Sunday, March 13, 2011

Across the Lincoln Highway: Geneva Ale House

For "Chapter Two" of our trip along the Illinois portion of the Lincoln Highway, I'll rewind a bit back to Joliet, where I left off. We had gone into Toy Town and the Chalkboard, because 78% of what you do on a vacation to get away from your children is shop for things you think will make them squeal, and talk to each other about them constantly. And this place has a lot of very unique toys, and was a lot of fun.

This guy, this guy is everywhere along the highway, and the Chalkboard is no exception:

I mean, can we talk about somebody else? (I guess it's his road, after all.)

Chris had printed out lots of helpful guide sheets for every town we were going to be in. Some of them were mysterious leads, containing only a name and an address for an establishment. We just had to check out the "Dragon Light," since we're not just nerds - we're fantasy nerds - and we couldn't imagine what it could be. Something with a costumed dungeon-master greeting us with fliers, and wall sconces in the shape of claw hands holding torches, I was sure. When we arrived, there was a collective, "...Oh."

Chinese restaurant. Hadn't thought of that.

Took this one because it reminded me of Pops, of course.

We drove on through Plainfield, where there were man-made heron nests on the Lake Renwick forest preserve, and signs advertising some service called "slabjacking." (Not sure what that is, or when I might require it, but it doesn't sound minor). We drove through Aurora, which we were well familiar with, so had decided to spend some time elsewhere. Noteworthy establishments, however, included a Tastee-Freez (original 1967 signage intact), and a Doggie Diner that I'd love to check out another time. A time when I don't care what encased meats I put into my body. "Hey-ohhhh!"

We cruised (that's what you do on the LH) into Batavia and St. Charles, where we had reservations to spend the night at a deep discount (thank you, Nicole, for telling me to get on that Priceline train). There was hey! Another Tastee-Freez! And also, a namesake for me:

We didn't go into Gina's, but headed out to the Geneva Ale House that night. On walking in, I didn't think too much of the atmosphere: the place was mostly small tables, and had a lunch-place kind of a feel. But when we sat down, we were greeted with quite a warm and friendly selection of beers.

Chris had the Tripel Karmelict, which we both thought was delicious. Hey baby! Cheers!

(He was happy not to be driving). I ordered the Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat, which I liked, but not so well as Chris' beer. Good thing we swap spit.

One final disappointment was with the onion straws, which weren't cooked in hot enough oil, and were on the limp and greasy side.

But the burgers? Oh my. The burgers. Served on my beloved Labriola pretzel buns (which I can find at local grocery stores here, halle-loo!), I really could not have added anything to, or taken anything away from them.

And as I always say, if you weren't the biggest fan of your beer, try, try again! (And if you liked it, you should order another one of the same. Either way, you pretty much end up with another beer). This time I tried what I believe was a beer from BridgePort brewery in Portland, Oregon. But you know, after the first drink, my documentation falls off a bit. Anyway, I liked it (another benefit to being the second beer. It always tastes better than the first did).

One more funny note about the Geneva Ale House is that they have the nerve to give a famous figure, other than Lincoln, a bit of time. Here is the "Most Interesting Man in the World" in a place of honor: on the wall opposite the toilet in the ladies' room.

Our next culinary adventure takes place in Dixon, Illinois! Stay tuned for the nervous breakdown I had in getting there.

1 comment:

  1. Those fries *did* suck. I was actually stoked because every TV in the joint had the Blackhawks game on, which I was kinda' jonesin' to see. My beautiful bride was kind enough to let me have the seat facing the tube. Bonus!