Eichelberger Field – Urbana, IL

30 03 2009
  • 1201 W. Florida Avenue
  • Urbana, IL 61801
  • (217)
  • Website
Eichelberger Field on the campus of the University of Illinois

Eichelberger Field on the campus of the University of Illinois

Nothing like getting up early on a Sunday morning to drive in blizzard like conditions to a softball game.  That was how my day started. 

After getting rained out Saturday at Illinois Field, I made the trek back to Champaign/Urbana from my parents house for a softball game between the University of Illinois and Michigan State University.  Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want to cooperate.

The University of Illinois softball team plays their home games at Eichelberger Field in Urbana.  It’s actually just a few hundred yards from the men’s field, but the city limits for the two towns lie just outside the center field wall at Illinois Field.  Even though the street addresses are different, they’re on the same street. Read the rest of this entry »

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Urbana Garden Family Restaurant – Urbana, IL

22 12 2008
  • 810 W. Killarney St.
  • Urbana, IL 61801
  • (217) 328-1514
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
Urbana Garden Family Restaurant in Urbana, IL

Urbana Garden Family Restaurant in Urbana, IL

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. Read the rest of this entry »





Blues BBQ – Urbana, IL

5 09 2008
  • 1103 W. Oregon St.
  • Urbana, IL 61801
  • (217) 239-9555
  • Website
  • Menu
Blues BBQ on Oregon St. in Urbana, IL near the University of Illinois

Blues BBQ on Oregon St. in Urbana, IL near the University of Illinois

I made a mistake.  I had planned on going to grab a couple slices of pizza after I got off work from a pizza joint that gets rave reviews.  Instead, I chose to go get BBQ.  That in itself is not a bad choice.  The restaurant I chose was the bad choice.

I noticed Blues BBQ last night when I went to Manolo’s (review HERE) to get pizza.  I almost went there then because it *looked* like a neat place.  When I left Memorial Stadium tonight about 8:00, I headed back to the area to get some Q. 

Blues BBQ is located in a little shopping district on the campus of the University of Illinois.  From the outside Blues looks like an upscale BBQ place.  It’s not the roadhouse you think of when you usually think of BBQ.  This should have been a huge warning sign.  When you walk in, again, you’re met with an upscale, eclectic feel.  There are a handful of tables in the dining room.  Most of them share seats with long, red benches.  There’s a bar that runs along the windows which is about the only thing in here that you would find in a typical BBQ place.  Read the rest of this entry »





Manolos Pizza & Empanadas – Urbana, IL

4 09 2008
  • 1115 W. Oregon St.
  • Urbana, IL 61803
  • (217) 365-0110
  • Website
  • Menu
Manolos Pizza & Empanadas near the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana

Manolo's Pizza & Empanada's near the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana

Traveling has really wore me out….and made me hungry.  I’m sitting in my hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign and even though I’ve had two meals, I’m hungry.  I get on my laptop and do a search for pizza joints that sell pizza by the slice.  That’s what I really love about college towns.  You can usually find a pizza place open late.  My hotel is pretty close to campus, so I figured there would be one close and of course, there was more than one. 

I chose the one that wasn’t quite as close to Memorial Stadium…I think.  I went to the area I wasn’t familiar with tonight so I could stop by the other one after I get done with work tomorrow evening which I believe is closer.  I’m probably wrong, but oh well.  The one I chose is called Manolos Pizza & Empanadas and it sits right next to popular the night spot The Cannopy Club.

There’s not much to Manolos.  Just a glass case with already made pizza, a cash register and a bar along the back wall should you want to stay an eat.  There’s no seating, but their website says you can dine in at the Canopy Club.  I would assume that means you’ve already got tickets to a show and they just serve pizza in there.  Read the rest of this entry »