The Brickhouse

I recently had the pleasure of eating a buffalo chicken horseshoe from the original Brickhouse location on the west side of town.  I’d heard great things about the Brickhouse as well as the nearby Corner Pub but not being from the West side, I had never been.  On my birthday, St. Patrick’s day, a good friend bought me a horseshoe at the Brickhouse for lunch.

A Buffalo Chicken shoe at the Brickhouse

I must say, I was impressed, the cheese had a bit of kick to it and everything was cooked well.  The fries and the cheese sauce were especially good.  The Brickhouse has since added a second location in downtown Springfield, in the location  of the former Sammy’s Sports Bar.


World Horseshoe Cookoff Controversy

There is controversy in the world of horseshoes beyond white cheese or yellow after this past weekend’s World Horseshoe Cookoff.  The winner in several categories Lindsay’s was disqualified for using their own kitchen instead of the kitchen at the Convention Center.  The SJ-R has complete coverage HERE.  It’s not clear why they were disqualified after the fact from the article.  For the sake of clarity for non-locals, Lindsay’s is located adjacent to the Convention Center while most of the other competitors are from other parts of town so it was easier for them to use their own kitchen than it would have been for other competitors.

World Horseshoe Cook-Off

The World Horseshoe Cook-off was held yesterday outside the Prairie Capitol Convention Center and nine restaurants participated.  There is a story about it in the State Journal-Register HERE and they have a couple of pictures.  There were winners in 4 categories.

Best Breakfast Shoe  – Lindsay’s Restaurant

Best Desert Shoe  – Amber Jack Alehouse

Crazy Horse Shoe – Lindsay’s Restaurant

Best Classic Shoe  – D’Arcy’s Pint

Best Overall Shoe  – Lindsay’s Restaurant

I made it out to the event with my family but by the time we arrived (5 pm) there were no shoes left to eat and the restaurant tents were gone or leaving so I don’t have nearly the report I was hoping to have.

World Horseshoe Cook-Off to be held August 1

I just found out that there will be a “World Horseshoe Cook-Off held at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center on August 1. The event starts at Noon and runs until 8. Prizes will be awarded and entertainment provided. For more information, check out the official website here:


Sammy’s Sports Bar and Grill is located in a former Hardees storefront right off the old capitol sqaure.  The Hardees may have been the worst customer service fast food joint in town and run down to boot.  Sammy’s is the polar opposite of the former tenants.  You can expect good attentive service at Sammy’s and they’ve certainly tried to deck the place out.  Plasma TVs, posters all over the walls and delicious food.  Sammy’s really specializes in fried appetizers and huge sandwiches.  Their horseshoe menu is actually a small part of an otherwise huge menu.

Sammy's Horseshoe menu in Springfield, Illinois.

I opted for a buffalo chicken horseshoe.  It was served with a side of bleu cheese dressing.   The fries are always good at Sammy’s and the cheese sauce was a tangy yellow sauce.  It was a good horseshoe but I was actually disappointed in the buffalo chicken.  While it had a good flavor, instead of the standard homemade breaded chicken breast, they served 2 seemingly premade frozen chicken strips. 

A Buffalo Chicken horseshoe from Sammy's in Springfield, Illinois

The horseshoe was good and I’m certainly going to try another one sometime soon but I’d call this trip a mixed bag.


Today we travelled well off the beaten path to Delaneys, a small grill on a side street near the state fairgrounds.  Be warned, Delaney’s is a cash only establishment so make sure to hit an ATM on the way.   Delaney’s is also the first place since I started this site that asked me why I was taking pictures of everyone’s lunch.  They asked if we were out-of-towners.  I suppose that tells you about the level of service that you get at a small place like this, they were attentive enough to our needs to notice how weird we were and were cool with it.  They had a pretty great selection of shoes, including a Shrimp shoe, which a reader recently commented on.  I’ll definitely be back to try one but stuck to an old standby today.  Here is their horseshoe menu, you’ll notice they offer a lot of customization to your shoe a la carte.  It may seem strange to have to pay to add options, but their prices are so low in the first place that you still come out ahead.

Delaney's Horseshoe Menu

I went with a classic, a ham ponyshoe.  It was thin slices of fried ham server on a piece of toast.  The fries were crinkle cut and average.  The sauce was a white cheese sauce which leaned towards a cheese gravy similar to Westwoods but actually a little better.

A ham ponyshoe from Delaney's in Springfield, Illinois.

