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Twin Rails Pub Worth a Trip

Three Rivers Arts Council Executive Director Amy Hayes and I had lunch at this recent addition to Minooka and enjoyed our selections very much.

I guess I should have expected no less. The food at Twin Rails Pub was very good. But then, since the pub and it's attachedis owned by the Chapin family, I should have known I would enjoy my food.

I wrote about the original Chapin's Restaurant, which is located in Morris and I raved about the . I did not have dessert at Twin Rails Pub, mostly because Amy Hayes and I both ordered and shared an appetizer in addition to our meal selections. Hayes is the executive director of and she and I spent most of lunch talking about the exciting events that are coming to the Firehouse Art Gallery in the coming months. More on that later. First, the food.

Hayes ordered the mushroom and cauliflower combo as an appetizer. I went for the potato skins. I tried one of the mushrooms after I peeled off all the breading. What I have to say as someone who used to eat "normal" food, before I was gluten-free and all, is that this looked like great breading. It looked as though it was bordering on a tempura. Hayes confirmed my instinct.

"It was nice and light and fluffy, which is what you want," she said.

The potato skins were good. They weren't the best I have ever had, but they were good.

For entrees, I went for the Caesar salad with herb chicken. Hayes ordered the fish special of the day. It seemed the fish, which I believe was fluke, had the same great breading as the mushrooms and cauliflower. The fish taste was light and not fishy. It was served with a remoulade, which is the Twin Rails Pub answer to tartar. They do offer traditional tartar for those who request it.

My Caesar salad was great. The chicken was phenomenal. The seasonings on the chicken tasted like a Grecian chicken, minus the lemon. So I asked for some lemon slices and ate my chicken in that manner. Fabulous. The Caesar salad was good, with plenty of parmesan cheese.

The fish Hayes ordered came with garlic parmesan fries. They were quite good.

Both Hayes and I came away from lunch with the intention to return. We sat at the bar for lunch and the bartender was friendly and was good at checking on us without interrupting our conversation. This is a challenge as a bartender, but perhaps even more so for Hayes and I because we were so engrossed in talking about TRAC.

Hayes founded TRAC after moving to Minooka from Oak Park, a community with a very strong art culture. Wanting to have the same in the town in which she lived, Hayes founded TRAC and recently, with cooperation from the Minooka Fire Protection District. The volunteers who run and are members of TRAC have been working hard to create a gallery space in the old firehouse and it is expected to open in the late spring/summer. But the space is already a happening place. Most recently, the group hosted a spring break theater camp for kids 6 - 13. The camp was such a hit, TRAC plans to offer it seasonally.

Every Monday is Open Art Night. Artists can bring their medium - from paints to music - and create in the space. The gathering begins at 5:30 p.m. Music must be unplugged.

The Firehouse Arts Center also hosts a movie night once a month. On April 27, they will screen the Gene Kelly classic, "Singin' in the Rain." A $5 donation is suggested, but attendees can get $1 off for each rain-related article of clothing they wear. The movie begins at 7 p.m.

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