A Perfect Pour at Hope & Anchor

A Perfect Pour at Hope & Anchor

Rockford Buzz

Posted On: September 21, 2022

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In the mood for some English Pub comfort food? Rockford’s got that. Travel down 251 to find Hope & Anchor, an English Pub with authentic dishes right in your backyard


When you walk in the moody atmosphere greets you and you know this place has stories. Take a seat at the bar, order the perfectly poured Guinness and settle in for tales of spooky events and history.


Ready for some grub? They serve authentic recipes including fish & chips, bangers & mash, and cottage pie. We tried the fish & chips first.


I’m not typically a fan of tartar sauce (let the tar and feathering begin), but in the spirit of the full experience, I sampled Hope & Anchor’s. I can honestly say that I loved it! It paired beautifully with the beer batter fried cod. The menu says “generous portion”, and they aren’t kidding. Come hungry! Served with thick cut English chips and slaw, this is a meal that is certain to fill you up. The fish was fresh and flaky, and the crust was crisp and thick. I definitely recommend this English classic.


Next up was the cottage pie, a medley of simmered beef, onions, carrots, and mushrooms topped with mashed potatoes. The presentation of this dish was beautiful, and the flavor was all comfort. This hearty dish will warm your whole soul, while filling you up. The gravy was perfection, taking this simple dish to the next level.


We can’t wait to go back and dig into some more dishes, and their dessert menu! What’s your favorite dish at Hope & Anchor?


More Rockford Buzz Stories

Vintage Shop Hop

Vintage Shop Hop

Thousands of shoppers will converge on northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin once again for the fall edition of the popular Vintage Shop Hop™ on Friday and Saturday, October 7 & 8, 2022. The event is a self-guided road trip for vintage and antique lovers in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin region to satisfy their ‘vintage’ addiction and support small businesses at the same time. Typically, between 350 to 400 locally owned vintage shops, antique malls, women’s boutiques, occasional and pop-up shops, home décor, upscale consignment shops, and vintage barn sales in the two-state region participate in this one-of-a-kind event.The event was destined to grow quickly. Between the shop owners looking for a unique, low-cost way to promote not only their shop but their town too, and then add in shoppers who are excited to have a list of hundreds of fun shops dropped in their lap, you can’t hold them back!” laughed Ann Campos, founder of the event. The event stretches across two states from the Mississippi Riveron the west to Lake Michigan on the east, goes north to Stevens Point & Green Bay in Wisconsin, and south to I-80 in Illinois.Each shop has an “in-store” promotion for the weekend, and many shops go miles beyond just complimentary refreshments (like mimosas and dessert treats). “We encourage the shops to create a day unlike the other 363 days of the year,” say Campos. As a result, shoppers will find fun promotions like “pop a balloon” or “spin the wheel” to determine their discount, door prizes, meet-the-maker, paint demos, live music, food trucks, and free swag bags just for stopping in. Others create punch card promotions to get people moving around their region, hire live music and invite food trucks to park in their lots. All shops will be ready and waiting to greet new faces to their store and provide the shoppers with the best in customer service. “The participating shop owners are very passionate about the history of their antiques as well as their buildings. In order to compete with big box stores, small business owners have to be creative in their marketing efforts and work extra hard to get noticed,” Campos said. “I’m just happy I can help them out by using my experience to bring customers to their doorstep with this fun shopping event. To my knowledge, it’s the biggest event of its kind in the Midwest.” Many of the shops are set in historic and unique buildings, in downtowns, villages, and the countryside brimming with history which sets them apart from their competitors in big shopping malls. For example, shoppers who step into Vintique Junque in Monroe, Wisconsin can find a sweet shop filled with antiques, vintage, recycled goods, and fun junk housed in a historic 1880s coal store that supplied the downtown square with coal. Or shoppers can experience ‘out of the box' shopping for on-trend vintage items and home décor inside a gorgeous 1882 Methodist church, complete with steeple, at The Half Full Nest in West Dundee, Illinois. Or, explore Starline Excursion Market in Harvard, Illinois tucked inside a renovated, ivy-covered farm equipment factory built in 1888. These are just a few examples of shops located inside unique structures making the shopping experience memorable.Road trip planning for the Vintage Shop Hop is made easy with the interactive Google Map and Master List of Shops. The Google Map includes all shop details that can be accessed on mobile devices while shoppers are traveling the area. The list and map are both found on the event’s blog page 24/7/365 and can be printed off www.vintageshophop.blogspot.com or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VintageShopHopEvent. A direct link to the interactive Google Map is here: https://bit.ly/VintageShopHopMap_Oct2022

