Well the next time you're in Kickapoo...here's the place to be!

On a recent trip back home to the great state of Iowa, I was dying for something non-chain. I just hate going to chain restaurants when I'm on a road trip. I want to get some local flavor.

As we were driving I saw a sign for "from-scratch cooking" and I was sold. So just off I-74 at Exit 82 we stopped at the Jubilee Cafe!

You can't see the sign for Chicken Dinner - that was the special of the day...

This was our first attempt at capturing the waitresses hair on the camera...didn't work so well...damn sun.

It's your typical diner...counter with seats, lots of booths and tables. It was EXTREMELY busy for a weekday lunch. Nearly every table was filled when we walked in!

Lar ordered the Reuben and onion rings. Look at the corned beef! This was huge thick slices of corned beef and delicious sauerkraut and cheese on thick texas toast. Really a great Reuben. The onion rings were pretty tasty as well.

I had to get the special. Two pieces of chicken, twice baked potato casserole, some odd bean casserole concoction and a roll - for less than $6! The chicken - juicy, crispy - delicious! The twice baked potato casserole - very very yummy - comfort food at its best. Cheesy & creamy!

The surprise of the meal was most definitely the bean concoction. It was lima beans, kidney beans and refried beans maybe? Really I have no idea - but it was beans beans and more beans. But the surprising thing was the sweetness - like homemade baked beans... It was really great. I was totally scared to try it but then practically licked the bowl!

Here's a shot of the counter - makes me think of Mel's Diner from Alice! And I totally expected to hear "Kiss My Grits!" from someone...

I was stuffed but Larry loves pie...and they had a giant case of it. Every kind you can think of!

There's attempt #2 at the wall of hair!

More pie...pecan...I love it so. I split the chocolate pie with Larry instead...trying to be the good and not get a whole piece for myself.

Totally should have bought that damn shirt.

And as we left - I spotted this. Always nice to see a Forrest Gump reference on a road trip.

Honestly - you'll probably never go - unless you're also driving to Cedar Rapids, IA. Diners like this are why I like to eat out. It's local, it's homey, it's a slice of Americana.

But if you ever do find yourself on I-74 in the middle of nowhere Illinois (just southwest of Peoria) - then make a stop at Exit 82 to the Jubilee Cafe and at least have some pie...you'll be glad you did!

Jubilee Cafe on Urbanspoon
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