Eye Spy Huntley (Summer 2020)

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As part of the Eye Spy 2020 adult/teen summer reading challenge, we asked participants to share some of their experiences as they completed activities to earn the “Eye Spy Huntley” badge. These included ordering from local restaurants, exploring the outdoors, taking a self-guided tour of the Huntley Square (and learning a little local history along the way), and looking out for and learning to identify local birds (backyard birding). Keep reading to see what people had to say!


Eat Local (recommendations):
Alfredo’s (1 vote) – “Tortellini with Alfredo sauce!”
BBQ King (16 votes) – “I love the pulled chicken sandwich. My husband loves the Tennessee Hot Chicken.” “I had a pulled pork sandwich – it was a huge sandwich! Took leftovers home.” “BBQ King was delicious! I recommend the King Mac!” “I ordered the buffalo mac n’ cheese!” “Burnt ends!” “King Mac!” “BBQ nachos with beef brisket!” “The giant pretzel!” “Pulled pork is great!” “Their nachos are amazing! I recommend that you get that if you ever go to BBQ King!” “Everything!! I love the nachos!” “Ordered the pretzel bomb. It was delicious!” “The ribs were great!”
Beef Shack (3 votes) – “Chocolate shake!” “Loved the homemade fries!!” “I would recommend the fries and the beef sandwich.”
Benedict’s la Strata (1 vote) – “Lemon raspberry pancakes!”
Bowl Hi (1 vote) – “Ordered pizza from Bowl Hi restaurant and ate outside at the car show!”
Brunch Cafe (1 vote) – “I ordered a potato skin Benedict and I would recommend it!”
Burger King (1 vote) – “I recommend the plant-based Impossible Whopper!”
Burrito Parilla (1 vote) – “Steak burrito was delicious! The whole family enjoyed the churros!”
Chili’s (1 vote) – “I would recommend their nachos!”
Churro’s Y Chocolate (1 vote) – “The ice cream with the churros!”
Culver’s (2 votes) – “Got carry out at Culver’s and had the famous Butter Burgers!”
Dairy Mart (10 votes) – “Cauliflower with cheese, tenderloin sandwich, twist cone!” “Small twist cone dipped in chocolate!” “Vanilla cone from Dairy Mart is the best thing on a hot day!” “The frenzies and the cheese curds were really good!” “We went to Dairy Mart for a treat on a really hot day. Their ice cream is the best!!” “I ordered the double cheeseburger and cheese fries, which I would recommend. I would also recommend their ice cream. I got a twisted cone dipped in cotton candy.”
El Cochino (1 vote) – “El Cochino is probably my favorite restaurant in the world. Their tacos are so unique and delicious!”
Goodfellas (2 votes) – “Everything is excellent, especially the Italian beef and sausage. Fast, friendly service!”
Lily Garden (1 vote)
Manny’s (17 votes): “Caprese panini!” “A Cubano panini, a meatball panini, and an Italian soda. Delicious!” “I recommend the chocolate gelato!” “I like the coconut gelato.” “Grilled cheese and gelato!” “Gelato!” “I had strawberry and stracciatella gelato.” “Nearly anything is a great choice!” “We got some yummy gelato.” “I had vegan mint chocolate gelato and it was delicious. I always recommend them!” “I love the smoothie bowls!” “I would recommend any flavor of gelato, but my favorite is the chocolate peanut butter.” “1/2 grilled cheese, cream of chicken & rice soup, and Oreo mint gelato!”
McDonald’s (1 vote): “I got an M&M McFlurry!! Also a fish filet!”
MORE Brewing (7 votes): “The burger and cheese curds are really good! My husband says the beer is awesome, too!” “I had the salmon burger and the cheese curds – so good!” “Samosas (these are great!), Beyond Meatball sub with fries (their fries are amazing and so are the cheese curds), Sour Plum Fairy (I think this is the name, it’s a great sour beer made with plums)!” “I ate at MORE and I had their sliders.” “My family went and ate at MORE. Their sliders were really good.”
Morkes Chocolate (4 votes) – “We had donuts from Morkes for breakfast. Always delicious!” “I had a delicious cinnamon roll, and would recommend any of their donuts because they are really good!!” “My favorite thing is their donuts!” “Donuts and coffee!”
Nikko’s Tavern (1 vote) – “I ate the Niko burger topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, and onion ring!”
On the Border (1 vote) – “Enchiladas!”
Panera (1 vote) – “Greek salad!”
Papa G’s (6 votes) – “The soups and bread are awesome! The lamb, if available, is good. Their meatloaf is also good.” “Stuffed peppers, BLT!”
Parkside Pub (17 votes) – “The voodoo shrimp and southwest chipotle burger!” “The shrimp tacos are excellent!” “Parkside Burger!” “Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich!” “Southwest Chicken Queso Wrap!” “Street Tacos!” “Chicken Salads and fries – Yes, I would recommend them! Everyone is friendly!” “Had shrimp tacos, Yum!” “Love their chicken tenders and tots! :)” “Cheeseburger!” “Street tacos and voodoo shrimp!” “Chicken Cheddar Wrap!” “Fish tacos and carne asada salad!” “Their Thursday roast beef sandwich special…yum!”
Port of Peri Peri (1 vote) – “Everything is amazing.”
Pub 47 (9 votes) –  “…love their chicken Florentine sandwich!” “The ribs!!!” “Fantastic food!” “Sliders!” “Pub 47 burger!” “Burgers are great!” “Has great nachos and burgers!” “The Pub 47 burger!” “We went there a few times. My favorite is the pulled pork sandwich, and they also have good French onion soup.”
Red Robin (1 vote) – “I ordered the pretzel bites and the crispy chicken sandwich. I would definitely recommend these two items!”
Rookies (3 votes) – “I ordered the Taco Pizza. Great crust and very tasty! Such nice people work there.” “Rookies potato skins and Greek salad!” “Chicken ranch salad!”
Rosati’s (2 votes) – “Greek salad, Hawaiian pizza.”
Sal’s Pizza (7 votes) – “Pepperoni pizza!” “Pizza!” “Sausage pizza, mozzarella sticks. Yes, I would recommend!” “2 large sausage pizzas. I would recommend their great pizza!!”
Sammy’s (1 vote) – “I had the turkey and bacon club from Sammy’s for lunch. Very tasty!”
Sew Hop’d (1 vote)
Stonebaker’s Pizza (1 vote)
Street Slice Pizza Cafe (2 votes) – “Pizza from Street Slice Pizza Cafe which was pretty good!” “Cheese and sausage slice – it was yummy!”
Taco Locos (1 vote) – “Chicken taco meal!”
Texas Roadhouse (1 vote)
Wicho’s Tacos (1 vote) – “Love the vegetarian burrito!”


