Monday, February 28, 2011

What The Heck Is This??

It isn't any secret to those who read my blog that I am no fan of the HRA tax in Peoria. You know it; it is the tax added to your restaurant bill and some other types of entertainment that go to support the Civic Center. This was supposedly a temporary tax to help get the Civic Center on its feet and rolling. Well, temporary must mean 25+ years.

Of course, it is one excuse after another...not enough parking, not enough space, no attached hotel, etc. why it isn't successful and loses bushels of money every year.

So this strikes me very odd. I'm driving past the big new digital display they have outside and what do I witness? AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR EMBASSY SUITES!!!!

Is it me, or is this bizarre? The Civic Center people complain they don't get enough convention business yet they advertise for a competitor?

I guess if you can't beat them and they are stealing your business, you might as well take their advertising dollars to make up for it.

Good Question

I was asked recently by another local blogger what I am doing with my blog. Good question. Frankly, I don't know.

I started doing restaurant reviews and due to several factors, I've pretty much have quit that. One reason is I just feel a bit odd running a restaurant then going out to other restaurants, critiquing them and putting my findings out there for my whole two remaining readers, I mean, world to view.

I was doing some wine reviews, but I'm in a beer mode right now. Anyway, working at a winery I get to try a lot of wines that are barely out of the juice stage, fermenting, aging, ready to go into the bottle, etc. so I get my fill.

So, it seems I either have been announcing events at the winery, bitching about how people drive (I could probably blog daily about all the excuses for "driving" I witness) or other things that irritate me.

I'm sure the COP will do something this summer that will irritate me. I have the urge to make the pond in my landscaping larger, so I'm sure that will produce some comedic fodder for all of you.

Eventually, I'll regroup, refocus and do something interesting or fun with this blog again. Sit'll happen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mardi Gras Event at Willett's Winery

We are hosting a Mardi Gras celebration at the winery this year. Even though we JUST finalized everything this past Thursday, it seems to be very popular as we have sold quite a few tickets. So, to give you a heads up before the "normal means" of advertising begins, here is what is going on:

If you can’t make it to Mardi Gras in New Orleans or participate in the festivities in Soulard, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the food & music!! Join us at Willett’s Winery for a New Orleans Food & Jazz Experience on Saturday, March 5th featuring a buffet of Creole and Cajun favorites and the sounds of Dixieland & New Orleans Style Jazz by the David Hoffman Quartet (David was the trumpet player for Ray Charles’ band for 13 years!!) $25.00 per person.

Cocktails and music begin at 6:00 PM Dinner at 6:30 PM

Mixed green salad with Piquante dressing

Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Rice


Shrimp Bienville (Shrimp in a cream style sauce)

Blackened Catfish

“Voodoo” Chicken

Hoppin’ Johns

Creole style Vegetables

Mixed Greens


Southern Comfort Pecan Pie

Beer & wine available for purchase

We are expecting this to sell out so make your reservations by calling the winery at 309-968-7070

Laissez les bontemps rouler!! (Let the good times roll).

See You Around The Table in Manito......

Chef Kevin

Friday, February 04, 2011

Who Done It?

There are several tickets available for Saturday night's Murder Mystery Dinner at Willett's Winery and Cellar. They are $40 each which includes a three course dinner and the interactive show. Social "hour" starts at 6:00 PM with the show and dinner starting at 6:30. Call the winery at 968-7070 for your reservation or more information.

The roads are pretty clear of snow to Manito.....

See you around the table.....

Chef Kevin

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Things I Do Not Understand

Ahhhh....a nice day for bloggery.

Recently, I received a wonderful letter from my bank offering me a credit card. It had a rate which I could not refuse. And it wasn't a teaser rate. AND they wanted to know what I wanted my limit to be. This is all true and good. So, I transfer (without any fees, high rates, etc.) my other two credit cards with much higher interest rates to this one and attempt to close the accounts. One did, no issues. But Capital One just will not let it go. I've e-mailed, called (and all I got were sales pitches, hung up, tried again, same shit and hung up) and now have written. I keep getting low percent (for 6 months) offers, convenience checks and offers of higher credit limit. Ya know, you should have done these things to keep an 11 year loyal customer happy instead of raiding my billfold every month with your high interest rates. Fine, I'll accept your offer if Jessica Biel personally delivers it to me.

That goes for DirectTV, too. Oh, thanks for the free movie if I buy one. Thanks for the $100 credit if I talk a friend into getting your service. How about a free month of HBO and Cinemax? Or half price NFL Network? The day I figure out how to stream a few shows via Roku or other means to my TV, your ass is gone, too. You think they could come up with something better to reward their long term customers.

Next, I start getting these Home Energy reports from CILCO. First, I don't give a rat's ass what my "efficient" neighbors are spending on energy. Two, I don't give another rat's ass what my inefficient neighbors are spending. Three, I don't care that you want to challenge me to use 5% less energy than last year and I'm failing. And lastly, I REALLY don't give a flying bag of horseshit about a "Community Savings Goal". What the hell is that? Yet, you B-E-G me to go with paperless billing but you send me this stupid report, for which I do not remember requesting, IN THE MAIL!!!! How about knocking a few bucks off of my bill each month instead? Then I might meet my "Community Savings Goal". Blech.

I don't understand gasoline prices. How the hell can mid grade (89 octane) cost $3.29 in Peoria, but $3.14 in Pekin and Manito (which was still $3.04 in Manito until yesterday)? Are taxes so high in Peoria that there is a $.15 difference? And this isn't right has been like this every since gas went over $3.00 a gallon. Well, whomever is responsible for all the taxes in P-town, I buy my gas elsewhere, too, now. So, brainiac tax raisers, follow along if you can. You raise taxes. People look for the cheapest price. You don't have it and they buy elsewhere. So, now you have a big % of 0 sales where you used to have 8% of sales of some number. Now you have LESS money than you did. Got it?

I see that Mike Smith is still running for State Representative...or that is what the big honkin' sign at the corner of Rt. 29 and Pfeiffer Road in Bartonville says. Maybe he is getting a jump on the next election. Maybe all this wind will finally knock the damned thing over.

And finally, I've decided I'm going to change the color of my checks. Apparently they are the wrong color and it offends the Peoria County Collector who tells the street department guy not to have his guys plow my street this winter. I mean, what else could it be?