Monday, January 31, 2011

Peoria BBQ & The King's Speech

Had some pretty excellent BBQ in Peoria Saturday night. The restaurant, Hickory River, lies on the west side of Peoria, across the street from the Shops at Grand Prairie. Too bad this is a chain restaurant - which we didn't know at the time - because it seemed like a well-kept secret of Peoria BBQ. The decor didn't look chain-like either.  Upon walking in, there was a plaque dedicated to soldier who'd been killed in Iraq in 2008; the dining room smelled like a smokehouse and long tables were set up in the middle of the room with short, two-person tables lining the walls. Seating was limited to 40 patrons.  It was cafeteria style ordering: from the counter, pick up a tray and some silverware.

I ordered the 'Cue Shoe, which is pulled pork and french fries on a piece of big bread smothered in cheese sauce and bbq, potato salad on the side.  Justin ordered the same thing.  Needless to say, we were not disappointed.  The bbq sauce was tangy and spicy (we both ordered it "hot"); the pork pretty much melted in your mouth so you didn't even need to chew; the fries, however, were a little crispy, but I didn't mind; and the cheese sauce was cheese sauce and that equals yum.  My girlfriend ordered the beef brisket sandwich and it looked pretty good too.  My father, however, ordered the prize: bbq ribs.  Lathered in mild bbq, the meat just kind of fell off the bones. (SIDENOTE: Even though I knew my picture was being taken, apparently, I also did not know my picture was being taken.)

After dinner, my parents treated us to The King's Speech. If you haven't seen this yet, you should.  I hear it's getting some Oscar buzz too, but that's beside the point. 

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW (though I try to keep it to a minimum)

The film is about King George VI of England and his struggle to overcome his stammer. It's also about the relationship between Berty (as George was known to his friends) and the doctor who treated him, Lionel Logue. Colin Firth turns in an excellent performance as Berty.  Geoffrey Rush and Helen Bonham Carter are also fantastic.  The film leads up to World War II and the transformation of Berty from the Duke of York who had a hard time speaking in public to the King of England who rallied a nation in a time of war.  Yet, this story was often overlooked in part because, I think, World War II had such larger-than-life villains and heroes already: would the stammering of a king really warrant a hard look? As a small detail in the broad canvas of events leading up to the war that would cost millions of people's lives, I'm not sure it's all that interesting; but as a defining moment in a person's life and the strength summoned to overcome, it definitely is.


  1. Geoffrey Rush and Helen Bonham Carter are two of my favorite actors ever. I haven't had a chance to see the movie yet, but I have heard nothing but good things about it. I'll have to go see it now, for sure.

  2. I saw the movie last week, as part of my "homeworks" for my Consecutive interpreting class. ( cool, right?)

    I agree with you, i had no idea that the King of England had done anything during WWII which is surprising considering the number of times i studied this war when i was in school.

    Colin Firth is extremely impressive, I really loved his acting in this movie.

  3. @Jodie: King's Speech is the best movie I've seen in 6 months. It's even better than True Grit, which was really good.

    @Marguerite: Consecutive Interpreting Class? That does not really cool. If I cared about the Oscars, I would cast my vote for Firth to win best actor, hands down.