Monday, July 20, 2009

Kelly’s – Sterling, IL

I came back to Illinois and had lunch with Gerd’s mother and brother, whom I miss terribly. The past few years, when we’ve gone home to visit, Kelly’s had been brought up, but for some reason or other we never ended up going there. This time, I remembered on the way to their house and actually remembered to say something about it.

Make no bones about this place, it’s an Irish bar. There’s Irish language (Gaelic, right?) translated on the menu and there’s shamrocks all over the place like a leprechaun puked. And then the middle section of the menu is Mexican food. I’ve only heard about Kelly’s because of its Mexican food, so I was actually unaware that they had regular bar kinds of food. So I scoured the menu and came across a couple of things I could eat. When I got to the Loco Grande Burrito, I knew I had found a winner. I’ll translate for you – Loco Grand Burrito means “crazy big burrito.” I didn’t ask the waitress how big it was, I just ordered it. So you know, I’m gearing up to eat the 7 pound burrito at Jack N Grill in Denver next month, so I’m trying to pace myself like a marathoner. I’ll let you know how that goes.

And since I was in Illinois (even SMALL town Illinois), I knew I could safely order a Mt. Dew and be pretty confident they would have it on tap. Cha-ching! I was right. The burrito came out and I was not disappointed. I would guestimate it about 1.5 to 2.0 pounds. It was really big. Filled the entire large plate it was on. Super thick layer of un-namable cheese on top and the insides were a combination of chicken and steak, rice and beans, and a metric crap-ton of red and green bell peppers.

It started out pretty good, in fact, even for an Irish bar burrito. Lots of meat in there (twss). However, the peppers in there were more than flavoring – they were filler. Lots and lots of filler. I may not have to eat another bell pepper for another 6 months after this thing. The flavor was just fine, but it was like a 3 to 1 ratio of peppers to meat on each bite. It wasn’t a great burrito, but it was a LARGE burrito. I don’t know that I’d recommend it, but it’s a good place to figure out how I’ll do out in Denver.

I felt really bad for Gerd’s brother and mother since they sat there and watched me eat for another 25 minutes after they were done. Ha ha ha. They told me not to rush, so I just kept shoveling it in. I hope I didn’t horrify them or anything. And they didn’t mumble anything mean under their breath when we left after I finished it all (except for a couple of forkfuls of peppers that were left.

All in all, the Mexican food would have ranked really high in Minnesota using the weighted ranking. As it was, I’d give it about a 6 or 7 in normal Mexican food ranking. I would have no problem going back to Kelly’s and trying some of their other food. Gerd’s mother’s enchilada looked tasty and Gerd’s brother’s buffalo strips smelled delicious (although there were some weird colored parts inside – I’m just sayin’). And of course, I look forward to any opportunity to go out and see Gerd’s family, including Gerd and I’s wonderdog, Zoey, whom I miss terribly.

If you’re in Sterling, don’t be afraid to try Kelly’s.

Top 5 things about Kelly’s
1. I got to spend time with Gerd’s family and see our dog
2. Loco Grande Burrito is like a pillow filled with meat and peppers!!!
3. Chips and salsa were really good
4. For an Irish bar, they have some good girly drink specials
5. They have Dew!!!

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd should have been eating lunch with us and it would have made everything 12,973 times better
2. Bell pepper overload
3. There’s a “bit” of road construction on the street near Kelly’s
4. Felt bad that Gerd’s family had to watch me shovel food into my mouth looong after they were done with their meals
5. My guts are sooooo displeased with me right now

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