Okay, so last Thursday I went to The Tartan Inn over in West Peoria and had a great night and met some cool people. One of those people was a cute and nice woman who told me her name was Jenny. She works at The Tartan Inn, but she also told me she worked at a place called B Easy on Main Street. B Easy is a unique, late night place to get food, cigarettes, gum and...hot dogs! Jenny said the dogs there are great, so that’s tonight’s battlefield for this latest installment of Peoria’s Hot Dog Wars! Ringo...sound that battle drum and let’s get cracking!
Usually I do the Hot Dog Wars on Sunday afternoons, but we're heading to B Easy after my worknight on Friday this week. They have late night hours and are open from 9PM to five in the morning. It's about 10:15PM and they're straight ahead up here on Main Street. Vroom, vroom!
Here's a drive-by shot of the building, let's go park and check this place out.
The sign has a bit of a nuclear feel to it, even across the street. Let's go up and see what's happening there.
This is really a unique business in Peoria. It's a sidewalk food stand that I've heard has top-shelf food and other items that cater to a late night crowd.
You order here at this window...
And after standing there for four seconds, this gentleman magically appeared. This is Brandon Altorfer who is the co-owner of B Easy along with his cousin, Erik Kaufman. Both men are chefs who have plied their trade at various restaurants around town. They opened B Easy last February and they specialize in late night food, which includes several styles of hot dogs. I ordered the chili cheese dog and when I ordered one with just mustard, Brandon said the words that almost brought tears to my eyes. He said, "What kind of mustard do you want?" And then proceeded to tick off a list of mustard's available there. Just last week I complained about hot dog sellers using generic mustard, so I was pleasantly surprised by this offering. I chose their house made mustard for my hot dog.
Brandon and the other chef on duty are back preparing the hot dogs in the kitchen, so let's take a look around here while they get them battle-ready.
Here's the menu for B Easy. I've heard the Italian Beef sandwich here is the best in town and this was confirmed by several people strolling by giving shoutouts to this place. I don't know any other place that offers up a dill pickle as a stand alone food item, so I ordered that as a palette cleanser between hot dogs.
In addition to the fresh food here, B Easy also has soda, gum and chapstick available for late night wanderers on Main Street. Brandon said he was surprised by the number of chapsticks they sell on a weekly basis.
Cigarettes are available here too, and as if on cue...
Mike and Derra ambled up to the window right after I took that shot and bought a pack of cigarettes. They said they might stop back later for a sandwich.
Here's some dollars framed from the opening night in February. In case of bankruptcy, break glass!
There's cheese bread and a veggie melt for you vegetarians out there and shrooms are available for those that are interested in that sort of thing.
Okay, it's time for the moment of truth. Brandon just handed me my bag of dogs. I got a diet Coke to wash the food down with and thought we'd eat it right here at the food stand.
Wow, right off the bat they get high marks for packaging. These are the first hot dogs that we've had that are wrapped up in foil. Look how shiny they are, I'm kind of bummed out I didn't order any shrooms now! And check out the size of that dill pickle on the right, that looks might tasty. Okay, let the battle begin!
As soon as I opened up the foil on the chili cheese dog I saw something that I hope I was imagining, but Brandon confirmed it, they use beans in their chili. And if you remember from this post, I have strong feelings on this subject. Beans do not belong in chili and they most certainly do not belong on a hot dog. I'm not going to debate this, end of story and let's just move on down the road.
I decided to try and forget about the beans by focusing on tonight's palette cleanser which is this magnificent looking dill pickle. I love pickles and this one looks like a real beauty!
Wow, that is one great tasting pickle! It almost makes up for the fact that there were beans on that hot dog...but not quite.
Okay, let's try the mustard dog. It looks good and it's topped with homemade mustard and housed in a steamed bun. It looks and smells great, let's try it out.
Okay, that's probably the best mustard dog I've had so far. The mustard was tangy and tasty, the hot dog was great and the bun was steamed and bakery fresh. Delicious!
Here's Brandon standing outside with a framed Journal Star article written by Danielle Hatch. Brandon's a great host and a truly nice guy, stop by and say hi when you're in the area and tell them to put the beans away! And hey, where's Jenny? Brandon said she wasn't feeling well and was resting in the back. Poor Jenny! Maybe we'll see her next time.
Hot Dog War Status
They put beans in their chili. End of fucking story. The rest of the food looks fantastic though and Brandon is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, except for the fact that he puts beans on top of hot dogs and you just should not do that, goddammit! The Hofbrau House remains the victor in the Weenie Wars for yet another week.
Hot Dog Rating
Three Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles. They got this high of a rating on their mustard dog alone. Imagine if they didn’t put beans in their chili, I wonder if you can? No hell below us, above us...you don’t put beans in chili and you especially don’t put beans on top of a goddamned hot dog. Sheesh! Having said that, I really need to come back and try the Italian Beef.