Okay, time to start a new food tour here on MBIP. Well, this is actually a continuation of the first chicken wing tour. I had so many places I wanted to go to try chicken wings at and didn’t get to as many as I wanted to in the first tour, so I thought we’d do another dozen weeks of wings. And what better place to start than at Schooners on War Memorial Drive, which I think was the first place to serve Buffalo Chicken Wings in Peoria. I’ll have to get that confirmed and to get it confirmed we first must get going to Schooners, so let’s make tracks and begin yet another winged journey!
Happily the sun is setting as we head over to Schooners. My friends John and De are driving and we’ll see them soon, till then enjoy this glorious sunset!
And here we are at Schooners. This place has been here for quite some time and the last time we stopped in was on the tenderloin tour. That was over two years ago, we’re overdue for a visit here!
And there’s John leading the way in, soon we’ll see De and then we can all breathe easier!
Wow, it’s crowded in here for a snowy Sunday evening! In addition to John and De, we’re meeting my friends Amber and Joe, so we’ll get a table to sit at. I’m really anxious to see Amber, because I haven’t seen her since she had her throat surgery to have her tonsils taken out. That’s an easy operation when you’re a little kid, but for grown-ups it’s really a painful thing to go through and she was laid up for a couple of weeks, it’ll be nice to see her again and have her back on the blog!
We got the back corner table and you can see John and De have taken their seats back there. Let’s go take a closer look and get De officially on the blog!
There they are, John and De Ingles! John and De have a graphics company called, Smiley Graphix and they’re currently re-designing their website and you can check them out and like them on facecrack. John is also one of the creators of an app that delivers high school football scores in real time. Check that out right here: Illinois Prep Scores. Okay, that's enough plugs for these two! Sheesh!
Julie’s our pretty and friendly waitress for the evening and here she is delivering me a beer! I love her already!
And here we are at the corner table in Schooners. Remember I told you I think that Schooners was the first place to do Buffalo Wings in Peoria? Well, it’s time to get that fact confirmed!
This is Brad who’s the son of Gebby, the owner of Schooners. Brad said his Uncle Gene went to Buffalo, New York on a vacation and simply asked someone at a restaurant there forthe Buffalo Wing recipe and he secured it and brought it back to the Midwest! Brad told me that they started cooking Buffalo Wings at their Bloomington location in 1984 and they started here in Peoria in 1985! Nice to start this chicken wing tour at the place that started the ball rolling all those beers...I mean years ago!
Check out the soup specials on the Budweiser board. I guess they don’t know that tour is all over!
I love the arched wooden ceiling in here. Schooners has always reminded me of a dive bar meets a ski lodge for some reason! No other bar in Peoria has an ambiance quite like this one.
Sports jerseys and neon lights line the top of the walls up here...
And over here too!
Yet another neon sign over here above this booth and yes, it’s a Cubs bar. And yes, they were disappointed this year, but hey, there’s always next season!
Schooners is also known for their giganzo tenderloins and this gentleman was enjoying one over here at this table...until I barged in with the MBIP camera!
This is the Tenderloin Supreme, which is served with pizza sauce, two kinds of cheeses and topped off with tomato and onion. The menu says it can feed two, but I think it could fill up a whole table!
I ran into a friend I haven’t seen for decades, Linda Manning! We went to high school together and I can’t remember the last time we saw each other. But then again, as I always say, I can’t really remember last night, so who knows how long it’s really been! It was great to see Linda and catch up with her and she pointed out a sign nearby the bar...
Linda’s the Mayor of Schooners! Very cool and so nice to see her again!
Meanwhile, back at the table, Amber and Joe have arrived! Great to see both of them and as you can see, Amber has bounced back from her throat surgery and is looking pretty as always! Below is a picture of the tonsils they took out of her throat and it’s pictured below. Note, this is not for the squeamish, so you’ve been warned!
Wow, I don’t know how she even could swallow with those things in her throat! I told her that I would’ve loved to have breaded them, deep-fried them and then serve them up to someone, but hey, that’s just me! And now my goal is to have some place create an appetizer named after Amber’s tonsils and you know that we’re going to make that happen, so stay tuned for that!
I wanted to take a look at Amber’s throat and see how it looked totally void of tonsils and she opened up and said: “ Aaahhh!” Hey, her tonsils are gone, but what’s that in her throat where they used to be...
It’s Bob Odenkirk and David Cross from the Mr. Show With Bob and David! I don’t know how they got in there, but at least now when Amber’s throat feels funny, she’ll know why!
Okay, time for the food portion of the evening, here’s Brad with the wings and some other things!
We got an appetizer sampler platter which has onion rings, mozzarella cheese sticks, fried mushrooms and potato skins. A nice selection of deep-fried goodness!
All the appetizers were tasty, but I really like the onion rings. They’re battered with Schooners homemade beer batter and while they’re big in size, they’re really light and flaky. The onion has a sweetness to it which is a nice contrast to the salty and savory beer batter, delicious!
And here’s the star of tonight’s show, the chicken wings! They’re fried crispy on the outside...
And served with a variety of sauces ranging from mild to wild to nuclear! We passed on the nuclear and I dipped mine into..
The mild sauce. The wings here are crispy on the outside and juicy when you bite into them. No gimmicks or crazy flavors here, just good old fashioned Buffalo Wings cooked up from the same recipe that Gene procured in Buffalo over three decades ago! Kind of like biting into a tasty bit of history!
Here’s everyone enjoying the feast of wings and appetizers!
For dessert we got an order of the homemade corn fritters which are covered in powdered sugar. These are so good and it was the perfect way to end the evening. Well, okay, I actually ended it with another beer, but who’s counting! Thanks to everyone at Schooners for the great food and hospitality and to John, De, Amber and Joe for joining me on this first week of our second tour of wings!
Chicken Wing Rating
Three and a Half Wings Guitar Picks—As I stated earlier in the post, these aren’t fancy-schmancy, gimmicky flavored wings, just the real thing from a recipe secured from Buffalo, New York and brought here to Central Illinois!
Schooners (Peoria Heights)
730 E War Memorial Drive
Related Posts: Twelve Weeks Of Chicken Wings: Week Number Fifteen—A Winged Wrap-Up And The Best Chicken Wings Of The Tour (As Picked By The MBIP Esteemed Team Of Judges), Sunday Suds and Swizzle Sticks @ Schooners and Twenty Tenderloins In Twenty Weeks: Tenderloin Number Nine at Schooners.