October 2, 2022

A Fiesta at Alvarez Mexican Restaurant

A Fiesta at Alvarez Mexican Restaurant

We ventured to Alvarez Mexican Restaurant to try their famous margaritas and eat our weight in chips! As you do…We were warmly greeted with chips and salsa, and decided to try the Quest Fundido, a fondue with chorizo brought with even more chips (muahahaha). This is a HUGE appetizer, we dug right in to the warm cheese and chorizo medley. The flavor was out of the world and we will definitely order this again… but bring many many more friends, hahaha.Acting like we hadn’t completely filled up on chips, we then sampled the Enchiladas en Mole (three corn tortillas in a rich poblano mole sauce with cheese and sour cream) and the Fajita Lover (sizzling strips of steak, chicken, & shrimp, topped with spanish onions, slices of tender bell pepper & pico de gallo).I have never tried mole sauce, so this was a first for me! The sweetness was a unique contrast to the enchilada and I now see why folks love this stuff. It had almost a nutty flavor, and that pairing was a fun surprise.The fajita was a masterpiece of a medley. Everything was grilled to perfection (no tough shrimp here!) and the meat to vegetable ratio was perfect. I’m a big fan of build your own meals, so fajitas really cater to my desire to get my hands dirty. I was happily surprised with the generous dollops of sour cream and guacamole as well.I almost forgot the margaritas! With a strong blend of many liquors, these are described as “killer” on the menu, and I have to agree with them! Not too sweet, they really nailed the balance. Drink responsibly!Check out Alvarez for your next chip binge!

September 28, 2022

Local Man Works to Revitalize Broadway

Local Man Works to Revitalize Broadway

It's no secret that the past few years have been hard on small businesses, with some parts of the city getting hit harder than others. In the wake of COVID and inflation there are those within our community that are stepping up. Isidro Barrios is one of those people.After spending 40 years as a union carpenter, Isidro and his wife, Melanie, opened a community center inside of their neighborhood. El Barrio is located at 1516 Broadway and aims to be a resource for the businesses and residents of the Broadway region. Isidro referenced his 13 grandbabies as motivation for the passion he has for his community. And his first goal is to help re-establish the Broadway corridor as a thriving business community.Between 11th Street and Kishwaukee Broadway has over 50 available storefronts and through a combination of efforts Isidro aims at reducing that number. One of these efforts is a Business Opportunity Event for the 11th Ward.This event is being hosted at El Barrio, 1516 Broadway, on Friday, September 30th, from 5:00 to 8:00pm. The event hosts multiple opportunities for both existing businesses and those wishing to start a business. There will be resources and information for new and existing businesses, information on solar energy and the Illinois Shines Program, as well as a host of special guests.State Representative Dave Vella, State Representative Maurice West, 11th Ward Alderman Tuffy Quinonez, County Chairman Joe Chiarelli, and County Board Jaime Salgado will all be in attendance.If you have a passion for the Broadway corridor of our city, are wanting to start a business and are looking for a place to open, or just want to connect with our local leadership, then head on over to El Barrio this Friday night.You can RSVP at elbarrio@myyahoo.com

September 28, 2022

Portraits in the Garden

Portraits in the Garden

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September 19, 2022

RHK Streets & Sweets Annual Fundraiser 2022

RHK Streets & Sweets Annual Fundraiser 2022

Rock House Kids, a safe haven for inner-city kids grades 1-12, will be hosting their annual fundraiser, Streets & Sweets, on Thursday, September 22 from 6:00- 8:30 at the Tebala Event Center located at 7910 Newburg Rd, Rockford, IL. Tickets are on still available! The cost to attend is $50 for individual tickets or $400.00 for a table of eight. Rock House Kids Executive Director, Dee Lacny said, “We are always so excited for Streets & Sweets. The kids can’t wait to perform live in front of a large audience! This year has brought so many blessings and there is a lot to celebrate…but at the same time, there is still much more work to be done.” The Emcee for this year’s event will be Michelle Abraham, Host of WTVO’s Good Day Stateline. Streets & Sweets will host delicious appetizers & all you can eat desserts, live performances from the Dance Team, Puppet Team and Motion Team, along with video presentations, speakers and a silent auction. The main sponsor for this year’s Streets & Sweets event is J & M Plating. Additional Sponsorships levels are also still available. Rock House Kids provides free evening programming, mentoring, hot meals, take-home food bags, and daily essentials to more than 250 inner-city youth of Rockford, four evenings a week. RHK receives no government funding, but are wholly supported by donations from the generous corporations, churches, and individuals in the Rockford area. Visit their website at rockhousekids.org

September 18, 2022

A Little Bit of Italy at Cucina di Rosa

A Little Bit of Italy at Cucina di Rosa

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September 14, 2022

Swedish Pancakes at Stockholm Inn

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If you’ve been in Rockford for longer than a week, you’ve heard of Stockholm Inn. If you’ve been in Rockford for longer than a year and haven’t tried it yet… what are you waiting for?We grabbed the family and headed to Stockholm Inn for a Sunday morning meal. We decided on two of their popular combos, the Swedish Pancakes Combo and the Belgian Waffle Combo.The Swedish Pancakes Combo comes with 2 Swedish pancakes, 2 eggs your style, and 2 sausage links or 2 strips of bacon. The Swedish pancakes are big, and almost a little fluffy. They bring a unique flavor to a traditional favorite. You can request a side of lingonberries or lingonberry butter to add that extra flair.The Belgian waffle combo is similar, but served with a fluffy, crispy waffle the size of a dinner plate. You can dress the waffle up with various flavors or toppings to make it your own, and even request it to be gluten free!If buffets are your jam (breakfast pun), be sure to ask about the weekend buffet at Stockholm Inn. With seemingly endless options, you definitely get to try a bit of everything and will never leave hungry.  Once you finish breakfast, you can enjoy the gift shop with other Swedish favorites, gifts, and more. It’s a whole experience at Stockholm Inn!

