Last July I reconnected with my friend Lisa Odum who I had lost touch with for over 14 years. You can read about how that came about by reading this post from our reunion lunch last summer. Well since then we’ve become really good friends again and we talk on the phone quite a bit. But Lisa lives in Champaign and we both have kooky schedules and we haven’t seen each other since that lunch last summer. So this week we planned another lunch at Jonah’s and since her birthday is a couple weeks away, I thought I’d throw a few birthday surprises in with lunch today. What are these surprises? Well scroll on down and you shall find out!
Here we are at Jonah’s in East Peoria. There’s the Oyster Bar entrance, but we’ll go in through the main entrance that leads into the restaurant.
And here we are. I love all the wood and the rustic feel in here. That’s Kelly, the pretty hostess on duty today.
Ted is one of the managers here and he said they could set us up with a surprise piece of birthday cake for Lisa at the end of our lunch. Perfect! As usual, I’m about a half an hour early, so let’s take a look around Jonah’s Seafood House.
There’s the main dining room up top, below that is a side room still decorated for the holidays and there’s an indoor deck in the back that overlooks the Illinois river. Very nice and it must really be a nice view at night when that rotten sunshine is not around!
Here’s the Oyster Bar located at the end of the building. Tables line the walls and the bar is located in the center of the room. My friend Amber and I came here last summer when we did our ice cream drink tour and had a great Brandy Alexander. You can check that out by clicking here.
Last time Lisa and I had lunch in the bar here and I think that’s what we’ll do again. I’m going to grab a seat at the bar and hang out until Lisa gets here.
There’s Stefon who we met the last time we had lunch in here with a large glass of iced tea. And check it out, that’s a pretty fancy-schmancy iced tea!
Here’s a shot of the bar from where I’m seated and check out the wine on the bar. Lisa is a Sales Associate for Maverick Wine Company and I wonder if any of those bottles are hers? I could ask, but the main thing in doing this is getting a plug in for Maverick Wine and there you go! Bob's your uncle!
There’s a dining area with tables behind the bar.
We sat in this corner table last time, so I reserved it again for today!
And here’s the birthday girl herself, looking beautiful as always! Great to see Lisa again!
As you can see, Stefon doesn’t mess around, here he is bringing our lunch already!
Last time I was so excited to see Lisa again I forgot to take pictures of our lunch, so we ordered the same things as last time and this time we have photos of what we had. Both of us started out with a cup of Chumbo. This isn’t on the menu, but Lisa clued me into it the last time. It’s a mixture of Clam Chowder and Seafood Gumbo and it is so good! It’s loaded with seafood, clams and vegetables and it’s hearty and delicious!
Lisa got the Seven Layer Salad which comes with garlic bread.
I got the Jambalaya and it is so tasty! It’s a spicy and rich soup based New Orleans styled stew with chicken, sausage, shrimp and vegetables. There’s a ball of rice in the center and it is really a tasty and satisfying dish, especially on a winter afternoon!
Here’s Stefon with the birthday cake! Lisa was surprised and the cake was so good! It was a dense and gooey chocolate cake and it came plated with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. There’s the birthday girl taking a bite!
Here’s Lisa opening up some presents I got her. Lisa and I are working on a book that I don’t want to give too much away about until we’re done, but the word, “miniature” has something to do with it, so I got her a bunch of miniature themed presents, including some miniatures of Baileys Irish Cream! As you can see, Lisa really liked those!
Stefon took a shot of the two of us as we were getting ready to head out. That was really a fun lunch and it was great to hang out with Lisa again!
On the way out, Lisa pointed out that Jonah’s is opening up a seafood market and bake shop. It’s not open yet, but the word on the street is that in about two weeks it will be! I’ll definitely have to do a blog when that happens, stay tuned for that!
Last night Lisa sent me a photo of her miniature presents I gave her, very cool! Happy birthday, Lisa! Love you, LYLXOXO, FFS! Oh and Lisa wanted me to give a shoutout to her birthday pal who shares the same day, Tara Barker: Happy birthday to you too, Tara! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Maverick Wine Company
1101 N Ellis Ave.
Bensenville, IL 60106
Related Post: Lunch With Lisa Odum @ Jonah’s Seafood House And Oyster Bar.