Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Ate a Horsehoe

Chatham, IL
Double J Campground

I was amazed that we had the last open site yesterday and today it looks like a ghost town in this RV park. 

I wanted to watch the Diamondbacks play the Cubs on TV so we only had time to tour one site this morning.  We've been here  before and thought we'd seen all the attractions when I remembered that we hadn't visited the Dana-Thomas House.  I believe Marsha and Paul blogged about it once.  

 It didn't take long to find the house and lucky for us, you can park on the street in front of the mansion on Sunday.  

A tour was just ready to begin when we arrived.  We watched a short video and then Katie, our enthusiastic tour guide, walked us down the street to the entrance where guests would arrive.

Photos were not allowed inside the mansion so you'll just have to see it for yourself.  Frank Lloyd Wright had a blank check to add additions to the original house.  After  completion of the project Dana paid Frank Lloyd Wright $60,000 for the 35 rooms with over 12,000 square feet and the furnishings.  There are three floors but there are 16 various levels.  

It just wasn't something I liked.  We've been to other Frank Lloyd Wright's houses and the one in Scottsdale is much nicer.  

In 1981, the State of Illinois bought the home from the Thomas' for one million dollars to be a state historical site. 

We took a drive by the nearby Capitol building to see if they offered tours on Sunday.  After driving around the Capitol and finding all the parking reserved, we decided we didn't want to see it that badly.  They were in session on a Sunday.

Now the only other thing I found in the Springfield Visitor Guide that I wanted to check out was a "horseshoe sandwich".  The booklet listed Chilli (the extra "l" is for delicious) as a restaurant that has been in business since 1909 so we drove over to it.  They were closed!  No problem, we'll go to the Cozy Dog another Route 66 restaurant that is also famous for the corndog.  They were closed too!  At this point we decided to go home.  As we pulled into the park, I asked the host where we could go for a "horseshoe."  She told us of a place about 2 miles away.

When we arrived at the Chatham Cafe, I didn't look at anything else on the menu except the horseshoe.  Bill went with chicken fried steak.  

Now if you're wondering what it is the visitor's guide gave this story.  "Created at the Old Leland Hotel in 1928 by Joe Schweska and Steve Tomko, this famous open-faced sandwich from Springfield, earned the name "horseshoe" from the shape of the cut of ham.  Toppings on the bread and meat represent other blacksmith tools.  French fries represent the nails and the sizzle platter, a hot anvil.  As a result of the popularity of the original ham version, endless variations have emerged including: hamburger, egg, chicken, bacon, shrimp, turkey, corned beef and any combination of meats.

The Horseshoe Sandwich
Lay two pieces of toast on a preheated platter then place the desired meat on the toast.  Cover the entire sandwich with cheese sauce, and circle the platter with French fries.  Add a dash of paprika for color.

     The Sauce is the thing.......
     2 egg yolks
     1/2 cup beer
     3 cups grated cheese
         (sharp, old English Cheddar
          or Colby Longhorn)
     1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
     1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     Dash of cayenne pepper
     Tabasco as desired."

The Horseshoe I had  tasted more like Velveeta cheese.  I tried it, don't care to do it again.  

Turtle Safely........



  1. Jan, I think that was a recipe. You posted a recipe.

    I have heard of this horseshoe sandwich and I think I can make you one that doesn't taste like Velveeta cheese.


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