Apr 24, 2012

Pub crawl by bus to Fast Eddie's

It started as a relatively innocuous Saturday a couple of weeks back, with no plans to do anything out of the ordinary except get caught up on some rest.  But I don’t do nothing for very long, and I don’t do it well.  At least that’s the opinion of my Gypsy roommate, who I was apparently driving crazy and preventing her from concentrating on making jewelry in her Gypsy workshop.  So, she shipped me off for the evening.  And fortunately, I knew of the perfect time-killer – a pub crawl by bus with the final stop being Fast Eddie’s Bon Air in Alton, Ill.

I had already turned down the opportunity to join several of my friends on this trip, but fortunately they were able to get me on last-minute for a $30 fee.  Consider this:  You’re on a nice comfy motorcoach round-trip, you can BYOB (and everyone did in generous portions), you’re making three bar stops along the way (and a casino if you desire), and you’re entertained for nearly 12 hours (especially if you’re the self-entertaining type).  Yes, definitely worth hoping on the bus and enjoying the ride.  

Here’s the inside of the bus as we pulled out of Springfield.  It didn’t stay that subdued for long.  One of the organizers of the trip (standing) was passing out shots before the left the city limits. 

Don't look behind you, but business is about to pick up!

Apr 21, 2012

A Commoner Reviews Chick’s on the Square, Macomb, Ill.

As I wrote in my last blog entry, I recently accompanied my son, the Young Curmudgeon, to Macomb, Ill., to tour the Western Illinois University campus.  Before we left town, we decided to grab an early dinner.  We chose a place I had not been to, and one that had not existed the last time I was in Macomb – Chick’s on the Square.

The Macomb Square is literally the center of the old downtown and still very vibrant.  Many boutique shops line the city’s square, which surrounds the McDonough County Courthouse.  And currently, the southwest corner of the square has a good variety of places to eat and drink, even more so than when I lived there. 
Chick’s is right off this corner on the south side of the square.  You can’t miss it.  The big yellow awning greets you.

This big yellow awning

Apr 17, 2012

A Commoner Reviews Jackson Street Pub, Macomb, Ill.

It just figures.  After a long drought of not having much to blog about, I suddenly have a glut of subject matter.  At least it’s stuff that interests me.  So, bear with me, as I try to catch up.  We begin with a review of a place that has been around since I can remember growing up in Macomb, Ill. (after moving up from Angie, La.). 

First, a little preface to my review:  Recently, I took a couple of days off work to spend some spring break time with my son, the Young Curmudgeon.  During that time, we planned a trip to Macomb, so he could tour the campus of Western Illinois University.  Yes, he really is getting that old.  Yes, I really am that old.  So, off to Macomb we went.  And as a change of pace, I even let the Young Curmudgeon drive, and we took his car.

We arrived in Macomb right around lunchtime, and since I was taking a little trip down memory lane a lot during the 90-minute ride from Springfield, I immediately thought of a blast to try out for lunch.  The Jackson Street Pub was one of my favorite dives when I was in college for both food and a beverage, and it’s been at the same spot, coincidentally on Jackson Street by the railroad tracks for what seems like forever.  Sure enough, when we arrived, I could quickly tell nothing had changed.

Apr 8, 2012

A lucky seventh edition of things discussed at the Brewhaus

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new blog entry.  Part of that is due to trying to cut back on my spending; part if simply due to inactivity.  There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing, I suppose. 

Anyway, one thing I will always struggle to cut back on is the time spent at my favorite watering hole, which provides plenty of fodder for pointless discussion.  It is a great excuse to wet the whistle, though.  Here are some of the more memorable conversations I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in from the past few weeks:

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...