Tastes of the Tri-States: Pike County, Illinois

German Chocolate Pie.

This week's Tastes of the Tri-States winner took almost half the votes. We asked you where your tastes buds took you when dining in Pike County, Illinois.

"I come here pretty often, maybe not everyday but almost," said Ruth Goodin, a long-time friend and customer.

It's the same story for most customers at Courtyard Caf and Bakery.

Whether it's the veggie omelet, cinnamon rolls, or Lasagna Wednesday you come for, you'll get the same response from everyone when you ask why they prefer this place over the rest.

"I like it because it's homey and friendly and the food is awesome," said Goodin.

"We make almost everything homemade, and people know that. There's a huge difference," said Patty Ruble, co-owner.

"She makes wonderful pies. I shared one of my mother's recipes with her, a German Chocolate pie. It tastes just like Momma's," said Goodin.

Aside from German Chocolate, there's plenty to choose from, including Lemon Meringue and a top favorite, Coconut Cream.

"They'll call and say, 'what kind of pie are you having today?' and we'll say, 'you probably want coconut cream so we'll make that along with the others we had scheduled to make today," said Ruble.

Before dessert, you'll have to indulge in the cafe's most popular tenderloin, so popular in fact, one of the customers has taken on a new name.

"We have a 'Tenderloin Man, Brad,'" said Ruble.

"They have the best tenderloins ever made. I've had them all over town and the county and this is the best," said Brad Gleckler.

It doesn't just have to taste good. It has to look good.

"We really care about what we put on a plate, how it tastes, how it looks. And we want them to come back, so if you satisfy the customer, they're going to come back," said Sheryl Conner, an employee at Courtyard Cafe and Bakery.

You can stop by for all meals of the day. The shop closes at 7 p.m.