One of the first people I had lunch with when I moved back to Peoria was Greg Batton. That was before I started this blog, so I decided it was time to have lunch with Greg and document it for the MBIP blog. The other week we saw the creation and introduction of the Marty Womburger at Kenny’s Westside Pub, so I thought that would be the perfect place to meet and eat a slice of MBIP history. I decided to make this luncheon crowd a trio by inviting the owner of Kenny’s and the creator of the Marty Womburger, Sean Kenny to join us for lunch, he accepted the invitation and so it’s off to Kenny’s we go.
Here's a drive-by shot of Kenny's from the MBIP mobile.
Wow, it looks like a whole different place here in the cold light of day. I really shouldn't say "cold" light of day as it's about 199 degrees out here.
I'm meeting Greg and Sean here at 11:15AM so of course I'm twenty minutes early and the neon signs in the window haven't even been fired up yet.
Six buck lunch specials here at Kenny's!
And there's plenty of seats to choose from, I'm the first one in the bar.
I swear this bar looks like it's been here for a hundred years, hard to believe it just opened up last March.
I think I'll pick a booth for us to sit at now.
This one looks perfect because it's the farthest from that horrible sunshine. In fact if you squint your eyes, it's almost like it's nighttime in here.
Two big ceiling fans hover above suspended from the wooden ceiling, which is good, as I said earlier, it's like 297 degrees outside.
This sign always takes me back to the past. It's the former owner of this bar when it was called, Billkings in the '80's. The owner was Bill King and I used to hang out in here after work. That phrase, "The Voter's Voice," has me puzzled. So what, if you voted for Bill King, he took over your vocal cords? I'll be obsessing over this all day.
Finally some other lunchers have strolled into the bar. These guys identified themselves as, "The Bench Mob From Caterpillar building LC." Some of them had heard about the Marty Womburger creation and had come to try it. Very cool!
Okay, I'm back at our booth and the first luncheon guest has arrived, it's Sean Kenny, the owner and host of this fine establishment.
And, as if on cue from the luncheon gods, who shows up next but my pal and yours, Greg Batton!
Lunch has begun, we're far from the sunshine and life is good.
In addition to the upcoming cheeseburger, we found out that Greg has a lot on his plate as usual. In addition to co-hosting The Greg and Dan Show on WMBD, he's going to be the host and emcee at this year's Budweiser Blues Festival on the riverfront, Labor Day weekend, August 30th and 31st. Read all about that here.
Greg’s also the man who came up with the St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Mirror Run, where you can experience this legendary run without leaving town. WMBD is one of the sponsors and you can read more about this event here. It takes place July 31st through August 3rd and there’s still time to register. And if all this wasn't enough, Greg still finds time to film his wonderful "side by side interviews" via his WMBD internet series, "Greg's Big Black Couch." Check out the interviews here: Tim Meadows, Walt Willey and Mr. Anderson.
Lunch is served! Pony brings us a couple of Marty Womburgers along with some house specialty tater tots.
Wow, check it out, a burger topped with habanero jalapeño jack
cheese, a hand battered onion ring with a fried egg cooked into it and
then topped with fresh chopped bacon.
Greg wonders how he's going to eat all this...
Here's a somewhat fuzzy photo of the Marty Womburger. Hey, you try taking a one-handed shot of this monster burger!
It was too early for Sean to eat lunch, so instead he got hypnotized watching Greg eat and slowly devoured his index finger.
Okay, at this point, Greg had to leave, but as one luncheon guest leaves, another arrives and it's none other than the aforementioned former owner of the bar, Bill King, who's presenting Sean with a vintage Billkings jacket from back in the day, pretty cool!
Now Sean had to go and start taking care of business at the bar, but two other fellows showed up to sit at the luncheon booth. It's none other than my Godson, Brian, whose wedding we attended a while back here on MBIP! He and one of his co-workers whose name I forgot to write down—sorry co-worker! came here to day to try the Marty Womburger! Perfect timing!
Smile, Brian, you're on MBIP camera!
And yet another Marty Womburger is devoured! Thanks to Sean, Greg, Pony and everyone at Kenny's Westside Pub for a fun and fabulous lunch! See you all tomorrow.
Thoughts For Food With Greg Batton
Favorite pizza in Peoria (or nearby, this appliies to all questions): Nick And Willy's Outback
Recommendation for Saturday Night Cheeseburger: Pat Sullivan's Fergie Sliders at Kelleher's (off menu.) Awesome!
Best local ice cream and favorite flavor: Spotted Cow's Mocha Me Crazy...and I am!
If you could take a trip back in time, where would you eat a meal in Peoria? On the train at Vonachen's! Thanks Pete!
Even though you should try to eat local, the one chain restaurant in Peoria I would recommend is: Buffalo Wild Wings (owned locally.)
Favorite local sandwich: Rueben at The Black Rabbit. Happy 87 Bruce Saurs!
Best little out of the way joint I know is: It’s not little, not a joint but lunch at Alwan and Sons grill is hard to beat! Fresh, hot and tasty!
Someplace that has really good pub grub is: The Fieldhouse. Try the fried green beans!
My favorite spot for breakfast is: Le Peep. Great food, nice people!
Best Hot Dog in town: Mr. G's loaded Chicago Dog
If you had to choose a last meal in Peoria, what would it be (feel free to use items from different restaurants): I sure love the wild boar at Connected. Haven't had anything like it anywhere!