Eating Peoria, One Bite At A Time—Today’s Stop: Mr. G’s (Originally headed for Ernie’s Dairy Dream)



In the last episode of Eating Peoria, Hap Mansfield left this comment: “And don't forget you are in the most awesome part of America for tenderloin sandwiches!” I haven’t had a tenderloin in over 19 years. I never saw one on a menu in New York and I kind of forgot about them till I read Hap’s comment. I’ve done some research and I’ve heard that one of the best tenderloins in town can be had at a little ice cream stand on the south side of Peoria called Ernie’s Dairy Dream. It’s been in business for years and it’s locally owned. Let’s take a little trip to this tenderloin district and see what’s happening there.

2. ernies_dec28.jpg

Here we are at Ernie's. It's a colorful little spot on the south side of Peoria. Let's go get a tenderloin!

3. windowschainedup_dec28.jpg

Well, this doesn't look good, the windows are all chained up. They're closed!

4. behindthechain_dec28.jpg

Here's the menu with the tenderloin behind the chained up windows. What a disappointment!

5. wholemenu_dec28.jpg

And there's the whole menu lit up, what a tease! It's not like Ernie's is closed during the winter, I saw facebook updates from last week. Maybe they close during Christmas week. Well, just like yesterday, it's time to improvise...

6. lonelydrive_dec28.jpg

And take a lonely drive on a grey day here in Peoria.

7. Flemingpotter_dec28.jpg

Ha! Here's Fleming Potter, the place I worked as a film stripper for 13 years. They all thought I was nuts when I quit and moved to New York and about 10 years later the place went bankrupt and now the building sits empty. Lots of memories in that abandoned building!

8. buddies_dec28.jpg

This place looks kind of interesting. An out of the way bar on Adams Street, sometimes these joints have great food and ambiance, let's check it out, maybe we can save the day after all!

9. hoursforbuddies_dec28.jpg

They don't open till six at night. I can't seem to catch a break today! I'm half tempted to go back to Circle K and get one of their shitty Cheddarwurst sausages.

10. mrgsopen_dec28.jpg

Okay, after driving around, I came upon Mr. G's on Main Street. This place had been closed for a while, but it just reopened last year. I haven't eaten here for over 19 years, I'm not sure if they have tenderloins, but I'm starvin' like Marvin over here, so this is this week's Eating Peoria destination.

11. letsgoinside_dec28.jpg

I love that "open" sign over there on the right, let's go inside and see what's happening at Mr. G's!

12. decentcrowd_dec28.jpg

There's a decent crowd in here and it's way past lunch hour, so that's a good sign.

13. menus_dec28.jpg

There's lots of items on the menu, but is there a pork tenderloin to satisfy Hap's request?

14. yespt_dec28.jpg

Hap, we have a pork tenderloin! Oh HAPpy day!

15. christietakesordre_dec28.jpg

Up at the counter, Christie takes my order and poses for the MBIP camera. What a great smile!

16. tips_dec28.jpg

I threw a buck into the tip jar and ask that you do the same. This is a friendly place and they work hard for the money and deserve a tip for their services.

17. specialsinthewindow_dec28.jpg

Here's some specials in the window. As you can see, the prices in here are pretty decent!

18. holytrinity_dec28.jpg

Beef, burgers and dogs, the holy trinity at Mr. G's.

19. talbles_dec28.jpg

Tables line the wall opposite of the ordering window. As you can see, it's clean and cozy in here.

21. artonthewalls_dec28.jpg

I love the art on the walls in here, it reminds me of those drive in intermission reels.

22. hohohome_dec28.jpg

Hey Santa, Christmas is over, time for you to go ho-ho-home, already! Hey, my order is up, time to eat!

23. birdseyeview_dec28.jpg

Here's a bird's-eye view of the feast. I got the pork tenderloin and cheese fries. The cheese is served off to the side, which is a nice touch, this way the fries stay crispy till you dunk them in the cheesy mixture. It looks great, let's dig in!

24. photobychristie_dec28.jpg

Christie came out and took a photo of me blazing into the tenderloin.

25. delicious_dec28.jpg

The tenderloin was great, lightly battered and full of tenderloin goodness with mustard and pickles on top! And the bun is bakery fresh! Delicious!

26. thankyou_dec28.jpg

Thank you, Mr. G's for being open and saving this Eating Peoria episode!

Mr. G’s
601 W Main St
Peoria, Illinois

Further Reading: Peoria Journal Star, CI News Now and Dr. Eats.

Daily Slideshow—Photos via the internet, Photoshoppery by me!