Live, from Peoria, Illinois it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger with this week’s host, Mango Fondue & Grill and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome this week’s host, Mango Fondue & Grill!
We’re blazing up Interstate 74 at an ankle-numbing speed of 51 MPH. Vroom and vroom!
We have arrived at Mango Fondue and Grill. They’re open till 11PM on Friday and Saturday nights, which is nice. So many kitchens shut down between 9PM and 10PM around town, nice to see a place staying open a little later for us night owls prowling around the town.
Okay, we’re inside and the sign says, “Please wait to be seated.”
This is Alex who’s a server and manager and hostess Katy over at the hostess station in the front. Everybody who works here is super-nice and friendly and after some chit-chat and a photo they said I was more than welcome to make myself at home at the bar...
And so that’s just what I’m going to do!
As I settle in, bartender Kyle serves up an ice-cold Modelo. Okay, the evening has begun!
Mango has eight different craft beers on tap.
This room has a casual lounge-like feel with comfortable booths lining the wall opposite the bar.
There’s tables in the middle and after I took this shot someone shouted out, “Hey, Mr. Meanwhile Back in Peoria,” from the table on the end...
It’s Erin (on the right side in the middle) from The Fiber Universe out with her friends on a girls night out! Great to see her and her friends at Mango. I told them I’d behave up at the bar behind them. Of course that was a lie, but what are you going to do?
There’s a stage directly across from the bar for live music and entertainment. Check Mango’s facecrack page for updates on shows and performances here. Love to see businesses supporting and showcasing live, local entertainment.
Here’s the front dining room which has a little bit of an upscale vibe to it.
These booths look like a perfect place for a romantic first date of sharing fondue, drinks and conversation.
On the way back to the bar I ran into Relyn who struck a pose with Alex. Relyn told me she loved Chip Joyce’s Sunday post and I told her I’d pass that along, so there you go Chip!
And Amber's bowling buddies, Rebekah and Andrew have come along too! Okay, we've got a real party going on here now!
You'll notice that tonight we've reverted back to the "Saturday Night Cheeseburger" title. That's because Mango recently added a "Monster Burger Series" to their menu and I had to try one, so it's back to cheeseburgers this week!
Behind the bar is Beatrice who is the co-owner of the bar along with her partner Don. She told me that Don was busy in the back and would be out later to say hi. Great to see her again! Our order has been placed and through the miracle of these here interwebs...
Here's tonight's cheeseburger! I got the The Charred Salamander which comes with thick cut fries and homemade Green Goddess dressing on the side.
It's topped with pepper jack cheese and bacon and as you can see there's a ring of spicy BBQ sauce on the bun. It looks very tasty!
I quartered the burger so we could all try a sample of it.
This looks and smells amazing. I can't wait to dig in...
Amber took a shot of me doing the digging and this was such an amazing burger! you can read more about it in the review below, but we all agreed that this is one of the best cheeseburgers in the world!
After the burger we got the Turtle Chocolate fondue for dessert sampling. This is the tray of dippable goodies that come with this selection. Of course that black spoon can only lead to one thing...
My patent-pending cocaine snorting photo at Mango! And just so you know, it's not really cocaine...it's heroin. Just kidding! It's powdered sugar so lighten up already, sheesh!
The chocolate Turtle concoction is melted and the dipping has begun. Fondue is fun to eat because everyone gets into dipping the different items and cell phones are put down and actual conversation happens in this communal dining experience.
This is a piece of cheesecake slathered in the warm chocolate mixture. Words fail me because three seconds after I took this photo my mouth was stuffed with this. It's so good!
Kyle took a photo of all of us at the bar and there's Amber and I having a MBIP vs. ASDC business card duel.
Amber wins this round because she skewered her card and dipped it into the chocolate!
And she gets extra points for giving Doc this chocolate mustache! Check out the ASDC facecrack page here and give them a "like."
As the evening was coming to a close, co-owner Don came out to say hello. He said business has been good. Don, Beatrice and everyone who works here really encourage everyone to have lots of fun in here while enjoying some of the most unique and tasty food in Peoria. Thanks to all of them and to Amber, Rebekah and Andrew for coming along and making this such a fun evening! We'll see you all tomorrow!
Mango is best known for their savory and sweet fondue creations, but there’s another facet of the restaurant that has grilled delights including small bites like Ribeye Steak Kabobs and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and they also feature eight different varieties of burgers. They recently added a “Monster Burger Series” to the menu and I had to try one of those. They all sound like delicious and unique burger creations—there’s a veggie burger and a chicken burger in the series for those of you that aren’t red meat eaters—but I chose the The Charred Salamander. The The Charred Salamander is a half pound burger that’s infused with spicy chili and sriracha. It’s topped with a pile of pepper jack cheese, smoky bacon, Rufus Teague BBQ sauce and served on a toasted bun. There’s homemade Green Goddess dressing on the side with fries dusted with Cayenne pepper.
This burger is like a carnival ride for your tastebuds. There’s so many flavors going on with it. I first tasted the spicy chili and then the crunchy bacon kicked in and the burger and pepper cheese and then heat sets in. All four of us agreed that this is one delicious and certainly unique and flavor-filled burger. I can’t wait to try the rest of them!
For dessert we split the Turtle Chocolate fondue and it was the perfect compliment to the savory and spicy burger. Lots of sweet to follow that heat!
Four Galloping Gourmets—One of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of cheeseburgers in my travels! And the Turtle Chocolate dessert fondue was unbelievable! Mango is such a fun place to share food, fun and conversation. And of course have a beer or three too!