Review by Steve Tarter of the Journal Star
May 27, 2015
You’ve got to hand it to any locally-owned restaurant that’s remained in business since 1952.
Especially one that’s not exactly located on a main drag. At a time when easy-to-find eating places come and go, Fairview Farms Restaurant, 5911 Heuermann Road, defies both time and space to serve up family-style meals that never seem to go out of style.
Located in a residential area by the airport, Fairview Farms isn’t likely to be discovered by accident unless a wayward traveler takes a wrong turn or two after flying into Peoria. As for defying time, one need only view the various Fairview dining rooms (the place can support 300 people) to know that, like grandma’s house, change isn’t a frequent visitor here.
Diners, however, enjoy good old-fashioned meals as we did on a recent Saturday night.
We arrived late, and while there were still groups dining around us, we were the only ones in this particular dining room notable for the dinner plates of area churches mounted on the walls.
I ordered the smoked pork chops ($15.95) that came with mashed potatoes and green beans. Gravy and signature corn fritters come family-style for everyone to share.
The pork chops went wonderfully with the beans and mash while the corn fritters were a treat, especially with the maple syrup provided.
I recommend the coleslaw that comes with the meal (or you can order a side salad). It’s both fresh and creamy, although I sampled the delicious dressing provided with my dining partner’s salad so you can’t go wrong either way.
My son found the four-piece chicken dinner ($13.95) to his liking.
While we went with individual meals, Fairview Farms still serves family-style meals providing chicken, fish, ham or roast beef with all the trimmings (ranging in price from $13.95 to $17.50 per person) with seconds provided (but no doggie bags).
Our server offered old-school hospitality that Fairview has come to represent, routinely refreshing drinks (I had iced tea while he had Coke), proving both attentive and helpful.
Normally a big meal like this wouldn’t dictate dessert but it was Saturday night so we splurged on pie. I tried the coconut cream ($3.95) while he went with French silk chocolate ($4.50). Both disappeared rapidly without regret. Apple pie is also on the menu along with ice cream and cheesecake.
A trip to Fairview Farms may be a nostalgic journey but it’s also an opportunity to recognize some things — like good food and friendly service — are time-honored.