In Our Own Back Yard

Our daughter-in-law presented me with a gift card to Cyd’s in Junction City for Mother’s Day.  It is her favorite place of the moment, especially as she now works on the north side of Peoria.  Julie keeps us abreast of what’s new or interesting in Peoria.

Cyd’s is an up-scale deli/caterer/carry-out/eat-in place located in Junction City.  As you’ve probably heard, this venerable piece of Peoria real estate is under new ownership and is getting a make-over.  The landscaping was well-done and we passed a gallery-style furniture and accessory shop that looked intriguing on the way to dinner.  It wasn’t open on Friday evening for my browsing, but the displays in the windows were certainly entertaining.  The artwork was incredible.  Back to the restaurant…

Inside, Cyd’s is all brushed stainless steel chairs and tables with campy art work and concrete floor–very trendy.  They have live music on the weekends, I believe.  But, let’s cut right to the food.  It took us a few minutes to get acclimated and understand that we could select portion-sized servings for take-out or eating-in.  My husband chose a crab cake and twiced baked potatoe, which the server heated and brought to our table.   It took a few minutes as the server told us Cyd insisted on heating main dishes in the oven.  

I drooled for the Asian noodle salad [sesame noodles], and the fresh fruit salad looked too good to pass up.  Both were very refreshing, and hubby said his was delicious. 

They, of course, have excellent coffee [almost a pre-requisite] and desserts in generous wrapped portion sizes as well.  I was delighted to find peanut butter Rice Krispey Treats covered with a layer of fudge among the selections.  Wow!  Rich and too much to eat at one sitting.  The thick lemon bars and Tiramisu bars were a close second choice.  Specialty cookies and cheesecake would also have to wait for another day.  Breads and pastries lined up on counters made it look like a big-city bakery.

Carry-out was doing a good business but we were the only two eating “in” on a Friday evening.  Julie told us Cyd’s had a loyal following when they were located in Peoria Heights.  But they made the move to Junction City when rennovation began, opting for a better location and more parking.  Prices reflect the quality and selection.

As we came in, a group of ladies were camped out in a small outdoor seating area near the entrance to the restaurant.  The only fresh-air seating is a large umbrella table with sumptious over-stuffed outdoor chairs around it, which the group seemed loath to relinquish.  I didn’t blame them a bit.  I told my husband, “I want to come back just to be able to drink coffee and eat dessert relaxing in that enticing grouping.” 

I also thought Cyd’s would be the place to come for picnic carryout if we wanted to cruise back down to nearby Grandview Drive and eat overlooking the river some lovely summer day.  We haven’t done that for awhile, and “the world’s most beautiful drive” is right in our own back yard… 

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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