Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger starring this week’s host, The Fox Pub & Cafe and featuring the Ready for Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome this week’s host, which is handily located seven minutes from MBIP Headquarters, The Fox Pub & Cafe!
And we're off and running on I-74 heading to Pioneer Park where the The Fox Pub & Cafe is located on the North side of town. I called in my dinner order because the kitchen would've been closed by the time I got there and told the person on the other end of the line that I'd just be eating at the bar. He then told me the very disturbing news that I may have to eat at a table because a pub crawl group had called and said they'd be there soon. Here's the thing, I HATE pub crawl groups. They're noisy, they disrupt the flow of everyone's evening and they're usually a crew of loud and sloppy drunken idiotic louts. And boy do I hate a crew of loud and sloppy drunken idiotic louts. And someone in the group is usually armed with a bell of some variety and the rest of then are twirling things around and generally making me sick. And it's really bad if they all are wearing the same t-shirt with the name of their pub crawl on it. My hope is that somehow, they won't show up. I thought about going somewhere else, but I have to stay true to my theme of going to the place I went to a year ago for a cheeseburger last year and trying something new there this year. So it's onwards we go.
Oh no! I've pulled into the parking lot and there's a bus. That usually means a pub crawl group is in the vicinity nearby.
This shiny woman behind the wheel just confirmed it, this is the pub crawlers bus and they are indeed inside. I pray there's not a bell and that no one is twirling anything.
The place looks the same as it did last year when we visited.
I like the neon and the flags in the window over here. And yes, I'm stalling on going in. Hate the pub crawlers!
Wow, I can already hear the noise. Woo and hoo.
Wow, there's no way of getting to the bar, they've completely taken it over. To their credit though, so far there's no bell, they don't have matching t-shirts and no one's twirling anything. But still, there's no way to get to the bar which sucks. Chris, who's the bartender saw me and told me that I could sit at a table and he'd bring me my dinner. I really would prefer sitting at the bar and this is kind of throwing my whole night off. Hate the pub crawlers!
I think I'll pick a table up front. This whole series of events has really thrown me off kilter.
I got the Duke of Wellington beef brisket sandwich and a side of the Fox Fries. It looks delicious, but I'd sure prefer to eat it at the bar.
They have a huge selection of beer in here, so I told Chris to pick me out something and here he is pouring it. This shit usually happens at the bar. I am a creature of habit and I kind of feel like I'm spinning sideways when all of a sudden...
A miracle happens and the entire pub crawl group is leaving. And a bell wasn't even rung...
The bar is now ours for the taking! Love those pub crawlers!
Okay, I've transferred my beer and my meal up to the bar and things are back on track!
Wow, this sandwich is amazing! The brisket is tender and tasty and there's tangy melted cheddar cheese on top and the bakery-fresh bun is unbelievably good. You can read more about it in the review below.
The fries were really tasty too but oh how quickly everything disappeared!
They've really got a nice bar in here, now that the crowd has vanished and we can finally take a look at it.
A row of lamps hang overhead and illuminate the bar.
Here's the owners of the Fox Pub & Cafe, Cortney and Matt. They're super-friendly people and we had a nice conversation about Peoria and the fact that they don't look old enough to be in a bar, much less own one!
Brian and Kayla work in the kitchen and were relaxing at the bar as the kitchen is now closed. Kayla runs the kitchen and I thanked her and Brian for a great meal. Everyone who works here is nice and a lot of fun to chat with.
Look who showed up at the bar, MBIP pal, Amber! That was a nice surprise and since I wasn't expecting to see her, we had a truce in our dueling MBIP versus All Smiles Dental Care business card contest.
The Fox Pub has an ever-changing menu of craft beers in tap and in bottles. Here's five of the taps up at the front of the bar.
Chris let me go behind the bar to get a shot of the half dozen taps back here.
While I was back there, I took a photo from the bartender's point of view.
Here's a list of "Rotating Handles" available this month. Note the Arcadia Big Dick's Old Works Ale. There's really nothing like plopping down at the bar and order a mug of Big Dick's.
I was told that this mural on the back wall was painted by a Bradley art student who worked here a while back. Very nice!
Here's another shot of the spacious dining room opposite the bar.
The walls are plastered with all things English including portraits of the Fabulous Four and a British telephone booth.
I love you too!
Good Knight and we'll see you all tomorrow!
As far as I know, The Fox Pub & Cafe is one of the few, if not the only pub in Peoria featuring authentic English pub fare. In addition to fish and chips, bangers and mash and a line of British “Bap” sandwiches, they have five varieties of Beefeater Brisket sandwiches. I got the Duke Of Wellington and it was a royal treat. The sandwich has a generous portion of slow-cooked, tender and tasty beef brisket, topped off with a large hunk of melted cheddar cheese. It comes with a side order of tangy homemade horseradish sauce which really complimented the beef and cheese nicely. What really drove the sandwich home for me was the large, bakery-fresh bun that it was housed in. It was slightly toasted and pillowy soft. I got the Fox Fries with the sandwich and ordered them well-done and they were crispy and cooked to perfection.