- 810 W. Killarney St.
- Urbana, IL 61801
- (217) 328-1514
- No Known Website
- No Online Menu
It’s always fun when you’re in a strange city to go out to eat with the locals. I was working at Assembly Hall for a University of Illinois basketball game with a few other guys who live in the area. I’m somewhat familiar with the Champaign/Urbana area, but not nearly as familiar with the local joints, so I was happy when one of my co-workers took the lead and suggested we go to Urbana Gardens for dinner.
Urbana Gardens sits near Interstate 74 in Urbana a few miles from campus. It’s one of those down home, friendly restaurants where it’s more about having a good time than white table cloths. Five of us left the arena together for lunch. When we showed up at Urbana Gardens, we were relieved to see the holiday shoppers didn’t make it down this far. The place was pretty empty for a Saturday night and we were seated at a table together. I sort of felt sorry for the other patrons. We were loud. The guys I was with all have a sarcastic sense of humor and the waitress was playing along, so things got a little noisy. The table sitting next to us didn’t seem to mind as eventually, they started asking questions about our line of work.
The waitress came with drinks. I ordered a Coke. We also had one coffee, a Sprite, an iced tea and two Arnold Palmers. The waitress looked at the first guy that ordered it and said, “you’re going to be surprised I actually know what that is.” I had no idea, but after a quick Internet search, I now know it’s half iced tea and half lemonade. The waitress had a system when it came to keeping track of orders and she wasn’t about to let anyone mess it up. She started with the first guy to her left. He asked what the specials were and eventually decided on chicken fried steak. He asked if it had mushrooms and if so, to keep it off. The waitress asked if he was alergic and just didn’t like them. He said he didn’t like them. She said she would have to check if it even had mushrooms because the gravy was already made and if he was alergic, she’d pick them off….if he didn’t like them, he’d just have to deal with. That sounds mean, but she was being sarcastic and messing around with him. It was all in good fun and I don’t think she would have actually made him eat them.
The second guy wasn’t ready and asked to be skipped. She said “nope” It would ruin her system. He had to “shit or get off the pot.” Again, she was just being sassy because we were doing the same to her. It was n’t a rude or mean spirited jab. He finally did make his decision and ordered a cheeseburger. Burgers came with fries and soup.
Guy number three had the most complicated order. He ordered a breaded tenderloin, but wanted a loaded twice baked potato and chili. He would have to pay extra for pretty much everything, but he willingly did.
Fourth guy ordered an olive burger. This wasn’t an olive burger like we’re used to in Michigan although the idea is the same. The burger came with cheese and actual olive pieces piled on the bun. I was expecting an olive sauce like you see at most places here in Mid-Michigan, but these were big chunks of actual olives. Again, his sandwich came with fries and choice of soup.
I was the last person on the right so I was the last to order. I got the bacon cheeseburger which was delicious. It was nothing special, but it came piled with big chunks of bacon on top of Cheddar cheese. The fries were out of the bag crinkle cuts and were a little soggy. I passed on the soup. When I said “I don’t need the soup.” The waitress asked “Don’t need or don’t want.” I thought I was clear, but again, she was being sassy.
It took a little while for our order to come up and we were really cutting it close to get back to work in time. We were supposed to be back at 5:15 and I walked in at 5:14. That’s not usually like me. The bill seemed a little high at $10 just for mine, but if I was a normal person and took the soup, it would have been worth it.
Urbana Gardens is nothing special, but it’s one of those local, family style places that everyone enjoys. Not sure I’d make it a point to go back on my own, but I won’t rule it out if someone brings it up.