Initial Visit: May 2nd, 2015
Rating: 2/5
Price: $-$$

Description: Not just a bakery but a tourist stop.

If you mention getting donuts (or doughnuts) in East Peoria, everyone will talk about how good Carl’s Bakery is. They produce a lot of doughnuts (or donuts) that are beloved by the residents of East Peoria. Having lived in the general area and having drove by the place a million times, I thought it was time to check it out.

If you are familiar with Carl’s Bakery, you are familiar with the giant rooster that is outside the building. If you aren’t familiar, then there is a giant rooster outside the building. One that is prime for taking a fun photo with. My dad and I did just that after trying out their food.

Carl’s Bakery is one of those places that seems to be open from before the sun rises to around noon-ish. So, if you are interested in going, you better head there when the roosters crow or else they will be closing up shop. When you go, you have to compete for a parking spot on the side of the building. While Carl’s has an indoor eating area, I took the limited parking as a sign that they cater to the ‘pick up my donuts (or doughnuts) and go’ crowd. Nonetheless, my dad and I found a spot to park and headed in. Once we were inside, we had to squeeze a large throng of people to get to the counter. We told the cashier we wanted to eat in. She guided us to a table and we took a seat.

While looking over the menu, I had hopes of getting some breakfast as that is what I assumed they specialized in. Maybe we missed a cutoff point or something else happened but we ended up ordering some lunch instead. My dad got a tenderloin and I got… I honestly don’t remember. Maybe a burger that came with a ton of fries. Oh, and we both got coffee.

Let us start with the coffee. It was… not good. I’ve had cheap coffee and this stuff takes the cake. I used more half-n-half and sugar than I normally do. While I am no snob and I put down a few cups, it wasn’t worth it in the end to taste some water masquerading as coffee. But no worries. It’s just coffee. We were there for the food. How was that?/

A notch above the coffee. I fully admit that I don’t remember what sandwich I got but I do remember not being a fan of it. My dad said the same thing about his tenderloin. Both just lacking in everything. How does that happen? Can a chef or someone with cooking knowledge explain that to me? The french fries were salvageable at least. In fact, they were the only things that tasted good.

Hype. It has it’s place in the world but more often than not, I find that hype ruins a lot of things for me. Movies, video games, restaurants, and various other things. It’s nice to get excited about something but when it doesn’t live up to that level, I believe it is more disappointing than if it weren’t hyped at all. But we aren’t here for a hype discussion.

My dad and I got to hang out and try something new. Was it the best place ever? No. Do I cherish the memory of this outing? Heck yes. While I may have had a lack luster time here, don’t let the opposite of hype dissuade you from checking it out if you are a doughnut (or donut) person. Or you want to stop and take a photo with the giant rooster outside and then find yourself magically teleported inside, trying out their coffee and menu offerings.

819 E Camp St
East Peoria, IL 61611

(309) 699-7275