You Gotta Eat: RJ’s Cafe

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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SOUTH PEKIN (25 News Now) - I’m craving a bountiful breakfast... and word on the street is, a local spot will make it just about any way you want.

After more than 20 years managing other restaurants, Rory Klein took the leap and opened RJ’s Cafe just a few months ago.

“Right after COVID. People were missing this atmosphere - it was a good time to jump on board and take care of people,” Rory said.

You can find RJ's Cafe at 301 E. Main Street in South Pekin.
You can find RJ's Cafe at 301 E. Main Street in South Pekin.(25 News)

At RJ’s, they’re serving up breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner specials throughout the week. Rory says if he can make it for you, he will - and that food will come out fast.

“If a customer says, ‘hey I want to try this,” I’ll cook it for em, man. And it’ll become a special,” Rory said.

I can’t decide between breakfast or lunch, but luckily Rory insists I try both. We start with a house favorite - the delicious corned beef omelette.

It’s piled perfectly on the plate, and the flavor matches the presentation.

RJ's corned beef hash omelette.
RJ's corned beef hash omelette.(25 News)

Next up is lunch, and I keep the beef binge going by trying Rory’s famous Western style cheddar-onion-bacon burger, made with local ingredients.

“Beecham’s meat - straight from Tremont. My seasoning actually comes from Excalibur - right down the street.”

The burger-cooking process takes around three minutes, and in that time, Rory goes from server to scientist - using equal heat to cook the meat.

“The trick is the dome. As you can see, hardly any steam is escaping. It’s creating an internal temperature,” Rory said.

Once the patty is primed, Rory adds the bacon, onions and cheese. One final dome flip reveals one beautiful burger.

If you can’t make it early in the day, RJ’s has you covered with some fun, nightly dinner specials.

“Tuesday is tacos, Thursday is chicken, Friday is usually my special,” Rory said, hoping all that good food puts folks in a good mood.

“Good times - fun vibes. Hopefully you made a friend - hopefully you met someone you’ve never talked to before,” Rory said.

You can find RJ’s Cafe at 301 E. Main Street in South Pekin. Here are their hours:

Monday: Closed.

Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Thursday: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Friday: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Sunday: 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.