Wait what?! No our kids are not hanging out at a moonshine distillery. We had a fun family Saturday morning adventure in the Jeep to the Moonshine store in Moonshine Illinois. It was beautiful this weekend in the Midwest and a great opportunity to get in the Jeep, top down and doors off and explore as a family.
Moonshine, having nothing to do with the distilled liquor, is a town in east central Illinois consisting of one building that boasts a population of 2. Originally built as a General store in 1889 it moved to its current location in 1912 after a fire destroyed the original building. It got its name from the moon reflecting on a puddle of water outside of the store. Now the little general store is a hot spot for motorcycle and Jeep enthusiasts as well as people from all over the country. The guest book at the cash register has record of visitors from all 50 states as well as internationally. It was even featured on the Travel Channel show burger-land as a great burger joint in the middle of nowhere.
We loaded up the Jeep and headed to Illinois for a burger. It is about 2 hours west of Indianapolis and an hour and a half east of St Louis if you take the interstate, but we think that half the fun of taking off to a destination is the journey to get there, so we took the scenic route. Jeeping truly is a lifestyle, it’s all about a laid back drive exploring the countryside. Cooper came with us, he loves taking Jeep rides with us, and we put the baby in the Tahoe behind us with my mom and aunt. I may be crazy, but I’m not crazy enough to take a baby on a Jeep ride. There are few things better than top down, doors off cruising down a country road, jamming to some tunes.
Moonshine is the definition of a place in the middle of nowhere. Luckily my cell service held up because the map is needed to get to this location. There is nothing but beautiful farmland with scattered farm houses for miles in every direction of this place. Fortunately, (or unfortunately for them) I’ve always been a good navigator and like to think of myself as the character “rabbit” off of the movie Twister. So every time someone asked me on our way there if I was sure that I know where I’m going I lovingly reply “rabbit is good, rabbit is wise”. I’m fairly certain I’m the only one who finds this amusing, but that won’t stop me from forever using this quote when traveling.
When you pull up there is just a couple of parking spots out in front of the store, but there is a grass/gravel lot across the street used for parking as well. I recommend getting there early because it gets busy quick and make sure you bring cash, because they don’t have a card machine, and I would hate to think how far away the closest ATM is. They open up at 6am central time and turn the grill off promptly at 12:30. We got there around 10:15 central Time and had no wait, but by the time we left they were lined up out the door. As you wait you have a chance to look at all of the fun old decor of the general store and browse the items that the sell as you wait to get to the back counter to order. They have local items as well as Moonshine T-shirts, tanks and koozies (we will talk about our Koozie obsession in another post). They have several items on the menu, such as corn dogs, ham and cheese, breaded tenderloin and pork BBQ sandwiches, but they are known for their Moonburger. The Moonburger is a hand patted thick patty with the option of cheese, bacon, double or triple. Once you have your food grab some chips and a drink and head outside to the rows of picnic tables to enjoy in the great outdoors. All of the condiments are outside on a cart so you can fix it up however you want. Usually condiment carts freak me out but this one was pretty clean for an outdoor area. I thought the burger was great, sure I’ve had better burgers, but the atmosphere and the adventure of getting there and checking out an new unique place, I say it is well worth the trip. There really isn’t much else around to look around at, so once you are done eating you are done, and its time to pack up and head home. If you need a bathroom you will have to resort to using the provided port-o-potties in the parking area….or you can just do what I do and hold it until the next town because there are only a hand full of emergencies that would get me in a port-o-potty. Of course as we got done eating the baby had a total diaper blow-out prompting one of the ever anticipated front seat outfit changes. Who said adventuring with kids wasn’t glamorous!
We had a great day. It was fun getting my mom and aunt to come along so that Colt could join us. It wore some of us out as you can see. Everyone enjoyed their lunch and the journey to and from. If you live within a couple of hours of moonshine or are just passing through, I recommend stopping by and adding it to the list of places you have visited.