Monday, January 16, 2012

Road Trip Food Report! Orchard Cafe and Grill

We took a little drive this afternoon and stopped near Belleville, Illinois.  Eckert's pies have long been a favorite of mine...especially the thick and decadent Caramel Apple Walnut pie!  There's the custard shop with its special peach custard, ohhh yes, but it's shuttered for the winter.  It was time, we thought, to try Eckert's recently remodeled Orchard Cafe and Grill for some local...flavor!

Eckert's Orchard Cafe and Grill places a really cute little basket of rolls in front of you practically the moment you are seated.  Innocent-looking, little balls of dough.  They are DEADLY - in a good way.  Fried, light as air, and dipped in Eckert's own apple butter...well, this photo hardly does them justice.  Just imagine a really good, yeasty little donut that you get to pretend is bread. 

We've been somewhat diligent about watching what we've been eating for the past week.  The new year seems to do that to people, and we got a late start.  My rules have nothing to do with denial of taste, but revolve around an effort to slow down, don't take so much, chew more, stop sooner.  Well, we blew that - but with every intention of jumping back 'on the wagon' tomorrow.  It's a good thing we didn't have lunch; or maybe it was a bad thing.  T could not resist one of his favorites, the country fried steak, served with gravy and unlimited portions of sides. 

He doesn't like pot roast much; but I love it, and this country-style restaurant seemed just the place to order it.  I wasn't disappointed!  A mound of tender roast beef with a savory wine sauce, surrounded by potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.  I brought half of this home for tomorrow's lunch!

The waitress predictably stopped by with the question:  "did you save room for dessert?"  Perhaps, if I hadn't had three of those rolls...and half of that fried green bean appetizer...No, we didn't...but that's good reason to stop there again.  And the 20%-off-for-next-time coupon she handed us will make it that much more palatable!  

Thumbs up from both of us!

Road Trip Rating:


  1. I have never eaten there - but have always thought I might. I will definitely have to find occasion to stop in. I have had the ice cream and it is very good - especially on a hot day !

  2. You have to try the chicken pot pie. Made with a very flaky phyllo dough. And the filling---PERFECT.