Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Peoria Illinois to Pontiac Illinois

Illinois is Abe Lincoln territory and Pontiac i part of all that. This is me and a very nice statue of the ole Railsplitter (I am on the left) chatting near the courthouse. The guy has not changed much in over 100 years.

The town has this thing with decorated dogs in front of various businesses--very similar to the frog statues in Toledo and the cow ones in Chicago. These dogs were all over downtown Pontiac and you could track them by those black paw prints all over the sidewalks. This is me with one of my favorites clled "corndog". That is me on the left.

This is a pic of the really ornate courthouse in Pontiac. The pic does not show how cool this really is.

This was my second most favorite dog in Pontiac . It was titled Dawg Daze and has a surfer theme. Besodes all decorated with rad surfer stuff the dog is even mounted on a surf board.
This lucky dog was surrounded by 2 cute kids names Regan and Clayton who were checking out the downtown art with their mom and grandma.

It was a 70 mile day yesterday and a real surprise treat to end up in Pontiac Illinois, a place I had never heard of before yesterday when I saw it on the map. Actually it was an accident I even came this way. I had intended on taking Rt 24 out of Peoria all the way to Indiana but the road and berm sucked and the the traffic was not bike friendly so I rode 4 miles north and got on Rt. 116 which runs east thru Pontiac.
It is a town of 11,000 on the Vermillion River and is the home of a large prison. When riding into town I noticed a bunch of American flags along the road and learned later that the local National Guard had just arrived back from Iraq that morning.
I also learned that during the past week a group of artists had decended on Pontiac and decorated the town. Besides the dogs there were a bunch of murals painted on the sides of buildings that were in my opinion spectacular. The theme of these murals was the historic Route 66 which runs thru Pontiac on its way to California. Actually Pontiac is the home of the Illinois Route 66 Association museum.

This is a very nice town and it was fun just riding around checking things out in the early evening when hardly any cars were on the street.
There was one minor negative about Pontiac. During the day I heard from 2 different people in small towns that the best place to eat in Pontiac was Baby Bulls, so that was my target. At 6 p.m. I went in hungry as hell and psyched about filling my belly with some Illinois grown dead cow/pig.
The special of the day was a rack of baby back ribs + baked potato and soup, so I ordered that an MGD and a flagon of water and 2 glasses of ice. I was ready to hunker down and drip BBQ sauce all over myself.
Well everything comes except the meat and the waitress says they are out of ribs (I checked my watch and it was 6:12 p.m.) so I powered down a bit and said "Ok what would you recommend?" and she suggested the 12 ounce sirloin which I ordered. The soup and potato stayed while she went to get the dead cow. It came about 15 minutes lates after I had eaten the soup and molested the potatoe before it got cold. I also drank the whole pitcher of water and ate all the ice in the 2 glasses along with several packs of crackers and sucking out the contents of about 10 of those little strawberry jam containers. I was ready for some sirloin and the mouth was watering as I saw it come from the kitchen. It was ok but then the waitress says we are all out steak sauce and the truck won't be delivering more until noon tomorrow(like maybe an option was for me to wait around some more).
I say "do you have a special brand steak sauce ?" and she says "no, it is A-1". And I say "You know there is a grocery store 100 yards across the lot, I'll bet they have some A-1".and she says "well if you want to get some....." and walked away. What a bunch of horse crap . This is Baby Bulls the best restaurant in town. This would be unheard of at The Versailles Inn --first of all they would not run out of their special at 6 and then not have some damned steak sauce even if they had to run down to John's IGA for a few bottles to tide them over til the steak sauce truck came the next day.
There was a well dresssed man standing at the cash register who seemed to be a main spring of some sort so I get out of nthe booth and told him I needed some steak sauce and i did not care what kind it was. He says with a sincere straight face"Oh no problem sir--I will get thaat for you rightaway--is A-1 ok" I say "yes, that will be fine" and head back to my table as he disappeared into the kitchen area.
Well the bastard son of a bitch never appeared again (I suspect he hid in the kitchen until I left)and I waited 15 more minutes before eating the now cold steak (and about 10 more strawbeery jam packets and some more crackers and bread i stole off a nearby table).
A new guy was at the cash register and I left no tip and did not answer when je asked how everything had been.
I am very tempted to ride back about 40 miles to those clowns who recommended Baby Bulls and set them straight. I suspect there is some type of regional conspiracy.
Now my focus is riding to The Versailles Inn and ordering a full rack of baby back ribs (heavy on the sauce) with baked potatoe and soup. Thyat would go a long ways towards soothing the pain I am feeling right now. God, I hope that is on their menu
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