By Kathy Barnett/Senior Editor
Upon arriving, look for what is considered the World’s largest cross. The Cross at the Crossroads is certainly an engineering wonder, but its greatest miracle is its call to travelers from every faith, background and circumstance, reminding them of the positive values shared and cherished by all.
“From family-owned restaurants with long and storied histories to the hottest new cuisines in the world, Illinois has emerged as a premier culinary destination for both domestic and international visitors,” said Jen Hoelzle, Illinois State Travel Director. “The ‘Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination’ award honors those restaurants that are authentically Illinois, making a trip to the state unforgettable.”
Start the day by heading to Joe Sippers Cafe for a delicious breakfast and true coffee house experience! Locally-owned, Joe Sippers offers their own roasted coffee and espresso, homemade baked goods, various blends of tea along with numerous items for lunch and dinner. Joe Sippers has a truly unique interior filled with local artists’ work on display for purchase.
Now for some culinary culture. Anyone who watches the Food Channel Network has seen celebrity chefs cutting and preparing their dishes on the famous John Boos cutting boards or Butcher Blocks, made right here in Effingham. Visit the showroom and retail outlet store of the city’s oldest manufacturing plant. The “seconds room” has different boards at a hefty discount to choose from or pick out regular packaged boards for a gift, also much less than regular price. John Boos & Co. Showroom and Outlet also gives group tours and demonstrations, if requested. The showroom is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For lunch, enjoy your favorite toppings on a slice of pizza from the “People’s Choice Favorite Italian Restaurant,” Joe’s Pizza and Pasta located downtown. They are known for providing Effingham County and surrounding areas with the best of Italian cuisine. Joe’s is known for its great pizzas and pastas, which feature homemade sauces from the Trupiano family’s secret recipe, as well as delicious sandwiches, salads and desserts. There are daily lunch specials as well as online ordering available.
In keeping with a culinary theme, spend the afternoon at the new Hodgson Mill retail store. It features the full line of Hodgson Mill products. Since 1882, Hodgson Mill has been grinding whole grains and making nutritious foods full of natural flavor and free of artificial preservatives, additives or colors. Taste the daily samples and learn about which mixes would be right for your next baking project. Relax in front of the Fireplace in the winter or a cool beverage on the wide-open porch in the summer. Culinary classes are now available. Winter is a prime time to attend a class in the warm & cozy Education Center. A Demo Class is $20, Interactive is $25. All include recipes and sample tastings. Register in person at the Store or online at their website.
“Many leisure travelers come to Illinois because of the state’s flourishing restaurant scene, according to a D.K. Shifflet & Associates Study. You’ll agree, once you’ve visited Niemerg’s Steakhouse. Enjoy a home-style meal with the quality of a top – rate food – chain restaurant, where guests enjoy delicious food and great service at reasonable prices. From chicken dinners, to steaks, to seafood, Niemerg’s is certain to have something that will delight your tastebuds. It’s so very hard to stay away from their abundant selection salad and soup bar. But you’ll want to save room for the main entree as well as a generous slice of homemade pie! And we dare you to call off the Long list of flavors available as readily as their courteous
So get ready and start your delicious trip to Effingham today! You will not be