Sunday, October 26, 2008

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Grazing Champaign-Urbana: A 24-hour meal

Today.....well, tonight.....this morning.....I'm not quite sure how to start it off, but anyway, on October 25, 2008 ("Today"....I guess that would have worked after all) Lauren and I will be attempting the unthinkable. We will be visiting (and eating at) 24 restaurants (focusing on locally owned of course) throughout the twin cities of Champaign-Urbana (also known as Chambana) in 24 hours. In our culinary adventure, we'll visit the fancy, the everyday, the ethnic, and most off all the tasty treats these cities have to offer. We'd like to thank Foodbuzz for sponsoring this event!

What's more, we'll attempt to do it all in under $300! I think this is kind of like Rachel Ray's $40-a-day, except that she usually only goes to 3 restaurants (~$13.33/restaurant), and we're hitting 8 times as many (way more extreme!). Also there are two of us, so when you do all of the math, we should be using about $640 for the whole event. Lauren and I will try our best to fight off fatigue, and save our pocketbooks to experience all that Chambana has to offer.

Please click on the links below to see our adventure.

00:00 - Radio Maria - Kicking it off

Tonight we'll see if this Champaign hotspot lives up to its hype. A link to the takeout menu is provided below. (Click here for more)
$19 spent including tax and tip
Total - $19

01:00 - Seven Saints

Described as "the quintessential downtown bar" by General Manager Andy Borbely, Seven Saints wows patrons with sliders, salads, and many other culinary delights. (Click here for more)
$16 spent including tax and tip
$35 total spent...can we make it? And can Lauren stay awake? Her head has already hit the table as I’m writing this!

02:00 - Howbowda Bagel
One of the newest additions to the Champaign restaurant scene, Howbowda Bagel has quickly become a favorite amongst the locals.(Click here for more)
$7.03 plus tas
Total spent - $42.03, we’ve got to spend less!

03:00 - Geovanti's Bar and Grill

So much to write, so much to write, and almost none of it is about the food.....(Click here for more)
$6 spent
Total spent - $48.03

04:00 - Fat Sandwich Company
Their pride and joy, the BigFatUgly (yes, it's all one word) has 20 ingredients, including cheesesteak, gyro meat, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, jalapeno poppers, and mac and cheese bites. (Click here for more)
$7.85 plus tax
Total spent - $55.88

05:00 - Merry-Ann's Diner
Merry-Ann's Diner wins the Iron Man award for Urbana restaurants. This place never closes. (Click here for more)
$11.23 - plus tax and tip
Total Spent - $67.11

06:00 - Sweet Indulgence

6 down, and 18 to go! Sweet Indulgence is the furthest drive for any of our stops, but I am assured that it will be worth it. (Click here for more)

$5.45 - Plus tax
Total spent - $72.56

07:00 - Courier Cafe

They were topped with a load of whipped cream and a generous serving of spiced butter. (Click here for more)

$7.69 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $80.25

08:00 - La Panaderia

I wonder if bread shops in Spain or Mexico are called La Panderia, or if it's a "only in America" thing. (Click here for more)$3.95 plus tax
Total spent - $84.20

09:00 - Market at the Square
Urbana's Farmer's Market at Lincoln Square is open every Saturday from May through the beginning of November. This week, the market is renamed to "Market at the Scare" to celebrate Halloween. (Click here for more)

$7 - spent, no tax
Total spent - $91.2

10:00 - Mirabelle

It is small and unassuming, but take a look around, and you soon realize that you're dealing with a heavy-hitter. (Click here for more)

$4.39 - plus tax
Total spent - $95.59

11:00 - Tang Dynasty

$10 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $105.59
$3.44 - plus tax (half off of slices until the sell out!)
Total spent - $109.03

13:00 - Jerusalem Restaurant
We've never been here, but we see it every week. It's been in Urbana for over 10 years, so it's got to be good right? (Click here for more)
Total spent - $114.13

