Best Bites: April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

I’m so anxious for Easter this year. Unlike last year, we won’t be fighting the snowy weather, mud and wet grass. This year, we’ll have green grass and buds on the trees. Hopefully, we’ll have great weather for our annual Easter egg, let me rephrase, our Easter Ducky hunt.

Yes, we’ve switched from hiding 500 stuffed eggs to hiding many plastic rubber duckies that are color coded. Each color has a different monetary value. At the end of the hunt, we make the kids add up their tabs and present them to Pawpaw who cashes them out. It seems the older they get, money is more appealing than candy.

I know, it’s work, but I love doing it. Our youngest grandchild is 14 and the oldest 27. Every year, they still want the hunt and, of course, the bunny paws that led them to their Easter baskets. Even the adults get into the hunt since there is the “special egg” hidden somewhere in the yard.

Another beautiful tradition of Easter is the brunch. Whether you stay at home or go out, it’s always fun to have the family around the table. Here are a few suggestions:

What better place to enjoy Easter brunch than Hoppy Pig? The name is perfect.

Hoppy Pig is going all out for brunch; there will be a carving station serving prime rib, ham, brisket, pasta and many more brunch items. If that’s not enough to get your mouth watering, there will be several stations for those made-to-order omelets and other specialties. Beverages will include coffee, orange juice and hot tea. Not to forget the desserts.

Seating is limited, so make those reservations by calling 815-614-3134. Adults are $23.95; children 4-8, $10.95 and 3 and younger are free. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Don’t forget to try one of their special drinks. I really love their Bloody Marys.

Hoppy Pig is at 135 N. Kinzie Ave., Bradley. Call 815-614-3134. Check them out at hoppypig.com for more specials and menus.

Enjoy a drive to Kempton and have dinner at Tom’s Tavern and Restaurant for its all-you-can-eat buffet. On hand will be sliced ham, slow-cooked roast beef, turkey, its signature fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, catfish, Tom’s seasoned pork loin roast and more, including stuffed cabbage rolls, and homemade Salisbury steak with onions and mushrooms in gravy. Add to your plate a heaping of Tom’s homemade mashed potatoes with his gravy.

The salad bar will be filled with homemade salads, meat and cheese and vegetable trays, along with soups and deviled eggs. Save room because they have a huge dessert bar filled with a variety of decadent homemade desserts.

There are three seatings only — 11:30 a.m.; 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Price: $19.95 for adults; $7.99 for children 6-10; and 5 and younger are free. Make your reservations early as it fills up fast. Call 815-253-6407. Tom’s Tavern and Restaurant is at 221 Main St., Kempton.

JR’s Chicken will be serving an exceptional buffet of chicken, ham, chicken alfredo, barbecue rib tips, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy along with a soup and salad bar, including dessert. The buffet is $10.49 for adults, $4.99 for children 10 and younger, and children 2 and younger are free. Both locations will be open, but the buffet is only at the Kankakee location. The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kankakee’s location is at 135 E. Bourbonnais St. Call 815-933-3347.

On Saturday, Carlo’s Family Restaurant, 2060 W. Station St., Kankakee, will be serving their famous leg of lamb. The lamb dinner will come with roasted potatoes and asparagus. For dessert try a piece of homemade cake or a slice of pie. Carlo’s will be closed Easter Sunday.

Bakers Square will open during regular business hours on Easter, serving breakfast all day along with lunch and dinner. Items include avocado toast, a variety of breakfast skillets and scramblers, crepes, omelets, eggs Benedict are all choices for breakfast or brunch.

For lunch or dinner enjoy sandwiches and melts such as the bacon lover’s BLT or supreme grown-up grilled cheese (with bacon) or a burger. It also has the traditional chicken pot pie or pot roast. The lemon butter Tilapia, salmon or a salad are options for the lighter side.

No one can leave without pie. How about the peanut butter banana supreme, featured only in April. The French silk or blueberry pies are must-haves. Don’t forget the carrot cake for the Easter bunny. No reservations are required.

Bakers Square Restaurant is at 1315 Armour Road, Bourbonnais. Call 815-933-2042 or visit bakerssquare.com.


Did you know:

• 90 million Chocolate Easter bunnies are made worldwide.

• There are 43 flavors of marshmallow Peeps.

• $1.5 billion worth of Peeps are consumed.

• $182 billion is spent on Easter.

• $2.6 billion is spent on candy.

• $2.9 billion is spent on gifts.

• $5.7 billion is spent on food.

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

• 59 percent prefer to eat the ears first.

• 33 percent have no preference.

• 4 percent will go for the feet.

• 4 percent will bite the tail off first.