Two friends had ribeye pony’s which they topped with A1

A ribeye steak ponyshoe from Delaney's in Springfield, Illinois

and a hamburger horseshoe was devoured as well. 

A hamburger horseshoe from Delaney's in Springfield, Illinois.

All in all if you have cash and can find it Delaney’s was a good place to get a shoe.

The Sportsman’s Lounge

I was in the neighborhood recently so I stopped by the Sportsman’s lounge for a horseshoe this week.  The Sportsman’s lounge is a Chicago Cubs themed hole in the wall that just recently re-opened.  There are only a few tables and they seem to do a good lunch business.

The Horseshoe Menu at Sportsman's Lounge in Springfield, Illinois

The fried pork tenderloin shoe is really their specialty but I opted for a Buffalo chicken instead.

A Buffalo Chicken Horseshoe from the Sportsman's Lounge in Springfield, Illinois.

A funny thing about running this website is that my friends and I have eaten so many shoes since we started that we are really starting to get picky.  The cheese sauce at Sportsman’s was average.  It really tasted a lot like yellow american cheese and milk.  It was creamy and well executed but nothing special.  The portion size was very generous with the horseshoe including two breaded chicken breasts.  There were a lot of very good crisp steak fries as well.


I went to Ritz’s on Jefferson in Springfield, Illinois this past week and had a hamburger horseshoe.  Ritz’s serves a classic yellow cheese shoe with crinkle cut fries.  I ordered a hamburger ponyshoe and thoroughly enjoyed it.  the Ritz’s shoes are similar to the Barrel Head but with a more yellow sauce. 

A Hamburger Ponyshoe from Ritz's in Springfield, Illinois

You really just get a  good yellow american flavor from their sauce.  Ritz’s does everything right, all the parts are fresh and piping hot to your table.  I really think that the french fries at Ritz’s are extraordinarily good, perhaps the freshest in town.  You can tell your shoe hasn’t sat under a heat lamp long because they are as crispy under the cheese as the might be if they were just server on the side. 

A friend who was along ordered an egg horseshoe. 

An Egg Horseshoe from Ritz's in Srpingfield, Illinois

In place of meat, his shoe had an egg over-easy.  While Ritz’s has a pretty big breakfast horseshoe menu, he had his with cheese and fries.  He said it was pretty good but I didn’t try it.

The Horseshoe menu from Ritz's in Springfield, Illinois

The Breakfast Horseshoe menu from Ritz's in Springfield, Illinois

A Trip to D’Arcy’s Pint

I had written previously about D’Arcy’s Pint based on past experiences because I sincerely think that this blog was incomplete without mentioning D’Arcy’s.  D’Arcy’s is so successful that eating there over a lunch hour can be very challenging.  I was able to make the trip this past Friday however and have some pictures and a review.

D’Arcy’s is so busy on a typical day that they regularly issue pagers to waiting patrons at lunch

A beeper issued to patrons over the lunch hour at D'Arcy's Pint in Springfield, Illinois.

Fortunately for us, a friend got there ahead of us.

Here is the horseshoe section of their menu

The Horseshoe section of the menu at D'Arcy's Pint in Springfield, Illinois.

The Horseshoe section of the menu at D'Arcy's Pint in Springfield, Illinois.

Here is their specialty, a buffalo chicken ponyshoe.  Notice that it comes with a cup of buffalo sauce and a cup of bleu cheese dressing.

Here is a Buffalo Chicken Ponyshoe fresh from the kitchen at D'Arcy's Pint.

Here is a Buffalo Chicken Ponyshoe fresh from the kitchen at D'Arcy's Pint.

And for some unknown reason, a tablemate didn’t order the buffalo chicken and instead ordered a hamburger horseshoe.

A Hamburger Horseshoe with white cheese sauce from D'Arcy's Pint in Springfield, Illinois.

A Hamburger Horseshoe with white cheese sauce from D'Arcy's Pint in Springfield, Illinois.

I always pour the buffalo sauce all over my shoe before starting.

Pouring Buffalo sauce on a D'Arcy's Pint ponyshoe.

And the finished product

A D'Arcy's Pint Buffalo Chicken Ponyshoe ready to eat.

Here it is

White Cheddar Horseshoe Sauce

White cheese sauces are very popular in Springfield in the last few years.  Here is an easy to make variation using shredded white cheddar.

2 T butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/8 t white pepper
1 c milk
1 C white cheddar cheese, shredded

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux.  Stir in milk, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.  Add cheese and cook just until melted, stirring occasionally.

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