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You Gotta Eat: Mel’s Cafe

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) — It’s just another busy day at Mel’s Cafe in East Peoria.

And the place is packed with regular customers ready for some hot homemade cooked food and fresh hot coffee.

Annie McGraw and her husband Ed are regulars at Mel’s Cafe. And they’re not alone. In fact, more than half of the clientele here are frequent customers who love the food, the staff and the owner Mel.

“They’re all good people. I’ve known them most of my life. I kinda grew up over here in East Peoria,” said owner Mel Christianson.

According to Mel, he’s been running this place for a little over 8 years. He admits it’s humbling to see loyal customers like the McGraw’s come back again and again for their favorite dishes.

“They have something called the slim, which is a pancake, two eggs and ham. that’s good too,” said Annie McGraw.

Her husband ed has his favorite meal as well but he says he’s most impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the fact that every meal can be made to order.

“If you want a large pancake they make one that looks like a manhole cover or they make them small. The meat is always cooked thoroughly. The bacon, when you say crispy bacon and the ham, which my wife likes with the slim is an enormous piece of ham. It almost looks like a napkin,” said Ed McGraw.

And best of all, you can eat whatever you want here, whenever you want.

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner all day and all night. So, our menu is day or evening you can get dinner in the morning or you can get breakfast in the evening,” said head server Stacy Gumm.

So I ordered breakfast. I chose the country fried steak that was covered in white gravy, served with 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, mushrooms and jalapenos, hash browns and wheat toast.

I ate about 50 percent of my order before boxing up the rest for later.

The cost: $12.97.


Semone Doughton

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