Places to stretch your legs in the Huntley area (recommendations):
Brookside (MCCD) (1 vote)
Buffalo Rock (1 vote)
Camp Tomo-Chi-Chi Knolls (2 votes) – “Near the flying field!”
Coral Woods (1 vote)
Deicke Park (24 votes) – “Had a breakfast picnic by one of the ponds in Deicke Park as a family.” “We went to Deicke Park today and we went exploring on the trails.” “Bike ride/walk with kids.” “So many geese and bullfrogs!” “It is so much fun!” “I went to Deicke Park and I saw a caterpillar.” “Walked the trails.”
Del Webb Sun City (1 vote) – “Walking trail around lake, lodge, and several neighborhoods.”
Downtown Huntley (1 vote)
Exner Marsh (14 votes) – “We live close to Exner Marsh and myself and my boys love to picnic there.”
Fel Pro RRR (4 votes)
Fox Bluff Conservation Area (2 votes)
Fox River Bike Trail (1 vote)
Freeman Kame (3 votes)
Hampshire forest preserve (1 vote)
Heritage neighborhood (1 vote)
The Hollows (1 vote) – “Fishing!”
Jelke Bird Sanctuary (1 vote)
Krape Park (1 vote)
Lippold Park (1 vote)
LITH Fen (1 vote) – “It was so beautiful!”
LITH neighborhood (1 vote) – “Have discovered 6 lakes by walking so far. Visiting my in laws for the summer. So pretty here!”
Moraine Hills (2 votes)
My neighborhood (13 votes) – “Took a long walk around our neighborhood. It was great just to get outside and say hi to others we saw along the way.” “Explored my own neighborhood, walked almost 2 miles of the trails!” “Had a picnic!” “I adventured in my own neighborhood…” “My neighborhood with my friends.” “I adventured all throughout my neighborhood. Me and my sisters took a long, fun bike ride throughout our neighborhood.” “I’ve been expanding my daily walks in other areas of my neighborhood.” “Just explored my own neighborhood.”
Park bike trail (1 vote)
Paul Wolfe (3 votes) – “Went to Paul Wolfe with the kids and in-laws.”
Pleasant Valley (5 votes) – “With our dog!” “Hiked with family!”
Prairie Trail (1 vote)
Randall Oaks (1 vote)
Southwind neighborhood (1 vote)
Starved Rock (1 vote)
Sunset Park (3 votes) – “I biked all the way to Sunset Park and did a couple laps.”
Tomaso Park (1 vote)
Three Oaks (1 vote) – “We went to Three Oaks and walked along the paths going into Crystal Lake.”
Veteran Acres (2 vote) – “Was a great spot to walk around and hammock on the fourth of July!”