18:00 - Cakes on Walnut
Cakes on Walnut is a new addition to downtown Champaign. It caters to the night crowd. (Click here for more)
$10.04 - plus tax
Total spent - $156.09

19:00 - The Bread Company
The Bread Company is known for their fondue. I pass by this restaurant a few times a day since it's located a few blocks away from my lab. Every time I walk home I see couples sharing fondue..(Click here for more)

$29.50 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $185.59

20:00 - Baraco

Bacaro has been open to foodies in Champaign since 2001. As one of the most expensive paces on our tour, I'm hoping that the "traditional Italian fare, combined with a modern American twist" lives up to its gastronomic hype. (Click here for more)
$49 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $234.59

21:00 - Sushi Kame

Sushi in Illinois? Check it out! (Click here for more)

$22.00 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $256.59

22:00 - Escobar
Escbar's is a Nuevo Latin resturant.....We've only heard rave reviews about the food at Escobar, (Click here for more)

$59 - plus drinks, tax and tip
Total spent - $315.59, okay, we busted our budget here....

23:00 - Murphy's Bar & Grill
Irish nachos. That is the reason that Murphy's made our list..... (Click here for more)
$10 - plus tax and tip
Total spent - $325.59, All done!


Kendell said...

You guys are crazy (but that is why I love you both!!!). I LOVE THE PUMPKIN PANCAKES at Courier! They are great! I'll be checking...I think this is great! I'm jealous I'm not there to have invited myself to the event...haha

Kendell said...

where is the cost are you doing with cash?

genkitummy said...

Just added the cost totals. Check out part one of teh journey if you haven't seen it yet!

shayna said...

what a neat adventure! thanks for blogging about it and letting us readers share in the fun!

Kendell said...

I LOVE IRISH NACHOS!!!! haha. I am so jealous. That looks like it was a ton of fun. It was also great that people joined you at different points on the journey. I think we should come visit me in Dallas and we can do that here! MISS YOU

Erika said...

I feel famous! just kidding...

I must say, sounds like I missed a few more delicious things after I left for the evening. I'm so proud of you two for sticking it out the whole day AND blogging about it. Thanks for taking me along for part of the adventure!

maybelle's mom said...

insane. I can't believe you made it through it all

craig said...

not going to lie -- this seems like it was nothing short of a heroic effort. you were so close to staying under $300, too! if you ever try that in NYC, you'll have to bring me along!

Laurie said...

You both rock! What a creative way to promote the foodbuzz 24 event! I think I would not beable to step foot in another restaurant for at least a month! :)

Ben said...

Oh my! How can you eat so much food in one day? LOL. Great concept, though. And yes, in Mexico bakeries are called panaderias so when you go buy your bread you say I am going to la panaderia.

Amazing job!

Deborah Dowd said...

What a whirlwind!Makes me want to head out to Urbana-Champaign to check out the food!

Reagan said...

YUMMY! Wish I could have been there to try all the different foods with you! Looks like you guys had your work cut out for you, but were able to stick with your plan! I only recognized the Irish nachos! =)

Kathy said...

You guys are so much fun! You pretty much invented the long-distance movie night, and now this! It is very inspiring. Hmmm...Where and how did you pack it all away? Anyway, thanks for sharing!

gracenotesnyc said...

I LOVED this post! I graduated from UIUC a while back and didn't realize there are so many new restaurants in the C-U area. Two places I'm sad you didn't visit: Rock's for their amazing cheese fries and Zorba's for their superior gyros. Looks like you had a ton of fun!

genkitummy said...

Hey Everyone!
Thanks for checking out and posting about our adventure! It was a crazy task, but we had a lot of fun in the process.

gracenotesnyc-hi! i'm sorry that we didn't visit your favorite restaurants. i'll make it a point to visit and blog about them in the next few months!

Nate-n-Annie said...

That is just insane! You guys must be committed.

I'd have quit by 7 am.