Springfield has an inordinate number of renowned food sites and items. Cozy Dog is probably the most famous, with its special batter recipe corn dogs. Springfield's also claims the country's first drive-thru window, at Maid Right Sandwiches. Then there's the chili, which is considered famous. My favorite though is the horseshoe sandwich, which is an open-faced sandwich topped with french fries and a cheese sauce. This sandwich is available in a number of towns throughout Central Illinois (you will strangely have a hard time finding it in Chicago though).
After visiting the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, Mickey and I were starving; thus, we dicided to have a rich, enticing dessert...and what better place for that than one of the five Pease's Fine Candies/Salted Nuts Stores? This newest location  is just across the street from the Library/Museum Complex, and it has a "show kitchen" where you are able to watch candy being made.
Of course, we both bought a few pieces of candy to take with us. I purchased two pieces of dark chocolate toffee, and Mickey purchased a dark chocolate with cream center Easter egg.
Pease's if famous for their Milk and dark chocolates in their "Assorted Chocolates box"; their "Raggedy Macs" [a mix of Milk Chocolate, their famous Caramel, and fresh roasted Macadamia Nuts]; Wrapped Vanilla Caramels [soft cream caramels made the "old fashioned way" for 4 generations]; and finally, "Lincoln Logs" [a crunchy pretzel rod dunked into famous caramel and then dipped into either milk or white choolate. You can just imagine how Lincoln's hometown loves these Lincoln Logs.
Since they also sell Ice Cream, Mickey and I decided to try some. I had a single cone, and Mickey had a single dip dish of Heath Candy Ice Cream, which was rich and delicious. See Mickey eating her ice cream in the photo #1.
Besides the location that we visited, they also have stores in these locations:
531 East Washington Street
1701 S. State Street
1871 Sangamon Avenue
3417 Freedom Drive
I found the MASS PASS to be a very unique way to remember my visit to Springfield, Illinois, and the many museums and historic sites that this lovely city has to offer.
If you go to the Visitor's Bureau, ask for a MASS PASS. You will receive a small booklet [see photograph #1].
This booklet lists several important sites which you will no doubt visit. A picture and an explanation of that site is printed on the page along with questions to check if you gained what you should have from your visit.
Once you reach a site, ask to have your "passport" stamped. Each site has its own unique stamp or sticker. The point is to try to collect as many as possible.
You have to keep reminding yourself to have it stamped. For the Old State House, I forgot so I went back the next day, and they gladly accommodated me. There is a spot in the passport to personalize it. You fill out your name and address plus add a photo of yourself or your group/family.
This passport serves as a visual reminder of the adventures that you experienced. It also serves as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. I had so much fun seeing each different stamp [see photo #2 concerning Shea's Gas Station Museum].
Don't call it a sandwich when you order it, just say "Horseshoe."
It's described as two pieces of bread, a meat, covered with melted cheese and french fries.
If you're in the mood for some 'bar food', and don't want to worry about being healthy for a meal..... this is what you need to order!
See my restaurant tips to find YOUR horseshoe.
The Horseshoe sandwich.
Two slices of bread (white preferred) with two burgers, covered with french fries and smothered with "special cheese sauce" is the original Springfield created food. It has evolved to have the burgers replaced by a variety of foods including bacon and eggs, turkey, chicken, chilli, pork tenderloin or almost any meat available to the restaurant. There are at least 5 places noted to be the original creator but in truth nobody really knows. A pony shoe has one burger. Many restaurants carry this and the quality varies depending on the sauce and generosity of the host.
BLOOMINGTON - NORMAL. A pair of cities that share a common Main Street, only one like it in the country.They are located in a rich corn and soybean farming area.Illinois Wesleyan University is here. Bloomington-Normal is a large city with hotels, motels and shopping centers.
A residential and industrial community.Because of its numerous scenic lakes, Pontiac is also a summer resort.The community, established in 1818, is named for Pontiac, the famous chief of the Ottawa Indians. Founded 1837 by James Fell.
Not really a cultural tip but more along the lines of advice. Park Rangers were taking groups of people through the Lincoln home when I was there. Sign up early and find out how long it will be till your group leaves. Then you can look around some till it is time for your tour.
When visiting Abraham Lincoln's tomb, it is considered good luck and tradition to rub Honest Abe's nose on the statue outside the tomb. That's why it is so shiny! Check out this site! http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/sites/tomb.htm
Did you know that Springfieldians (at least that's what I think we are called) are so stupid that the first line of every news cast on channel 20 our local NBC affiliate is, 'THE NEWS STARTS NOW!' Like we didn't know that. :-) If you don't believe me turn on channel 20 at 6PM our time and see for yourself!
ILLINOIS.State flag & facts.STATE NICKNAME: Land of Lincoln. STATE CAPITOL: Springfield. STATE SONG: 'Illinois', STATE ADMITTED: 1818, 21st State.