Sometimes you need to treat yourself. With the warmer weather we’re having, it is a great time to get out of the house. I took myself out (leaving my family at home with peanut butter sandwiches) to go to Watson’s. I ordered a drink and two sides (don't judge me), macaroni and mashed potatoes, and I had at it.

Two small white cups of sides sit in a basket with a red and white checkered parchment paper on an outdoor black table. There is an orange cocktail on the table as well. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This cocktail is called Watson’s Wabbit ($9), and it made it into my cocktails al fresco article. Made with Chicago Distilling Finn's gin, carrot juice, honey ginger syrup, and lemon juice, garnished with a lemon, this cocktail was heavenly. Ginger was the strongest flavor, and the lemon was prominent as well. If the carrot juice in the drink worries you, stop worrying. I'm not crazy about carrot juice, but I like it in this drink. It's like a whisper of carrot juice instead of like wham-bam, here I am, carrot juice. It tasted a lot like a ginger lemonade, and it was easy to drink.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The green chili and white cheddar mac and cheese ($4) was fantastic. A great peppery flavor, the macaroni sauce was spicy, creamy, and damn good. I always get a side of mac when I go to Watson's because it's so yummy, and if you haven't tried their macaroni, you need to the next time you're there.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The mashed potatoes and gravy ($4) were solid, with bits of red skin from the potatoes adding a nice texture to the smooth side. The gravy on top smothered the potatoes, and I loved it. 

You don't need to order just sides like I did for a good time. Get whatever your tummy wants. Take yourself on a date. You deserve it.

Watson’s Shack & Rail
211 N Neil St
Champaign
T-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Su 4 to 9 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.