing up in a small town, I never noticed that there wasn’t a restaurant on every corner, but since I’ve moved away, it’s become more noticeable. I like to eat out and I like to eat at different places. That’s hard to do in a town that only has one restaurant.
So, J and I made the choice to drive to Kankakee. We had some other things to do anyway, so the trip wasn’t totally pointless. We waited around until my mom came home for lunch so we could see her and make plans for the evening. The next part of the battle was finding a restaurant. I know the Kankakee metro is littered with hidden gems, but no one I know eats at anything other than chains. I ended up remembering a place my brother told me he heard from friends was pretty good.
Eddie’s Bar & Grill is on Station Street in Kankakee near West Court Street. The only directions I could remember from my brother were “in the old Pizza Hut next to the bowling alley.” J told me to call him and get an address, but I knew that’ the directions I would get. No one knows street names….they all go by landmarks.
I was pretty sure I remembered which stop light to turn at to get to the old Pizza Hut. I took a left off Curtis Avenue and sure enough, there was a sign for a bar and grill. From the outside, it’s still obvious that the place used to be a Pizza Hut. They painted over some of the panels with green paint, but other than that, typical Pizza Hut building for that era.
The inside is a different story. If you didn’t know it, you’d have no clue that the place used to be a cookie-cutter chain restaurant. The kitchen area has been pushed back and there’s a pool table in that area. A bar has been added to one wall and booths and tables fill in the space.
We were just after the lunch, but there were still quite a few people in the restaurant which is always a good sign. We took a seat at a table along the wall. The waitress noticed us and came over with menus. We put in drink orders which we were pretty sure were RC products. On the menu, it was listed as Cola, Diet Cola, etc.
The menu brags about their thin crust pizza which was tempting, but we had already had a few pizza meals this week. Other than that, the menu is pretty standard pub fare. I went with the bacon cheeseburger which I was told was one of the best in town. The burger is char-grilled and served on a toasted bun with bacon and American cheese. You get your choice of fries, cottage cheese or a side salad. Of course, I chose fries. The burger was good and juicy, but the bacon was a little chewy. I could have went more crispy on that part of the sandwich. Still, overall, it was a very good sandwich and one of the best I’ve had in the Kankakee Metro area.
J ordered the Honey Mustard Chicken sandwich. She got a huge grilled chicken breast on a toasted bun with a honey mustard dressing, Swiss cheese, and bacon. The bacon was a little too chewy for her as well and there was a ton of the honey mustard sauce which made the sandwich very soggy. The flavor was great, but they could have gone a little lighter on the sauce. It’s something both of us would order again though. She also got the choice of sides and chose the fries as well.
Our bill was a little over $17. There aren’t a whole lot of places like this in the Kankakee area that I know about. My favorite place to eat isn’t a fancy, white tablecloth restaurant. It’s a neighborhood pub and that’s what Eddie’s is. Even though my brother recommended the place, he hasn’t been there yet. We need to change that.