Historic Huntley: Notes from Around the Square:
“I could walk in the street.”
“Most interesting is probably the Huntley Apartments. That one building alone was over 100 years old and held so much history from schooling to apartments. I wish it could have been preserved.”
“I also like the Veteran’s Memorial because my brother and grandfathers’ names are there.”
“Love looking at the commemorative bricks!”
“The Veteran’s Memorial is amazing.”
“Veterans Memorial.”
“Memorial Clock.”
“I didn’t know there is a centennial time capsule scheduled to be opened in 2051. I will put the date in my calendar.”
“The building where Sal’s Pizza is the upper floor served as a silent movie theater, bowling alley and Huntley High School from 1920-25. WOW!”
“How many places have been used for multiple businesses.”
“I didn’t know that Sal’s pizza used to be a bowling alley.”
“What I found most interesting was the Century 21st Heritage building since it seems like it has the most rich past out of the other buildings.”
“Town square at the farmers market.”
“Manny’s Gelato and the cute drawings on their windows; and that there were concerts in the gazebo.”
“The old houses and building downtown and the history with it. Found one of my daughter’s friends lives in one of the oldest houses in Huntley!”
“This is awesome!”
“I like several of the places around the square. The farmer’s market is cool.”
“I like the square.”
“The memorial in the center of downtown.”
“The time capsule.”
“The old pavers throughout.”
“We ate at a picnic table in the square and looked at the war memorial.”
“The Veterans’ Memorial/Monument/Wall.”


Backyard Birder Favorite Birds:
American goldfinch (7 votes)
American robin (3 votes) – “The American robin often frequents my yard.”
Bald eagle (1 vote)
Baltimore oriole (1 vote)
Black-capped chickadee (2 votes) – “Known in some circles as the black-hat chickadee.”
Blue jay (2 votes)
Canary (1 vote) – “Is visiting our front yard – beautiful colored bird.”
Common grackle (1 vote)
Eastern bluebird (1 vote)
Finches (1 vote) – “We have a bird feeder so we get to see a lot of birds, but my favorite would have to be the finches. We get yellow and red.”
Flicker (1 vote)
Great blue heron (1 vote)
Great-horned owl (2 votes) – “It looks like a cat in a tree!”
Hawks (2 votes) – “Still discovering what type!”
House finch (1 vote)
Hummingbird (6 votes)
Mallard ducks (1 vote)
Mourning doves (3 votes)
Northern cardinal (16 votes) – “My favorite so far is the cardinal that comes around occasionally. I love the bright red color in contrast to all the brown and gray toned birds.” “Cardinals have always been my favorite.” “Cardinals are my favorite!” “I like the call of the red cardinal.” “Because they are so vivid and beautiful.” “I like the vibrant red color that cardinals give off.” “It’s color is so beautiful!”
Northern Harrier (1 vote) – “I liked what appeared to be a Northern Harrier (not sure, though). I liked this bird the most because it’s not the typical little birds you see.”
Owls (1 vote) – “I love watching birds with my grandmother. My favorite birds are owls. I’ve only ever seen them in zoos, though.”
Red-winged blackbirds (2 votes)
Rose-winged parakeet (1 vote)
Sandhill cranes (3 votes)
Tree swallow (2 votes) – “I’ve never seen a tree swallow before, they are very pretty birds.”
Tufted titmouse (1 vote)
Woodpecker (1 vote)
Wrens (1 vote) – “I love when the wrens visit, they have such a pretty song!”

Other bird-watching comments:
“There are a couple of mean birds in our backyard who try to attack the poor squirrels!”
“We saw some orioles one day, but not long enough for me to admire them! We get lots of nuthatches and blue jays (my least favorite – those meanies!) and robins.”
“I see many birds around my house all the time, some of them include the Pacific golden plover, Saffron finch, Common myna, House sparrows, and Java sparrows.”
“I saw a crow which I’ve never seen one before, I do wish I saw a murder but oh well.”
“House finches and goldfinches are so cute. But I find the common grackles interesting.”