I live north of Chicago where once upon a time Kankakee seemed far south. Once my sister moved to Champaign and had kids, my notions on the state of Illinois began to change: Kankakee was only halfway to Champaign and Champaign/Springfield is central Illinois. Cairo remains unchanged, it is still way, way south.
Though we no longer have family in Champaign, we still visit Champaign to eat at Li'l Porgy's. They have two locations but I have only been to the Springfield Avenue location.
When you walk in, there is a glass enclosed smoker(?)holding a variety of smoked ribs, chicken, sections of beef and pork, plus sausages. Each order comes drowning in the sauce of your choice: mild, mix, hot and extra hot. Mix is literally a mix of the hot and mild, because they mix it themselves sometimes mix is just right and other occasions too hot. I always order my sauce on the side for two reasons: I can control the amount I want and I can take the extra sauce home.
My family usually orders the pulled pork sandwiches ($4.40) and I have the smoked 1/2 chicken ($5 - but $4.25 on Sunday). Each order comes with cottage fries and white bread. I'm not crazy about their sides. We recently had cole slaw with our meal, I could easily done without. They also offer county fair style lemon shake-ups as well as the usual soft drinks.
My favorite entertainment is to pick up the Thrifty Nickle (free near their counter) and read the want ads which range from people-seeking-people, to farm impliments, to livestock, cars, mobile homes, antiques --- a mighty fine read with your meal. I met one of my farmer friends through it: I bought asparagus crowns from him.
They have clean, unfussy benches and tables to allow you to eat in. Not far away, there is a large park with a childrens farm for warm weather eating.
All the best,
1917 W. Springfield AVenue
Champaign, IL 61821
101 W. University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
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