There have been many good Mexican Restaurants come and go in Peoria in this century. The new La Siesta Bar & Grill which occupies the former site of Donnelly's Shamrock on West Glen Avenue is among the best Mexican eateries I've ever encountered.
I'm no slouch when it comes to Mexican food. As a teen and young adult, I sampled the real thing in Juarez, Albuquerque, Austin, Houston and midwest Hispanic centers like Galesburg, Kewanee and The Quad Cities. My wife, Sue and I have been to Mexico and the Southwest Desert numerous times in the last 15 years and sampled quality fare there as well.
It's no wonder this place rocks, The co-owner, Jose Barragan has been in the business for nearly 20 years. Starting in Springfield he has run numerous Mexican restaurants in Illinois. Among the most memorable is Cinco De Mayo, the wonderful Pioneer Parkway joint that was a local favorite of many Peorians.
Presently Jose owns Good Tequilas, Luna Azteca in (Washington) and a Chicago area eatery. However he points out they are all different. Every dish at La Siesta has a distinctive flavor. On my first trip I tried the taco, burrito and enchilada lunch special. The red sauces were all different, with one having a cinnamon flavor, they were spicy, but not overwhelmingly hot. My wife chose the Chicken Chimichanga. It was packed tight with all whie chicken and a yummy queso sauce served with great homemade Guacamole, pico de gallo beans and rice.
On our second trip I had a Fajita lunch platter that could have fed three people (yes I got a doggy bag!). There was beef, shrimp, chicken, chorizo and 4 large tortillas with all the toppings. Every order is accompanied by unlimited fresh homemade nacho chips and a tasty salsa. Since it was lunchtime, we opted for soft drinks. (Note: the fountain drinks were well carbonated and properly mixed unlike most local taverns and restaurants.)
On another visit , I had a monster draft beer. They have all the good Mexican brands incuding Corona, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca and domestic brews as well. We eyeballed the cocktails that other revelers were enjoying and they looked great!
Please stop by and support this restaurant! Jose and company are friendly hosts and their food is way better than any of the local chains in the area. I will be a regular and hope to see you there!
The layout of the restaurant is pretty much the same as when it was the Shamrock in days gone by. The bar is over here to the right as you walk in to the dining area.
Here's the beers that they have on draft.
There's sturdy and comfortable booths opposite the bar in the main dining area.
There's a room in the back with more tables for your dining and drinking pleasure.
And there's yet another room off to the side here...
That has even more booths in it.
Spanish styled art covers the walls and gives the place an authentic south of the border feel.