September 7, 2022

National Yoga Awareness Month Poll

National Yoga Awareness Month Poll

National Yoga Awareness Month is in September, and we’re here to show you how you can celebrate this month in the best way possible, by enjoying our local yoga studios!Vote for your favorite to be entered for a chance to win a gift card to the studio of your choice.

September 6, 2022

Corn Mazes!

Corn Mazes!

Is there anything more Midwest than a good corn maze?! We didn’t think so. Grab your friends and get lost in a field! Find your way out, and then celebrate by buying a donut (or 12…).Local Corn Mazes:All Seasons Orchard14510 IL-176, Woodstock, IL 60098Cornerstone Family Church Corn Maze9901 N Tower Rd, Byron, IL 61010The Pumpkin Patch3178 IL-173, Caledonia, IL 61011Run-A-Muc Acres3063 W Becker School Rd, Freeport, IL 61032Skelly's Farm Market2713 S Hayner Rd, Janesville, WI 53548Found another great maze? Let us know!

September 4, 2022

Rockford Trunk Or Treat

Rockford Trunk Or Treat

Weekend Roundup: September 2 - 5

Weekend Roundup: September 2 - 5

Happy Labor Day weekend, Rockford! This is a special 4-day edition of the Weekend Roundup. Grab your friends and family and enjoy all the fantastic events this weekend.FridayThe Pottery Lounge is hosting Hocus Pocus Trivia and Paint! Eat snacks, win prizes, paint a keepsake, and show off your knowledge of a spooky season favorite. The Groove Hotel with Gina Meeks is playing Music on the Mall at Edgebrook Mall. Food and drinks from Lucha Cantina and Cork, Keg & Spirits will be available. Seating is limited so bringing your own chair is encouraged!SaturdayCelebrate Ernie’s Midtown Pub’s one-year anniversary! $8.15 food specials, samples, and giveaways accompany the 90’s themed costume party with DJ Vic Monsta spinning at 8:30 PM. Win prizes and party like it’s 1999.Join the Lone Canary at Pig Minds Brewery! Featuring a delicious vegan menu and tasty craft beers, enjoy this outdoor show with chill vibes.SundayRemember On the Waterfront? It’s been 10 years, and now you can celebrate the legacy of On the Waterfront and help support local music scholarships. Enjoy this Labor Day favorite throwback.MondayThe Labor Day Parade route begins at 7th St. & 6th Ave. in Rockford and winds its way north to East State Street, west to Wyman Street, and then south to the reviewing stand in front of the E. J. Zeke Giorgi Center, 200 S. Wyman St., Rockford. Bring your chairs and enjoy the festivities!Find all the details for these events and more: https://rockfordbuzz.com/events

September 2, 2022

Grab Lunch or Dinner To Go at Wong Wong Chinese Restaurant

Grab Lunch or Dinner To Go at Wong Wong Chinese Restaurant

Love Chinese food? Have you visited Rockford’s best kept secret for take-out? It’s time to try Wong Wong Chinese Restaurant if you haven’t yet.Our household loves Chinese take-out, so when a friend told us about Wong Wong, we knew we needed to make the trip to 3703 Auburn St.We decided to try the classic take-out dish, chicken fried rice, along with house specialty Wong Wong’s Crown and the Pu Pu Platter appetizer sampler.When the house can’t decide which appetizer to order, turn to the Pu Pu Platter. You get two each of egg rolls, fried shrimp, fried wontons, and crab ragoons. Everyone gets a little bit of everything or just what they want!  I am an avid user of soy sauce, so imagine my family’s surprise when I dug into the chicken fried rice and found that the flavor was so perfectly balanced, that I never touched my soy sauce. The chicken was cooked thoroughly and was still juicy. Loaded with all the delicious veggies that accompany fried rice, this would have been a filling meal for us alone, but we aren’t quitters.Next up was Wong Wong’s Crown: shrimp, scallops, chicken, beef, book chow, broccoli, pea pods, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and carrots in a delicious sauce and served with steamed rice. The flavor on this was light and fresh. The vegetables stayed crisp and the scallops and shrimp were cooked perfectly. I will absolutely be ordering this again!We ended our meal with the almond cookies and a plan to order again soon! Do yourself a favor and pick up Wong Wong’s for your next night in.

August 31, 2022

The Orchards Are Open!

The Orchards Are Open!

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August 26, 2022

LOVE Rockford

LOVE Rockford

Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park

Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park

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