Live from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger, starring, The Fish House and featuring the Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome this week’s host, The Fish House!
And now we're back...
But instead of heading down this hallway towards the dining room...
We'll take a quick left down this hallway which leads us to...
Wow, this is one dark bar. I'm not about to start popping flash photos in a place as dark as this, so get ready for some dark photos.
These lights and the candles on the bar are the only source of illumination in here. I love it!
Out of the darkness springs Paul the bartender with an ice-cold bottle of Budweiser. Paul's a writer and you may be seeing his words here at MBIP, stay tuned for that!
This is the view from my perch at the bar.
Here's a shot of some of the lit up bottles standing attention behind the bar.
There were a few items I couldn't get shots of from my seat, so I asked Paul to take some shots and he dutifully went to service and snapped the next three photos. The first is this cool antique cash register that sits behind the bar.
This model ship is set above the cash register.
Paul got a shot of the taps for Spike and other beer aficionados out there.
The camera's back in my hands as I take a shot of the tables directly behind the bar.
Here's the prized corner table in the back room.
We're back at the bar and my stomach's starting to growl a little.
Okay, the table is set, looks like it's just about cheeseburger time. There's not a cheeseburger on the menu and they were nice enough to make me a special request one, so I'm anxious to see what they come up with.
Holy freaking shitballs, this looks fantastic!
Check out a bird's eye view of this meal, it looks wonderful and it's time to dive in, face-first!
Wow, this is an unbelievable cheeseburger, delicious!
I think in all the years I've been doing Saturday Night Cheeseburger, this may actually be the best burger I've ever had.
The plate and dining utensils have been cleared away and I'm drinking a beer for dessert. I asked Paul if I could meet the person who made that other-worldly burger and he told me he'd ask him to stop by here at the bar.
And here he is, Justin Waldschmidt, the creator of that magnificent cheeseburger. It turns out that Justin’s dad, Gary, is the owner of The Fish House and Justin’s following in his father's footsteps. Justin’s a great guy and we had a nice chat at the bar. He told me that The Fish House was originally called, The Cock-A-Doodle-Doo and his grandfather (along with former TV weatherman, Bill Houlihan) were investors in the business. When the Cock fell upon hard times (insert your own Viagra joke here), his grandfather acquired the building and in 1975, they opened an Italian restaurant called, Mange’s. Then after less than a year, they closed that and then opened up The Fish House in 1976, with Justin’s father Gary behind the wheel. The Fish House is an institution in Peoria and it was great chatting to Justin and Paul behind the bar. We’ll see you all tomorrow!
I have to admit I went to the Fish House for a cheeseburger as kind of a goof. We went there for my mom’s birthday a little bit ago and I stopped in to see Paul the bartender, who I had met on my 365 bar crawl. I asked hiim if they could whip me up a cheeseburger if I stopped by, he laughed and said they’d see what they could do. So I took them up on this challenge. And they not only met this cheeseburger challenge, they exceeded my wildest cheeseburger expectations and served up one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever had!
The off the menu burger was made with Black Angus ground sirloin with a more than generous glob of cheddar cheese melted on top of it. It was really juicy without being greasy and the gournd sirloin was really tasty. As I’ve said repeatedly, for me, the crowning point of any cheeseburger is the bun and this one was fabulous. Justin created a special bun by flattening out a couple of their signature sour dough dinner rolls and then lightly toasting them. The burger was garnished with lettuce and it was truly one of the best burger’s I’ve ever eaten!
The Fish House is one of Peoria’s best known restaurants and you can check out the entire menu here. Mucho thanks to Justin and Paul for such a great Saturday Night Cheeseburger!
Four Wimpy’s, one of the best cheeseburger’s I’ve ever had! Quite possibly the best cheeseburger I’ve ever eaten.