Cool blues and excellent food

Printed in The Daily Journal, July 19, 2013

From Bradley to L’Erable to Limestone, there’s some awesome food out there.

Make one of your stops the new Amy’s Broadway Villa and Grill in Bradley. Formerly La Villetta on Broadway, the restaurant’s owner, Amy Serfovic, was once an owner of La Villetta and says guests can expect the same great food and service. Along with the new name comes a new menu, though. Beginning in August, a brunch buffet will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. It will include eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, German fried potatoes, french toast, fresh fruit, roasted chicken, pasta, roast pork, potatoes, vegetable and salad. Cost will be $10.99 per adult.

Amy’s Broadway Villa and Grill not only will serve steaks, seafood and chicken but also will feature German specialties such as schnitzel florentine, hunter schnitzel, wiener schnitzel and chicken schnitzel. There will be Italian dishes, too.

Hours will remain the same — Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., except on brunch buffet days.

Amy’s Broadway Villa and Grill is at 801 W. Broadway St., Bradley. Call 815-939-9440.

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Head down to The Longbranch in L’Erable for some excellent food and some cool blues. The dinner special this weekend (Friday and Saturday) will be smoked pecan wood, bacon-wrapped scallops over linguine pasta tossed in a lemon-garlic, olive-oil sauce with red wine onions and asiago cheese.

Or try the 12-ounce, fire-grilled, garlic-and-parmesan-crusted New York strip steak served with a marinated shrimp skewer and caramelized onions with bacon green beans and your choice of a side. This is my husband, Dave’s, favorite steak dish.

For dessert, you must have the housemade peach pie topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream. This is one of the most mouth-watering desserts imaginable.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25, The Longbranch and Friends of the Blues will be present Albert Castiglia and his band in the beer garden. Donna Herula will open the show at 7 p.m.

The beer garden opens with food at 5:30 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. Guests who arrive after 6 p.m. are welcome to bring lawn chairs for the concert. Price is $10 per person at the gate. Chef Nick will be preparing his pork chop sandwiches and cheeseburgers with all the fixings ($5 each) until 8 p.m.

The Longbranch is at 2713 N. 1500E Road, Clifton. Phone 815-694-9748.

Reservations are highly recommended. Also, the restaurant does not accept credit or debit cards, so bring cash or a check. There is an ATM in the bar.

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Dewey and Fran Noe, owners of Fran’s on 17, said they are offering daily lunch specials, including five new wraps. One of the most popular items on the lunch menu is the prime rib sandwich.

Thursday is Mexican Day at Fran’s. Guests can dine on chicken and beef quesadillas, fish or traditional tacos and, of course, chips and salsa.

Fridays are still reserved for fish specials such as baked scrod, shrimp and walleye, both at lunch and dinner, but the full menu includes rib-eye steak, too.

Prime rib is served Friday and Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. Guests can order the regular cut for $15.95 or the king cut for $19.95. Both include soup or salad and potato.

Barbecue ribs are another specialty at Fran’s, and the restaurant’s pizzas are homemade and fabulous. Fran even has her own special sandwich – a pizza wrap.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information, call 815- 932-6986 or check them out on Facebook.

Fran’s on 17 is at 7096 W. State Route 17, Kankakee (Limestone).

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Jim and Mary Roy, of Kankakee, sent in a recommendation for a restaurant in Frankfort, Chef Klaus’ Bier Stube.

Mary said she had “the best fillet in my life. My husband had a blackened prime rib that was to die for. The food was fantastic. I had my first potato pancake, and I have been talking about it ever since. We will definitely go back. It was a wonderful end to our day.”

Mary also said she and Jim enjoyed the pre-meal goodies, which “consisted of several breads, including hot pretzel bread, three different flavored butters, some vegetables, onion and braunschweiger. It was quite nice.”

Mary went on to recommend the beer and wine, too, which she said were both excellent.

Best Bites appears every Friday in The Daily Journal. Tinker Parker can be reached at 815-802-5101, at bestbites@daily-journal.com, or follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/TDJBestBites.

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