Wednesday, April 13, 2011

GALENA, ILLINOIS - The Food

Gastronomic Galena


Last episode I went on about Galena's fabulous yarn shop, FiberWild!  Today, we'll look at all that this charming town has to offer my other appetite...mainly, my appetite.  One of the things I like about Galena was the vast selection of places to eat.  Plain or pricey, American or foreign, upscale or down home, chances are you'll find it.  Here are my favorites:



Fritz and Frites
317 N. Main Street
Galena, IL
815-777-2004
When Sean and Amy from FiberWild! recommended it, I raised an inward eyebrow.   I wasn’t quite sure I’d like a French/German bistro.  The excellent service, the accordion music, the spectacular mushroom soup, and the lived-up-to-the-hype ham and greyre on pretzel bread sandwich won me over quickly.  The cheerful-quiet combination simply works, and you feel like you’re someone continental, wearing some clever silk scarf while discussing art.  I was there in winter, but in summer they’ll  pack you up a picnic lunch delivered to nearby Linmar Gardens for our own private picnic. I’m definitely coming back to do that!

Another restaurant on the casual-elegant side is:

One Eleven Main
111 N. Main Street
Galena, IL
815-777-8303
Yes, I totally get the local cuisine movement.  I like thoughtful cooking and artisan products.  But for me, here, it’s about the fries.  No, really.  Eat the fries.  They are the best I think I’ve ever tasted.  Everything else we had was good, but I will go to my grave remembering these fries.


Want to go way upscale?  Opt for:
Perry Street Brasserie
124 North Commerce Street
Galena, IL
815-777-3773

I couldn’t get in because I didn’t have reservations.  Yep, it’s that good. But I’m coming back to try again, because more than one person told me about their signature desert, the Chocolate Cup.  According to their menu, it’s “A bowl of solid Swiss chocolate, filled with creamy dark and milk chocolate ganaches, topped with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with more chocolate. Enough for two to share.”  I have no plans to share nicely, so be warned.

Needing something more homey?  Opt for:
Fried Green Tomatoes
213 North Main Street
Galena, IL  61036
815-777-3938
Folks rave about the restaurant’s bread and rumor has it this is a good place to take an diverse bunch of appetites.  It’s one of those much-touted-some-love-and-some-hate kinds of places, and I always think those are worth a try.

Now, this is by no means a conclusive list, for a gal can only eat so many meals out in a weekend without...well, without having to buy a new pair of jeans for the long car ride home.  

Longtime DestiKNITers know that for me, no trip is ever sufficient adventure to me without coffee. It's a food group all it's own as far as I'm concerned.  Rest assured, I got to scratch my caffein itch while in town with two quality but distinct options:

Kaladi’s 925 Coffee Bar
309 S. Main Street
Galena, IL  60136
(815)-776-0723

Spacious yet cozy, this artsy place boasts not only a good cuppa, but some very fine freshly squeezed oj.  I wasn't that impressed with the baked goods, but the latte I had was excellent.





Rendezvous Coffee and Tea
112 N. Main Street
Galena, IL  60136
773-960-0488

These days it’s hard to make a coffee joint stand out, but this charming, airy location does just that.  Very good baked goods, excellent coffee--but, yeah, lots of those things can be found in coffeebars.  What I love about this one is that the owner plays live music.  Right there, on his keyboard, while you’re sipping.  I loved it.



Now that we've covered food, what's next?  Shopping!  Stay tuned for some of my favorite stores and the most unusual lodgings I've even encountered!


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