Speed Week 2021
Welcome back to the Hop Laps blog. For a while there, I wondered if maybe we should just put this away and forget about it. As we all know, 2020 was quite the year, and it really put a damper on our racing and brewery adventures.
With all of that behind us, 2021 has been much better. We were back in Oklahoma in the spring to kick off the season with the Turnpike Challenge. Unfortunately, we didn't get to too many of our favorite breweries on that trip, but we did make it back to two of them, Broken Arrow and Elgin Park, neither of which disappointed.
This past weekend was Illinois Speed Week, which took us all over the heart of Illinois. We spent four days and five nights wandering the Land of Lincoln, racing by night and visiting different breweries, cafes and antique stores during the day. Since we actually got all five nights in, there were a few places we wanted to go to but couldn't because they opened too late, but we did manage to squeeze in quite a few. I'm going to list them for you here, and we'll go day by day just to keep it orderly.
- Charleston Speedway, Charleston
- Lincoln Speedway, Lincoln
- Obed & Isaac's in Springfield
We love going to Obed & Isaac's. It's that "must visit" place that is always on our list if we're anywhere near Springfield. Today we opted to sit in the bar area and soak in the cool air and comfortable atmosphere. Scott enoyed a couple of different beers, which he may list here later. I ordered a chicken club wrap, but the server got my order wrong and I was served a "chicken goat" wrap instead. I was so glad she messed up! This wrap consisted of grilled chicken, goat cheese and cranberries, not something I would even think of ordering, and it was fantastic! I will definitely order this again next time.
- The Barrel Antique Mall
- Jacksonville Speedway, Jacksonville
- Wabash Depot Antique Mall
This is such a wonderful place to go hunting for antiques! It's in a restored depot that sits next to a rail yard, so while we're shopping, we can also watch trains working. There is a fantastic display of Wabash memorabilia, and the folks working there are always so friendly and helpful. We never leave empty handed!
- Sangamo Brewing, Chatham
The decor in this place is what drew us in. Every wall is covered with amazing beer advertising. Huge signs, neons, a case full of trays and memorabilia. It is a literal feast for the eyes. We enjoyed a nice lunch here while taking in the amazing collection.
- Slauterhouse Brewing, Auburn
This was a really fun stop for us. It's built in an old slaughterhouse, and that theme is played up in the amazing metal work that is used in the decor. From the bar top, to the cleaver-inspired tap handles, to the backbar, the craftsmanship is everywhere. We were given lot of samples to try, and my favorite was the house made sangria.
- Macon Speedway, Macon
- Debbie's Diner, Decatur
We found this place during our last Speed Week and just had to come back. Best breakfast around!
- Firehouse Flea Market, Decatur
- Never Forgotten Thymes, Decatur
- Whistle Stop Antiques, Decatur
- Golden Fox Brewing, Decatur
- Door 4 Brewing, Decatur
We were fortunate enough to visit on a day when there were lots of puppies in the house! Pawprint Ministries was celebrating 4 years of service to the community and there were lots of service dogs there for the party. We enjoyed meeting several of them while we sipped on beer and strawberry limeade cider.
- Fayette County Speedway, Brownstown
- Crazy Ladies Cafe, Moweaqua
This was the perfect spot to celebrate Father's Day! Delicious food, adorable atmosphere and good company with some new race friends.
- Opera House Brewing, Hillsboro
We had tried to stop here the last time we were at Charleston, but they weren't open when we were in town. Today we planned better, and spent about two hours visiting with the owners. They have done a fantastic job restoring this building and making it beautiful, and they have plans to do much more. Currently they serve all of their own beers and $5 per pour (cash only) and have about 330 bourbons on hand. We will definitely be back!