I'm heading to Peoria to check out Bradley U. I'm taking my own 17 year old daughter and possible up to 4 more Senior girls (yes, I'm probably crazy.) Any places we should try? My own daughter is reasonably ambitious but I don't know about the others. Since this will either end up being my treat or out of their pockets, I'm leaning towards less expensive rather than a luxury dining experience. We'll definitely be there for one dinner; perhaps a lunch also.
I still consider Peoria the Midwest but someone can correct me if this is in the wrong place.
Peoria certainly sounds like the Midwest to me.
The place I keep being drawn to is One World.
It's right near campus, so you probably wouldn't even have to drive if you're doing a tour. I think they can accomodate all your needs: Lots of choices, fair prices, good location.
There's an Indian restaurant right next door, but the less ambitious eaters may not go for that.
If you're driving in from the north, I'd recommend stopping in Galesburg, IL (around 45 minutes west on I-74) and having a meal at The Landmark. It's maybe two miles off the highway, so you're not going for out of your way...I believe you take exit 48, but I can investigate further if you'd like.
I went to college in Galesburg and I've actually made the trek from Chicago to Galesburg with The Landmark as my main motivation.
Peoria is a huge chain town with just about any outlet there of the national and regional chains. I'm not too familiar with the Bradley area as my in laws all live on the north side of town but I know there are some interesting ethnic places around the U and there is an outlet of Avanti's near the U. Downtown has become a very pretty walk along the River, there are a number of cafe's and places to eat plus a nice view.
I live 15 miles north of Peoria. All of our favorite Peoria restaurants are within walking distance of Bradley U. We too like One World where the food and decor are very eclectic. I think it would be very popular with your group. There are familiar items as well as more unusual offerings. The Thai chicken salad is outstanding. It's located on the corner of University & Main.
Across University from One World is Avanti's. Inexpensive, tasty, filling, nothin' fancy Italian food. They are a Peoria mainstay.
Back across University, there are two more recommended restaurants: Thanh Linh (Vietnamese) and Sizzling India (Indian). Sizzling India has a wonderful lunch buffet for less than $10 per person. NOT for those who are unfamiliar with Indian food and/or the unadventurous. Thanh Linh also has an inexpensive lunch buffet and their offerings may be more "familiar" to your group---similiar to Chinese food. DH & I prefer to order off the menu, though---many INTERESTING offerings---and we haven't found one yet that wasn't delicious!
Across Main and just a bit further down is Haddad's where you can get GREAT Lebanese food. You do NOT go here for the decor or ambiance---this place is a dive! But the food is wonderful! The gyro plate is my favorite. Love the baba ganoush and the tabouli, too.
Finally, if you're headed north on Route 29, stop and have a meal at Tequila's in Chillicothe. The Mexican food served here is very authentic. There are the usual suspects for the less adventurous---tacos, burritos, enchiladas---but YOU should get the chicken molcajete with the green sauce. It is out of this world! Dinner without drinks will come to $10 or less per person.
Enjoy your visit!
We got back from Peoria earlier this afternoon. Had a good visit - got lost several times - gotta love road construction on Hwy 74!
We ended up eating just one lunch in Peoria and went to One World. Really enjoyed it. We loved the fat free strawberry poppyseed salad dressing and the tomato foccacia bread that the turkey club came on (the turkey fillings were fine too!). One of the girls had a great salad - don't remember what it was called but it had feta cheese, cranberries, walnuts and a rasberry dressing. All in all, a good choice for our group. Thanks for the recs.